Okra stewed in tomatoes

Bacon fat is good for you

A lot of people think okra is slimy and gross, I myself thought this before moving to the South. Of course, I had only had okra either deep fried or in terrible gumbos so I really had no frame of reference. One day a few years ago, I was at a potluck and someone brought this. Most of the time anything at a potluck is really mediocre, but after trying this dish I instantly became fan of okra.

This dish is not only really tasty, but a cornerstone of one of our favorite summer meals when served with cornbread and purple hulls (use black-eyed peas if you don’t have those.)

Stewed Okra

  •  4 slices thick bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 14-20 3-5″ long okra chopped into large bites

In a large saute pan, fry bacon until crisp. Add onion to rendered fat and cook over medium heat until onion turns golden. Add okra and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and broth and deglaze pan. Bring to a boil then simmer over low heat until done, about 25 minutes.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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63 Responses to Okra stewed in tomatoes

  1. TasteFood says:

    This sounds nice. I don’t cook with a lot of okra, although I saw some beautiful red okra in the market the other day. Do you know if it has the same flavor as green okra?

  2. I simply love okra! It’s so delicious, and this dish sounds wonderful.

  3. joshuafagans says:

    This looks great. Funny how we can get the wrong impression when we eat the “wrong” versions of things. Keep spreading the gospel :)!

  4. Hi Greg. Doesn’t it become “ropey” after boiling?

  5. I have a feeling that many Japanese think that “okra” is a Japanese word as it’s very widely available in Japan and we use it a lot in our cooking. We adapted the word from English but phonetically it sounds very Japanese.

    Your dish looks delicious.

  6. I have one word for you.. BRILLIANT! When my mother sees this post today.. she is going to jump up and down lol. Why? Because my mother loves stewed okra and tomatoes. She is the master at it. I, on the other hand, never got into okra and have tried it different ways. But I’m glad you gave it a try and loved it. Classic southerners soul food dish.

  7. I’ve got to admit that the “slimy” fear is with me. Okra doesn’t appear in our markets, so I’m a stranger to “ladies’ fingers” as I remember them being called. I think we need a Southern cook.

  8. Im not much of an okra fan but talking about adding bacon makes me like them a whole lot more!
    Have a happy day. :-) Mandy

  9. Charles says:

    Still didn’t get around to trying Okra yet. I still can’t believe that they only sell it in the “tropical vegetables” section here. Is it really such a rare thing in France? This looks like a nice, non-scary Okra recipe to try for my first time when I finally get around to buying some! Thanks! :)

  10. This looks amazing and the more I hear about it (although I have eaten it in Indian food in the UK) the more I want to grow some next summer. And the bacon….amazing! And even if it does ever turn out a bit slimy, I don´t mind that…or am I just really odd?!

  11. rsmacaalay says:

    I guess I am one of those who loves the texture of okra. Have you tried jute leaves? they are slimy in texture as well

  12. I love tomatoes with anything. +bacon will give this texture to counteract the slimy. I do want to try this.

  13. ceciliag says:

    Terrible confession time. I have lived here for almost 5 years and have not tried okra. Am going to have to get onto that! c

  14. Kelly says:

    Slimy and gross? I say mucilaginous and soothing. Love the combination of tomato and okra.

  15. niasunset says:

    Deliciousssss, should be so delicisous! I love okra… Thank you dear Rufus, but this summer I haven’t cooked as before… Do you know, we have (for winter days) dried okra too, on the ripe…! with my love, nia

  16. sallybr says:

    Well, my Mom loves okra, but she particularly likes it very slimy – that prevented me from enjoying it for decades, until a couple of years ago a friend here in town made me fried okra, with a light coating of breadcrumbs and cornmeal. Of course, the healthy component of okra was pretty much gone with all the fat, but…. wow! it tasted great! Never cooked it myself, though.

    I would try yours, definitely

  17. Ritchey would love this! I believe I say that all the time – but he does like just about everything! But okra is a special favorite of his! My mother boiled her okra than doused it with vinegar – slimy isn’t even the word to use. I couldn’t eat it. Now your recipe – I think I could not only eat it, but like it very much!

