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How to Freeze Okra
In this Article: Prepping and Blanching the Okra Freezing it for Stews and Casseroles Freezing it for Frying Community Q&A
If you love the taste of okra, wait for the height of okra season and set aside some fresh pods to freeze. When you’re craving the taste of summery okra during the dark winter months, you’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead. Just make sure you freeze it using the proper technique: blanch first, cut it into pieces, and flash freeze before storing. Otherwise, you might end up with mushy okra when you thaw it out. See Step 1 to learn the proper technique for freezing okra.
Prepping and Blanching the Okra
- 1Start with fresh okra. Don’t attempt to freeze okra that is underripe or past its peak, or you won’t be pleased with the taste and texture of the okra when you thaw it later. Choose brightly-colored, well-formed okra without mushy spots or bruising.
- If possible, pick the okra fresh. This enables you to freeze the okra before it starts degrading, and will result in the best-tasting okra later on.
- If you don’t grow your own okra or can’t get to a farm, try buying it a farmer’s market or from a store that regularly restocks. You don’t want okra that’s been sitting on a shelf for several days.
- 2Wash the okra. Rinse away dirt and debris using a steady stream of cool water. Handle the okra gently, massaging away dirt instead of scrubbing it off. Okra is a rather fragile vegetable and will bruise easily if handled roughly.
- 3Trim off the stems. Use a sharp knife to trim off the tips of the okra. Don’t remove the entire cap that covers the seed cell; just trim the stems. Exposing the seed cell will cause the okra to break down quickly when you blanch it.
- 4Prepare a pot of boiling water. Pour water into a large pot and bring it to a rolling boil over high heat. This will be used to blanch the okra.
- 5Prepare an ice bath. Fill a bowl with ice and water. The okra will be plunged into the bowl immediately after blanching to stop it from overcooking.
- 6Blanch the okra for 3 – 4 minutes. Place the okra in the boiling water. If the okra pieces are large, they’ll need to be boiled for 4 minutes. Blanch them for just 3 minutes if they’re on the small side. After the time is up, remove the okra from the pot with a slotted spoon.
- If you have a mixture of small and large pieces of okra, sort them before blanching. Blanch the small pieces for 3 minutes and the large pieces for 4 minutes. Doing it separately will preserve the texture of each.
- Blanching vegetables kills the enzymes that cause them to continue to ripen and eventually rot, thus helping preserve their color, flavor and texture. If you neglect to blanch the okra before freezing it, you’ll end up with mushy, flavorless okra when you thaw it.
- 7Plunge the okra into the ice bath for 3 – 4 minutes. As a general rule, you should chill blanched vegetables for the same amount of time that you blanched them. So if you blanched small pieces of okra for 3 minutes, chill them for 3. If you blanched large pieces for 4 minutes, chill them for 4.
- 8Drain and dry the okra. Place the okra on a cutting board or tray and let them dry before proceeding.
Freezing it for Stews and Casseroles
- 1Chop the okra. Think ahead to what you plan to use the okra for. If you’re putting it in a stew, chop it horizontally to create chunks. If you plan to serve it as a side dish or stuff it, chop it lengthwise to create strips. Leave the seeds intact.
- If you want to make fried okra, it’s best to bread it before freezing. Follow the steps in the next section.
- 2Place the okra on a baking sheet. Lay out the pieces in a single layer and make sure none of them are touch.
- 3Flash freeze the okra. Put the tray in the freezer and freeze the okra for 1 hour, or until the pieces are firm and slightly icy. Don’t leave the okra in the freezer uncovered for longer than this, or the chill will affect their texture.
- 4Place the okra in freezer bags. Fill each freezer bag to within an inch of the top with the frozen okra pieces. Close the top of the bag, leaving just enough space to stick a straw into the empty headspace. Suck the air out of the bag so that it closes tight around the okra, then remove the straw and seal the bag.
- Removing the air will keep the okra from breaking down as quickly.
- If you have a vacuum sealer, the machine will remove the air for you.
- Consider labeling your bags with the date they were packed.
- 5Use the frozen okra. Frozen okra can be added to stew, soup, and casseroles without thawing it first. In fact, it’s best to immediately cook the okra instead of thawing it first. The more the okra is handled, the likelier it is to get mushy.
Freezing it for Frying
- 1Chop the okra into pieces. Use a sharp knife to cut the okra into bite-sized pieces that will fry evenly.
- 2Bread the okra. Fried okra is typically breaded with cornmeal, or a mixture of cornmeal and flour. It’s fine to roll it in plain cornmeal, or cornmeal mixed with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Whatever mixture you choose, each piece of okra in a thin layer of breading, and shake off the excess.
- Don’t use a wet batter to bread the okra before freezing, though, since it won’t hold up well in the freezer over time.
- 3Flash freeze the okra. Place the okra pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour. Remove it from the freezer when the okra pieces are firm enough to hold their shape. 
