Baked okra was not my favorite. Actually, if you asked me my opinion about okra 3 months back I would reply: “they are hideous. I am not eating them.”
Now, I know that this may sound dramatic to some. To me, not so much. I used to hate them and find them revolting.
Not any more. As I’ve said before, I constantly make myself try foods that I “think” I don’t like. It’s a challenge if you will. I want to eat a variety of foods and cuisines. To achieve it I treat myself as a toddler. I serve myself foods I don’t want to eat regularly in a variety of ways and I always try them. Most of the time I find some way to enjoy it. Not tolerate. Actually, enjoy it. Except for green peppers. I’m still in training with those…
So, after avoiding okra for about 20 years, I decided it was time. What I really can’t stand is this gluey thing that they have. It kinda makes me choke! Now, rumors say that if you soak them in a water-vinegar solution the night before they firm up and don’t melt while cooking. Other rumors say that if you leave them for too long in this solution they become tough, tart, and they turn brown. Doesn’t sound very appetizing.
After some deliberation, I decided to go the baking route.
Baked okra is unanimously considered the best way to do it. So using my Instant Pot was not an option this time.
I used frozen okra. I know that fresh produce is always best but I am not the one to wash and remove their stems. Frozen veggies are my best friend. They are affordable, available and they only come second place after garden-fresh produce.
Also, I decided to use my Dutch oven in an attempt to make them even softer and keep my oven kinda cleanish by the end.
To be clear, my oven is never clean. I have every intention to clean it often, but I never do. I splurged and bought a pyrolytic one and I am forever grateful.
Back to the food.
The end result had me in awe. Who would have thought that baked okra can actually taste good? They were not just edible, they actually tasted good. My 6-year-old son even ate them. The only comment that he made was: “They are not my favorite”. That in my book is a total win! Of course, adding a little bacon may have helped.
Doesn’t bacon make everything taste better?
If you too want to expand your palate why not try it? You can add roasted chicken on top to up the protein intake, but they can totally stand on their own as a main.
- 1 kg (2 pounds) frozen okra
- 500 ml (17 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 125 ml olive oil
- 1000 ml water
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 bacon rushers optional
- 1 tsn Turmeric
- 1 tsn Sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In an ovenproof pan add olive oil and saute onions. Add garlic and saute for 1 min. Add bacon if using. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, turmeric, sugar and stir to combine. Add okra, water and stir to combine. Place the lid and bake for 2 hours in a 200oC preheated oven. You can also cover your pan with foil.
- Upon serving you can add any type of cooked protein that you have such as chicken, meatballs or sausage.
Want to remember this? Pin this Cinnamon Sheet Cake to your favorite Pinterest Board!