Table of content A-Z

 

okra

 

Synonyms: gumbo, bhindi, lady's finger

Botanical name: Abelmoschus esculentus


Okra

 

Okra stems from the tropical regions of West Africa, where it has been known since 2000 b.c. Today, okra is a popular vegetable all over the world. It was introduced to Germany by the Greeks and Turks who live here.


Availability


Okra can be purchased all year round.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Outwardly, okra capsules resemble chilli peppers. They are about as thick as a finger, 4 – 15 cm long and tapered. The green capsule is polygonal and covered with fuzz. Inside it contains a soft pulp with edible, embedded white seeds. The taste of okra is difficult to describe: It is slightly bitter, a bit sour-piquant, and somewhat reminiscent of beans or green gooseberries.


Ingredients


100 g of okra contain:


Okra,
fresh
Okra,
cooked
Energie (kcal)
20
20
Wasser (g)
90
90
Eiweiß (g)
2
2
Fett (g)
< 1
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
2
2
Ballaststoffe (g)
5
5
Vitamin C (mg)
36
20
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
70
70
Folsäure (µg)
88
49
Kalium (mg)
285
238
Natrium (mg)
3
2
Calcium (mg)
84
89
Magnesium (mg)
60
60
Eisen (mg)
1,2
1,1



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Buy only undamaged okra that is free of spots. It is best not to store the capsules in the refrigerator, because they are sensitive to the cold. Because they keep for only a short time, they should be used as soon as possible after they are purchased.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Okra can be eaten raw or cooked. Before using them, wash the capsules thoroughly and carefully scrape off any fuzz that might still be on them. Cut off the base of the stem and the tip without damaging the pericarp, i.e. the capsule itself.

When they are cooked, the capsules secrete a slime that is by all means desired for some dishes, as it increases the viscosity. The smaller the okra is cut, the more slime it produces. Some people find the slime rather unpleasant. There are several tricks to keep the slime production to a minimum: Cook the okra for 3 – 5 minutes in water with salt or vinegar and then rinse it with cold water. Five minutes in hot oil is also effective. Thereafter, the okra can be prepared according to the recipe, possibly with the recommended cooking time shortened accordingly.

Okra is good mixed with other vegetables in soups or stews. It is popular as a side dish with meat, particularly lamb and beef. Raw, it combines well with tomatoes in a salad. The soft seeds are eaten with the pulp. In the countries where okra is grown, the roasted seeds are used as a substitute for coffee. Okra will keep for up to a year when frozen.

Okra can be seasoned well, as its own flavour is not very strong.


Seasoning tip


Chilli, garlic, curry, coriander, pepper, lemon juice, and vinegar all go well with okra.

 

 

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