  18. Simply a southern dish in my opinion and one I used to live off of when I was growing up. Oh how i miss this dish. Thanks for the reminder and it looks AMAZING

  19. Kristy says:

    That looks like a delicious dinner! I don’t know that I have ever had okra before. So I think I’ll have to try your version before I try any of the others. Also, I finally bought some figs (speaking of things I haven’t tried) and am going to go back to your fig recipes and try one out. :)

  20. There is a phrase in the South…”everything is better with bacon” and we are certainly not strangers to the “meat than can turn a vegetarian mad” when they smell it cooking. And okra is just one of my favorites. I plan on making your very simple recipe that could turn an “okra hater” into an “okra lover”. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Amy says:

    I think I heard somewhere that Okra is only slimy when it’s not cooked with an acid…in this case, tomatoes. Probably why your dish looks darn delicious. I wish I had okra available to me so I could make this. Do you think it woudl work ok with frozen okra??

  22. JamieAnne says:

    Looks great! :)

  23. Carolyn Chan says:

    Oh man I just want to dive into that dish with a crusty loaf of bread !

  24. nrhatch says:

    Yum! Pass the cornbread!

  25. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Greg (I’ve been calling you Rufus all along, my apologies!). There are not a lot of things I won’t eat, but unfortunately, Okra is one of them. There is nothing positive I can think of them. Sorry, I usually love your posts! The photo is gorgeous, really rich tones.

  26. Sissi says:

    Okra is not an easy vegetable for everyone. I love its taste (I think it’s something between green bean and asparagus) and don’t mind the sliminess. Until now I have only had it in Japanese dishes though! Your stewed okra looks fantastic!

  27. spicegirlfla says:

    Hmm… you caught my attention in your comment that it tastes like eggplant?? really!!??? Obviously, I’ve never had okra but I’m very interested in trying it out now!!

  28. Caroline says:

    Bacon fat?? YES please. This looks and sounds amazing! I’ve actually never tried okra, but if it’s served like this, I’m all in.

  29. Bacon, tomatoes, onions, and okra…what could possibly go wrong with that?!

  30. Megan Neal says:

    There’s bacon in it, so I’m sure it’s great! It seems like a tasty yet simple recipe!

  31. ....RaeDi says:

    It looks delicious… I’m pulling up a chair. It has such wonderful color….RaeDi

  32. Oh I love okra and this looks fabulous!!!!
    This is such a simple and wonderful recipe, my mom makes okra curry your recipe reminds me of that.
    I am new to your site and its beautiful

  33. Jo Bryant says:

    My first experience with okra was growing it on our first farm in Queensland, Australia. I did try a few recipes with it, but maybe I was just a terrible cook back then. :)

  34. Karen says:

    Growing up in Texas, I had a lot of okra. I have to say that I really like okra; it is a great thickener for gumbo, okra and tomatoes are very good and I think the best of all…fried okra when it first comes out of a cast-iron skillet. I’m sure your recipe will entice others to give it a try.

  35. karencooking says:

    Can’t wait for the fried okra!

  36. Mel says:

    Yum – okra is one of my favourite things to eat! Have only tried it in Asian dishes though… this sounds magic.

  37. nancyc says:

    I’ve never made stewed okra, but that looks so delicious–I’ll need to try it!

  38. I love stewed tomatoes with okra. This looks wonderful, too. I have not made this yet and hope I can scrounge up enough okra out of the garden.

  39. ambrosiana says:

    Oh..How I looove Okra. My mom used to make okra stewed in tomatoes very often back in Honduras! In Italy they only sell it in special markets, so I do not get to it them as often as I would like!!!

  40. AKGDDM says:

    Hi Rufus,
    I read your recipe and never thought of making a stew using Okra. I had fried and stuffed okra dish but not a stew. I have visited some Indian restaurants and gone to some of Indian weddings and they usually have fried okra. Would like to see what you come up with the fried version of it. I will be curious to try this stewed okra dish. Thanks for sharing.

  41. heyyyyy this is very similar to a middle eastern okra stew..only that is cooked with meat and whole okra…one of my all time favorite recipes

  42. Man that looks amazing. And yes, BACON.

  43. I really enjoy okra, but hardly ever see it for sale here. It’s not something you see a whole lot of on menus either.

  44. my0wneyes says:

    I was the same way when it came to okra. I make something very similar to that but I add corn to it and it is awesome, I don’t need to eat anything else with that.

  45. Androgoth says:

    I am just calling into your Space from Kay’s and
    now that I am here i could just eat some of this as
    it looks so delicious :) Both you and Kay are adding
    such exquisite recipes and I always end up seeing
    them of an evening and getting very hungry :) lol

    Have a wicked evening and Tuesday my friend :)

    Androgoth

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