Categorized |Vegetarian

Another use for ochro besides Callaloo.

fry ochro recipeThe absolute only way I would engage in any dish with ochro (Okra) growing up, was callaloo and in some of the soups my mom would make on a Saturday. However that didn’t stop my mom from cooking fry ochro with and without saltfish (dry salted cod). We had a small garden (aka kitchen garden) at the back of our home and one of the vegetables we grew was ochro, so we always had a ready supply. However they were a bit different than the ones we get here in the supermarkets in Canada. Ours were a lighter green in colour (almost yellowish) and about 2 to 3 times longer, when ready to reap.

Fry ochro is yet another dish I only started to appreciate in adulthood, as many of the others I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

You’ll need…

1-2 lbs Ochro (okra)
Salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
6 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion sliced
2-3 cloves garlic (crushed – chopped)
1 pimento pepper 9sliced)

Note: I ended up using a pimento pepper in preparation only because I ran out of my usual habanero and/or scotch bonnet peppers.  If  you’re using a scotch bonnet pepper, you’ll only need a couple slices. BTW, the pepper is optional but it adds a nice flavour to the fry ochro.

Wash the ochroes and allow to air dry on paper towels or a kitchen towel. From advice from my mom, I allowed this to dry for about 2 hrs (there’s a reason why I did this, which I’ll explain below).

trini fry ochro

fry ochro recipe

After which I trim the stems off the ochro and discard… then I slice each ochro about 1/4 to 1/2 a centimeter (about the thickness of 2 quarters). I then placed the slices on paper towel to air dry once more again. I recall my mom would allow the slices to air-dry on the counter top overnight. However, those were fresh-of-the-tree ochroes and not the store bought stuff that were probably harvested many days before that we get here. So I allowed it to air dry for a couple hours after they were sliced.

trinidad fry ochro

how to fry ochro trini style

Why air dry 2 times?

It’s common knowledge that ochro is a bit slimy (mucilage) when sliced and can remain that way even when cooked. To avoid that sort of slimy texture the air drying process seems to remove most of the natural liquid in the ochro and prevents it from being overly slimy.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil (you can use vegetable oil, but since I’m using so much oil I thought it would be best to use a healthier oil) on medium to high heat. Then add the garlic, onion and slices of pepper. Allow this to cook for a few minutes, until it starts going brown. The next step is to add the sliced ochro and stir around. Then add the salt and allow to cook with the pan uncovered for about 20 minutes on medium/low heat.

fry okra

fry okra recipe

It’s very important that you cook with the pan uncovered and that you stir very often. In about 20 minutes or so you’ll notice that the ochro starts to go brown (edges), this would be an indication that it cooked. I usually allow mine to go a bit dark (beyond golden) as I like the sort of nutty taste you get when the natural sugars starts to really caramelize. During the cooking process the ochro may start to stick to the bottom of the pot and you’ll notice that it absorbed all the oil you started off with. You can either turn down the heat or add a couple more tablespoons of oil. I usually turn down the heat a bit.

If you like to really make this uniquely Trinbagonian,  add some pieces of salted cod to the oil before adding the onion, garlic and pepper that we started off with. If you do add some salted cod, you won’t need to add any additional salt to the dish.

how to fry ochro

fry ochro

trinidad fry okra

Be sure to leave your comments below and I encourage you to share your ochro (okra) recipes with us.

Happy Cooking


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33 Responses to “Another use for ochro besides Callaloo.”

  1. rita says:

    I love fried ochro. Since I dont use much oil when cooking I seasoned the ochro with the salt, pepper, garlic and put it under the broiler for a few minutes and it came out perfect… and crisp. If you dont like it crisp then take it out half way. You couldnt even tell it was not fried in oil. I dont use oil anymore to get my “fried” ochro. You should try it..

  2. JoAnn says:

    I love this recipe. My grandmother always made this with sada roti when I was a child. Loved it then, love it now. Nothing like wholesome Trini cooking.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Chris, Love the recipe! I did not have the 2 hour time to wait so I used my blow dryer (which is meant for kitchen use) on cool for about 1/2 hour and that did the trick. Not the best but it worked for me.

  4. Patricia says:

    Hi there do yuo know ochroes is also delishus when fry salt meat and schrimps ? I just love it yummy.mmm

  5. Linda says:

    Ochroes can also be added to curry. Had some curried shrimp and ochroes in Jamaica.
    Courtleigh’s cook is the best.

  6. Princess says:

    I love fried okras with ground beef, but I have to take out the seeds before I cook it. I would squeeze half a lime to cut the slime when frying it, since I cook it right after washing and drying it with paper towels. Don’t have the hours to wait for it to air day. In Guyana we also add it at the top of the met-em-gee when it’s boilin down….yummy

  7. SUSAN says:

    I absolutely love okras. Never had them fried, but I love them boiled slime and all. In Barbados we boil them with garlic,sweet & hot pepper,onion,bit of salt and butter/oil.Cook for about 5-10 mins depends on how fresh and young.When finished cooking pour off some of liquid add hot pepper sauce and bit of lime juice to your preference. You can also add saltfish at this stage.

  8. Albert Charles says:

    i cooked carillie the same way,however i suggest to cook the ochroes over higher heat for a crisp texture….

  9. amilla says:

    Ilove ochroes fried with salt-fish and sada roti,don”t u

  10. Linda says:

    In the south we grow a lot of okra and fry it in hot oil. Roll the cut okra in cornmeal and toss into the pan. You can also batter fry it with an egg then cornmeal coating. It’s also really good cooked with black-eyed peas!

  11. patricia ramdeen says:

    I consider myself a pretty decent cook, but i just had a moment here where i forgot how to make okra the way moms does. Unable to just pick up the phone and call :( … I decide to have a look at your recipes to see if any of the process looked like how i remembered … ALAS…. it is. the Oil is on as we speak… and i just wanted to say THANK YOU for making a website where i can find the foods i used to love growing up. Its like having the recipe book mom would have made…. if she had time :)

  12. SHIRZ says:

    what about a recipe mixing ochro and dasheen bush baghi together with pimentos

  13. carol says:

    Imagine just last Saturday I bought some ochroes to fry like this recipe.It goes well with bake or bread. Thanks Chris.

  14. radha says:

    Hey do you know that you can add ochroes in your dhal!! yep!! just cut of the stem and tip wash and add to the dhal when its nearly finished boiling!!!! also in your trini style soup!!! yep!!! with the sweet potato and cassava etc,you can add ochroes .Try it you will love it!!!!


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