Spicy Roasted Okra with Peanut Sauce

Spicy Roasted Okra with Peanut Sauce on a rectangular white place
Photo: Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD

I love okra. I like this fuzzy green fruit pretending to be a vegetable a little more than the average person. Okra has a unique flavor and effortlessly thickens soups and stews. “The slime” that so many people hate is what gives okra its thickening power. If sliminess isn’t your thing, there is a way around it. Don’t overcook it.

This polarizing pod has a lot to offer when it comes to nutrition. Okra is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of magnesium, folate and soluble fiber — the kind that helps reduce blood cholesterol and the risk for heart disease.

It gets a bad rap but it’s also going to be around for a while. Okra is in season when it’s hot here in the south, from now until October. You can make this recipe today and until the beginning of boot season!

For this recipe, I simply sliced the pods in half and roasted with a little sesame oil, salt and red pepper flakes. They are delicious just as is but the ginger peanut sauce adds a a sweet and nutty flavor balance. It makes a perfect warm and filling appetizer, side dish or snack.

So, give okra one more chance with this roasted okra recipe.  Seriously. The roasting might change your mind. Using fresh, good-quality okra is essential. I usually get it from my farmers market and cook it within a day or two. And here’s a tip. Buy small okra pods — about the length of your finger — with bright green color. These are the most tender and flavorful. Skip the larger pods, which tend to be tough and woody.

Spicy Roasted Okra with Ginger Peanut Sauce

Serves 4

Okra with no slime? Add this spicy, crispy roasted okra recipe to your list. It’s an easy vegan, gluten-free appetizer or snack!

Ingredients

Roasted Okra

  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • coarse salt to taste

Peanut Ginger Sauce

  • 14 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (to keep it vegan)
  • 12 tsp sriracha
  • coarse salt to taste

Instructions

Roast the Okra

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash and dry the okra. Slice off the tops and cut the okra lengthwise.
  3. Place the cut okra onto a baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each piece.
  4. Drizzle with sesame oil, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
  5. Roast the okra for 10-12 minutes, turning once.
  6. Remove from the oven and enjoy as a warm snack or side dish.

Purée the Peanut Ginger Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients using a whisk or blender for a smoother finish.
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Marisa Moore
Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, is based in Atlanta and specializes in culinary nutrition, communications and consulting. She blogs at marisamoore.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.