In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

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

Chris

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34 Comments

  1. Tiffany Bawa
    October 27, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    This is a staple vegetable here us Alabama. One of my favorite way to prepare. I will definitely try it with the addition of the pepper, I enjoy the heat!

  2. rita
    November 5, 2015 / 7:04 pm

    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..

  3. JoAnn
    May 28, 2015 / 8:27 am

    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.

  4. Jacqueline
    April 17, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    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.
    Thanks

  5. Patricia
    January 17, 2015 / 5:56 am

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

  6. Linda
    June 22, 2014 / 3:45 pm

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

  7. Princess
    April 25, 2014 / 11:44 am

    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

  8. February 18, 2014 / 9:37 am

    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.

  9. Albert Charles
    October 17, 2013 / 6:51 pm

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

  10. amilla
    October 4, 2013 / 3:11 pm

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

  11. August 16, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    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!

  12. patricia ramdeen
    November 14, 2012 / 9:16 pm

    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 🙂

  13. SHIRZ
    September 28, 2012 / 6:22 am

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

  14. February 14, 2012 / 10:20 am

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

  15. radha
    February 12, 2012 / 8:17 pm

    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!!!!

  16. Shirley
    June 20, 2011 / 10:34 pm

    Hi Chris i'm new to your page but and i tried out the fried okra yesterday,it was wonderful.Thank you.I wanted to post my dinner yesterday but my camera did not give me clear enough pics.I did a spin on the fry okra.I added shitaki and baby bell mushrooms and served that yellow tailed snapper in a brown stew and steamed fresh broccoli…i'm inspired…

  17. Doonwati
    June 14, 2011 / 1:21 pm

    Hi Chris, I also make Curry Okra and Potato with Salt Fish and that taste very good too. I cut each Okra in two, NOT lenghtwise, and curry it just as you would do Curried Chicken. As I don't use Oil to cook I put the Curry Powder in the hot pot and parch it a little but be careful not to burn it then I add a little water and keep stirring until the water dries out. I'll do this about two or three times then add the Okra and Potato. This is a very good method for those who cannot cook with Oil as myself.

  18. Doonwati
    June 14, 2011 / 1:04 pm

    Chris, I don't use oil when I'm cooking, what I usually do is grill or roast the Okra whole, roast the Garlic and Hot Peppers and slice the Onions very thin. I then cut the Roast Okra the same size as when you're frying it and use some Olive Oil, Salt and mix everything. If you do like it with Salt Fish you can boil the fish or roast it too and add it to the dish. I love this so much that I don't miss the Fried Okra at all. You can also roast a Tomato and add to it. These are things that I usually do for myself because I love to cook and like to experiment in the kitchen. Do have a good day everyone and enjoy cooking!

  19. nicol_jo
    May 15, 2011 / 6:10 pm

    Chris, I am really glad you posted this recipe because for the past two weeks I've been wanting to make okra and rice, so your timing is great!

    Here's my question, the okra I have was washed but put in the freezer, so is there still a way to avoid it coming out slimy when I cook it (because I really don't like it when it comes out like that) ? Can you also post an okra rice n salt fish recipe for me to follow along with, thanks. Can't wait to read your response.

  20. yanique
    July 30, 2010 / 4:02 pm

    hey chris that okra recipe is the Jamaican style cooking.
    taste good with saltfish and vegetables with mashed potatoes and crushed yam with cheese

  21. July 11, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    Chris, thank you so much for this recipe. This is what i know as fired ochroe!! I'm using frozen naan bread as my sada roti subsitute … GOOD EATS 🙂

    • July 14, 2010 / 7:50 pm

      check the site, there's a simple recipe for sada roti and the fry bake one is even easier.

  22. Ave
    April 19, 2010 / 11:18 am

    I love ochroes in any form, slime and all. For health reasons I don't usually fry but your dish is tempting and must be very tasty, Chris. Must try it soon. Ochro slush is one of my favourites.

    Av

  23. raj
    April 7, 2010 / 2:18 am

    Chris,
    You can add tomatoes to the cooking process to reduce or even get rid of the slime.

  24. raj
    April 7, 2010 / 1:26 am

    Chris, if you dice one tomato and add to the cooking process, it reduces the slimy substance.

  25. Raymond
    January 30, 2010 / 6:59 pm

    Excellent recipe, I have now mastered the art of preparing one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. Love okra for breakfast. I added tomatoes together with he salted cod fish. Great flavor. Thanks a lot

    • admin
      January 31, 2010 / 3:21 pm

      Raymond, thanks for taking the time to leave your comment. I do recall my mom also adding tomatoes to her ochro dish at time (when there isn’t enough to go around).

      happy cooking

      chris..

  26. November 19, 2009 / 1:14 am

    At my place ochro is used for pickle and my mom prepare very spicy fried ochro. We just love ochro. Well your recipe looks delicious I am feeling hungry now.

  27. November 11, 2009 / 2:16 am

    Hey thanks for the great tip, the air drying part 🙂 Often wondered how to get rid of the slimy stuff .
    .-= peanutts´s last blog ..Fast and easy pasta =-.

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