Pickling is a classic and delicious way to preserve okra. And, no, the pickles aren't slimy (I know you were wondering). Key to success with these is using young, small, firm okra pods.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4-5 half pint jars
1 pound okra pods
- 3 cups apple cider or white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other non-iodized salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar OR 2 teaspoons honey
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
- Several sprigs fresh dill leaves OR 1 tablespoon dill seeds
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Set up your boiling water bath and turn on the heat to bring the water to a boil. Not sure what a boiling water bath is or if you're up for it? You can also treat these as refrigerator pickles (just skip the boiling water bath and follow the rest of the instructions).
Wash the okra pods. Leave the stems on (you and your guests will eat the pickles by holding the stem end and nibbling on the rest).
Divide the garlic cloves, dill leaves or seeds, mustard and cumin seeds, and the turmeric into clean half pint jars. Add the red pepper flakes, if using. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe, but they do need to be scrupulously clean.
Load the raw okra pods into canning jars, packing them tightly. They will shrink slightly during the canning process, and you want them to stay fully immersed in the vinegar brine. Packing them tightly takes care of this. Just keep adding okra until you can't shove in another pod. Be sure to leave an inch of space between the tops of the okra pods and the rims of the jars.
Bring the cider or wine vinegar, water, sugar or honey and salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar or honey and the salt.
Pour the hot brine over the okra and spices. The okra should be fully immersed in the brine, but there should still be at least 1/2-inch space between the surface of the food and rims of the jars.
If you're not going to can the jars in a boiling water bath, simply transfer them to the refrigerator. Wait at least 2 weeks for the flavors to develop before eating them. They will keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.
If you want to be able to store the jars of pickled okra at room temperature until opened, process them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Wait at least 2 weeks for the flavors to develop before sampling, and transfer the jars to the refrigerator once they've been opened. Unopened, the sealed jars of pickled okra will keep for at least a year (they are still safe to eat after that, but their quality will decline).