Red Okra is shaped like a torpedo and two to five inches long. The taste of raw red okra is somewhere between eggplant and asparagus. They lose their red color when they’re cooked and turn greenish.
Red Okras are popular in Africa but they can also be found in South America, the Middle East, and the Southern United States.
Species: A. esculentus
Binomial Name: Abelmoschus esculentus
Red Okra Trivia
- Many countries have cultivated the vegetable and because of that, it has many different names in different regions. One of the popular names for it is the lady’s fingers.
- Okras are botanically related to cotton
- The seeds of an Okra can be brewed for a beverage similar to coffee.
Red Okra Buying Guide
To buy the perfect okra, you’ll want to look that the pods are around four inches long. When buying them, try avoiding soft, bruised, or blemished spots. If the vegetable is too mature, they will have a sticky texture to them.
Red Okra Production & Farming in Texas
Okra is a vegetable that grows in the warm season and it produces in most Texas soils. Okra also requires full sunlight. They also prefer very fertile and well-drained soil. They will be most-efficient in soil that is worked up to eight to ten inches. Before planting, remove all the rocks and rake the soil smooth.
Okra is considered to be the vegetable with one of the highest pesticide residues. This is because the vegetable is attacked by various insects and requires many different pesticide residues to help protect the Okra.
Okra is native to Africa and is still widely popular in the continent. It is most popular in Egypt and Morocco, but are also very popular in India, the Middle East, South America, and Southern U.S.
Plant Okra in Texas two to three weeks in spring after the last frost of winter. Use around two to three pounds of fertilizer. They will do pretty well in dry conditions, but you should probably water them at least every seven to ten days.
Carton liners are the best way to effectively stack Okra, handle them more easily, and protect the plant. Regulate the temperature by using separate sheets to wrap them.
Enjoying Red Okras
There are plenty of different ways to use Red Okra in the kitchen. They can be blanched, steamed, boiled, microwaved, braised, sauteed, or deep-fried. They also compliment well with tomatoes, peppers, and corn. The water makes the pods slimy so don’t wash Okra until you’re ready to prepare them.
To store Okra, place it in a tower or a paper bag before closing it in a plastic bag and putting it in the refrigerator. They can be stored in the fridge for about two to three days. If you want to store it for a longer time, cut off the stems before placing them in the freezer. Vacuum-seal the bags if possible.
I’ve already mentioned that Okra works very well with tomatoes, so the easy and healthy recipe is Okra with tomatoes, spices, and onion.
Rinse the Okra and cut the top and bottom tips. It may seem slimy, but don’t worry as it will lose its texture when cooked. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saute pan and place the minced onions and stir them regularly for about ten minutes. After that, add diced garlic and saute for one minute before adding the okra. The okra will shrink so don’t worry if it looks crowded in the pan. Prepare a tomato sauce and pour it over the okra to cook. Cook it for around 20-30 minutes. Okra can be served with quinoa and rice, but also on its own.
Okra is beneficial in improving your health. It is great to start using Okra in a diet that will help with obesity and diabetes. They can also help remove toxins from the body. They also help defend some of the health problems that can be:
- Heart Health
- Gastrointestinal Health
Okra is also a great source of vitamins A, K, C, & B6, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium.
When Are Red Okra in Season in Texas?
To find out when Red Okra are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.