Are you looking for a quick and easy way to freeze fresh Okra? It’s not that hard. Just follow a few steps, and your frozen Okra will be ready.
Summertime is the best. It’s that time of year again when the gardens thrive with baby okra pods.
Whether you want to make fried Okra or add them to casseroles and risottos, frozen Okra can help you prepare for winter. You can also saute Okra to serve with a nice hot stew.
How To Freeze Fresh Okra?
To freeze fresh Okra:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Rinse your young okra pods in an ice water bath.
- When they’re dry, transfer them to a chopping board and choose how to slice them.
- Pick fresh Okra for best results. Choose green, plump pods that are lush in color and don’t appear soggy or mushy.
- Put as much Okra as required in a large bowl or colander and rinse clean with cool water. Wash thoroughly to eliminate dust and debris.
- However, be gentle, as okra pods are highly sensitive and can bruise if mishandled. After you’ve finished soaking the Okra, thoroughly rinse it with tap water.
- Next, thoroughly drain any water that remains from the Okra. Take a sharp knife and begin cutting off the okra stems or crowns. You can also chop them into individual pieces to reduce your prep time for recipes.
Be cautious not to sever the seed cells.
- Keeping the seed cells ensures that the Okra maintains its flavor and texture.
- Separate the more giant pods from the smaller ones. Fill a cooking pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- When the water begins to boil, add the more giant okra pods and cook for about 5 minutes. After that, remove them with a rubber spatula and let them soak in icy water. This step will keep the Okra from braising and its bright, green color.
- Put the Okra on a baking sheet and dry it with tissue paper before putting it in freezer bags.
Do not blanch or put them in boiling water if you plan to fry or flash freeze the okra pieces. Blanching makes the Okra mushy. However, you can set the freezer bag in an ice bath for just a few minutes to ensure that the ice crystals melt.
You can put the Okra in a vinegar solution and store up to a year. Cut Okra into bite-sized pieces, fill the freezer-safe bag with the vinegar solution, and put them in the fridge; this will prevent the decaying process and keep them perfect year-round.
Alternate Freezing Options
If you want to make fried Okra (or baked), coat Okra in a single layer of breadcrumbs and place them in Ziploc bags (get as much air out as possible), a sheet pan, or a baking sheet lined with olive oil before putting them in the freezer.
Cut off the tips of the okra pods and reheat them in the oven before you eat or use them in a meal. You can also store them for future use.
Should You Thaw Frozen Okra Before Frying?
Now that you know something about freezing Okra let us get to the thawing part. It’s straightforward.
To thaw the frozen Okra, put the pods in an oven on parchment paper and flip periodically. You can also soften them by placing them in a skillet over medium-low heat.
Stir until the Okra is evenly warmed, and then place them on a paper towel to thaw them thoroughly.
How long does it take to Fry frozen Okra pods?
There isn’t much difference in the cooking time between frozen and fresh Okra. A few minutes longer in the microwave or the pot/skillet will suffice.
I like to cook it for a few minutes, just until the sides start to brown, for my delicious side dish, crispy fried Okra. The cooking time is generally less when you use them in soups or cook with other vegetables.