Okra has a reputation. Southern. Gumbo. “Slimy.” Let’s pickle them, instead, and leave the stereotypes behind.
Wherever okra is grown, there’s bound to be a farmer’s market selling jarred hot, spicy pickled okra. Crunch! I used to snap them up whenever I saw them and often eat a couple on the car ride home.
Pickling okra (sometimes called “Lady’s fingers,” but not the cookie type) takes about 10 minutes of hands-on prep time. It’s that easy. But it’s the pickling wait time… 24- 48 hours that led me to buy jars. I couldn’t wait.
Now that okra is available nearly year-round, I find that there is no excuse for me to buy it already pickled. And, if I make it often enough, there is no waiting time!
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Pickle Me This: Spicy Okra
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) unblemished okra “fingers”
- 2 tablespoons, plus two teaspoons Kosher or sea (not table) salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup regular white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons regular granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or finely ground pepperoncino (red pepper flakes)
- In a large shallow bowl, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt over washed okra. Let it sit for an hour. The remaining 2 teaspoons of salt will be used for your brine (step 4)
- Thoroughly rinse the salt off the okra and discard all the rendered liquid
- Place the okra vertically in a sealable jar(s)
- Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil (liquids and seasonings). This is your brining liquid
- Slowly and carefully (we don’t want burned hands or shattered glass!) pour the hot brining liquid into the jar, ensuring the liquid completely covers the okra. If you do not have enough liquid, add equal parts water and white wine vinegar to top off the jar. If you have extra brine, don’t throw it out! Try adding some olive oil to it for a quick vinaigrette! Waste not, want not…
- With the lid on, let the jar cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator
- Refrigerate and wait 24 – 48 hours before enjoying. The pickled okra should last approximately 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to start on your next batch before this one runs out!