- 4Portion the okra pieces into freezer bags. Fill each freezer bag to within an inch of the top with the frozen okra pieces. Close the top of the bag, leaving just enough space to stick a straw into the empty headspace. Suck the air out of the bag so that it closes tight around the okra, then remove the straw and seal the bag.
- 5Fry the okra. When you’re ready to use the okra, heat vegetable or peanut oil in a large stockpot. Let the oil get hot enough to sizzle when you add a piece of cornmeal to the pot. Put the frozen okra pieces directly into the hot oil and cook them until they’re golden brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper to serve.
Add New Question
- QuestionWhy did my okra get slimy after blanching and icing it? Can I still freeze it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOkra usually gets slimy when overcooked. You can still freeze it and it might be okay for some things, but if I were you I would just toss it and try again, cooking it for a shorter amount of time.Thanks!Yes
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- QuestionHow do I freeze whole fresh picked okra so it won’t look awful after cooking?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe secret to freezing okra is to use a vacuum sealer. I don’t even blanch the okra and it turns out just fine. If you want to pan fry it after freezing, cut it lengthwise while still frozen, coat the cut side with cornmeal, and fry.Thanks!Yes
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- QuestionCan I use different seasonings when freezing breaded okra?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Many people like simple salt and pepper in their flour and cornmeal mixture. Other people add cayenne, garlic, paprika and other spices.Thanks!Yes
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- QuestionCan you tell me when the height of okra season is?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you keep cutting the okra off the plant you can getting the vegetable all summer.Thanks!Yes
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- Young and tender okra should be frozen only; older okra may not taste as good after freezing and it certainly isn’t improved by freezing!
- Be sure to label and date the frozen okra bags.
- You could also try frying the okra instead of parboiling it. To do this, add 2 tablespoons (29.6 ml) of oil for each 500g (1 lb) of okra to a deep pan. Fry the okra for 5 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Then add to the freezer bags, expel the air, seal and freeze.
- Okra can be frozen for up to one year. 
Things You’ll Need
- Large pot
- Colander, frying basket, or slotted spoon
- Bowl for ice water
- A freezer bag that can be sealed
Edit Related wikiHows
Make Jhatpat Bhindi (Okra Based Indian Vegetable Dish)
Make Spicy Okra and Cabbage
Thaw Frozen Fish
- ↑ http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/okra.html
- ↑ http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/okra.cfm
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Categories: Freezing Food | Okra
In other languages:
Español: congelar gombos , Français: congeler des okras (ou gombos) , Deutsch: Okras einfrieren , Italiano: Congelare l’Ocra , Português: Congelar Quiabo , Русский: заморозить бамию , Bahasa Indonesia: Membekukan Okra , Nederlands: Okra invriezen , العربية: تجميد البامية
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All you’ll need are a few simple things that you probably already have around in the kitchen. You’ll need fresh okra, reusable freezer bags, and a marker if you wish to label them.
Step 2: Cut off their tips and caps.
Step 3: Separate the small okra from the larger ones. This will make it easier for you when you blanch them.
Step 4: Boil some water in a large pot, and in another bowl, keep some ice water.
Step 5: Blanch the okra for 3 – 4 minutes. Larger okra will take about 4 minutes, while the smaller or medium ones will take around 3 minutes. Once their time is up, remove them from the boiling water with the help of a spoon, ladle, or tongs. Place them directly into the bowl with ice water, for the same time it took them while blanching.
Step 6: Remove them from the cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Step 7: Leave them out to dry for half an hour or so.
Step 8: Later, place them in a reusable freezer bag. Lightly squeeze out all the excess air from the bag before sealing. Or if you have a vacuum sealer, this is the perfect time to use it.
Step 9: Place this bag into the freezer.
Step 2: Pat dry with paper towels.
Step 3: Leave them out to dry for half an hour.
Step 4: Place them in a reusable freezer bag and remove the excess air out of the bags before sealing it shut.
Step 5: Finally, freeze the okra for future use.
Step 2: Prepare a mixture of bread with cornmeal, flour and cornmeal, or even just cornmeal with a pinch of salt and pepper. Do not use wet batter. The water in the batter will freeze solid and ruin the taste and texture of the vegetable.
Step 3: Coat the okra in a thin layer of this dry mixture.
Step 4: Place the okra piece by piece on a baking sheet and put them into the freezer, for an hour.
Step 5: After an hour, transfer them into a reusable freezer bag. Lightly squeeze out all the excess air and seal/tie it shut.
Step 6: Place the bag into the freezer.
Step 2: Place the okra pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Remember not to let them touch each other while placing them.
Step 3: Put them into the freezer for an hour.
Step 4: Later, transfer them into a reusable freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air and seal it shut.
Step 5: Put this okra-filled bag into the freezer.