Fermented Okra

Let’s just get this out of the way: The fermented okra turned out pretty slimy.* But if you have no strong aversion to okra goo, then you’ll love it! (Reassuring, no?) The process is amazing in its simplicity, as it turns crisp okra pods into a tangy, tender snack that will keep for months in the refrigerator. It tastes similar to okra pickled with vinegar, but wins the preservation contest (if there were one) because it’s easier to make and imparts all the beneficial bacteria inherent in fermentation.
fermented okrafermented okra
My go-to fermenting resources (Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions) offered no guidance on okra in particular, but I figured the Nourishing Traditions recipe for pickled cucumbers would work just as well. Luckily Brittany has fermented everything, so I turned to her on day 2 when there was none of the telltale bubbly activity. My guess is the viscous brine inhibits the bubbling.

I started with a brine of salt (1/4 cup), water (2 cups) and whey (1/2 cup) , to which I added two seeded jalapenos, several garlic cloves, and about two tablespoons of mustard seed. (If you don’t have whey, just make a saltier brine. Want to know more? I explain this a bit more in depth in the post about fermented beets.) I made sure the pods were submerged to prevent mold and covered the crock with a tea towel. I tasted the pods each day, and on day 3 I decided they were tasty, although the flavors continue to evolve in the refrigerator.

Not sold on fermenting okra? Here’s some other things to do with it: recipes, decorating, and another recipe.

*Edited to add: It’s been three days since I transferred the okra to the refrigerator, and I feel like my characterization of “slimy okra” might have been off-putting and not really fair. I’m snacking on it and noticed it’s not slimy at all. It’s the brine that is slightly slimy, and you don’t have to drink the brine, thankfully.

4 thoughts on “Fermented Okra

  1. pickling some okra now, I was a little concerned about the “slime” but I knew that was the Essence of the Okra so I wasn’t giving up…. I hope it turns out! thanks for the reassurance.

  2. Funny! I am on day two of fermenting my first batch of Okra, and I was also worried about not seeing my bubbles, and the liquid becoming so slimy so quickly. I use my Kefir whey in my fermenting. But now I feel OK having read this. I’m super excited and I really want this batch to turn out ok. I’ve been tasting one okra per day. SO inpatient I am.

    So thank you. I’m not nearly as worried now. And yes, once in a jar and refrigerated I believe the slime element goes away to a degree. But I’ve never been opposed to that anyway. I love it. It’s also good for your stomach lining.

    • Oooh! I’m happy to help! I hope you like it.
      I have started making kefir and also now have an abundance of okra, so I’ll probably try this again. Thanks for the reminder!

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