What's Okra and How to Cook It?

Okra, commonly known as Hibiscus esculentus, is a Malvaceae plant. It's also called "gumbo" and "lady's fingers" over time.

The plant is native to Africa but grows in subtropical Asia, Southern Europe, and the Americas. 

The pods or capsules of the okra plant we eat are 4-12 inches long and up to an inch wide.

You may have noticed we called okra a fruit. Okra is typically termed a vegetable, although the edible pod carries seeds.

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Any way you cook okra may be wonderful if you know how. Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home told 

Southern Living that "the more okra cooks, the slimier it gets, because the sugars that create the slime are released."

 So flash-frying or cooking okra quickly is the best way to remove the slime.

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