Enjoying okra all-year-round is easier than you think.

By Tamara Gane
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Okra is rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamins A and C. It's also a delicious southern staple, versatile enough to star in dishes as different as fried okra and seafood gumbo. It's a good vegetable to have on hand, but unfortunately, it's only in season during the warmer months. Luckily, it's easy to freeze okra so you can enjoy it recipes all year around. To get you started, we talked to Shaun Garcia, executive chef at Soby's New South Cuisine in Greenville, South Carolina about how to freeze okra. Just follow the steps below.

Raw Okra
Credit: Photo: Hector M. Sanchez; Food Stylist: Marian Cairns; Prop Stylist: Caroline Cunningham

What You'll Need

  • A small knife
  • Paper towels
  • Baking pans
  • Freezer bags

How to Freeze Okra

  1. Wash the fresh okra and pat it dry to remove any excess moisture.
  2. Take a small knife and slice the okra into ½ inch rounds (Garcia suggests keeping a paper towel handy to keep your knife blade clean and dry as you go along).
  3. Spread the okra onto baking pans until you have enough to fill a large freezer bag.
  4. Once you fill your freezer bag, be sure to squeeze out all of the excess air before you seal the bag and place the okra in the freezer. Frozen okra keeps for about 6 months - long enough to carry you to next season.

How to Prepare Okra

Garcia says the best way to use frozen okra depends on the dish you plan to make. If you're going to use the okra in a delicious tomato soup, homemade vegetable soup, or an authentic gumbo recipe, he says you can add the okra into the pot straight from the freezer.

If you are going to fry okra for a dish like our Crunchy Okra and Corn Salad, Garcia suggests taking the okra out of the freezer to let it sit for five minutes first. Next, he says to pour buttermilk over the frozen okra to form a frozen buttermilk shell. Dredge the okra in equal parts flour and cornmeal with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in 350-degree oil in small batches until the okra is golden brown.