View Full Version : Eating okra leaves.

September 24th, 2007, 08:43 PM
I saw here (http://serendipitouschef.blogspot.com/2006/05/in-thick-of-it-okra-leaves.html)
that okra leaves are edible so I ate some raw young leaves from my 2 varieties.

The Texas Hill Country leaves were tasty and would probably make a good summer time green.

The Emerald okra was milder tasting and so mucilaginous I felt I had cotton in my mouth. No doubt it would make a great thickener for soups and stews.

I wonder if some okra growers here would munch a young leaf and report their experience and variety of okra.

Hairy Moose Knuckles
September 24th, 2007, 10:20 PM
I saw that too, but wasn't brave enough to try. I was afraid of them stinging my throat. I have pulled mine up now, so I might try next year.

September 24th, 2007, 10:24 PM
i can't stand the stuff in any shape, form or taste although i know its excellent nutritionally...... but it sure is a pretty plant/flower growing in the garden although the "pod" is somewhat pre-historic looking........

September 25th, 2007, 06:14 AM
OK, I'm game. We're growing Fife Creek Cowhorn, and because we planted so late, the plants are really just at their peak. It'll be a day or two but I'll let you know what we think here, Edlin.

September 25th, 2007, 06:55 AM
I'm with Hairy Moose Knuckles, ..lol.. I love okra in any form from raw to fried, but, will you guys call 911 if you don't hear from me tonight. I will be gagging in the okra row of the garden. I read that earlier post and still haven't got enough courage to taste okra leaves. I did get talked into tasting sweetpotato leaves this summer and was not too excited about them. So for the sake of science here goes today. report to follow. :cool:

September 25th, 2007, 06:58 AM
Greenzone, I thought about growing fife creek cowhorn next summer, is it very productive and tasty? Star of David is our favorite year after year, but I enjoy growing okra and was wondering about fife. :cool:

September 25th, 2007, 07:25 AM
I wonder what the leaves would be like brined and oil like grape leaves that are used in Middle Eastern cooking and stuffed with rice and lamb?

September 25th, 2007, 07:35 AM
Good question, tell me how and I will try some. My second batch of okra is just now blooming and producing well and the temps are in the low 90's so they should be prime for picking leaves and brining and covered with oil, what solution strength of brine and how long? I've never done this and need help. :cool:

September 25th, 2007, 07:46 AM
I'll post it for you later on today. I know what book...just gotta dig it out :)

September 25th, 2007, 08:28 AM
BLRH, what a great idea!
Tuk, Fife Creek is the only kind I've grown in this area, looking at other people's patches, I'm guessing it's not super productive. Then again, their gardens could just be better than mine! Being a cowhorn type, the pods certainly can be used until relatively large.

September 25th, 2007, 08:57 AM
I planted a hybrid variety called North South this year and it's done very well. It's still putting out blooms and I'm picking okra daily, even with the cooler night temps.


September 25th, 2007, 01:19 PM
I wonder what the leaves would be like brined and oil like grape leaves that are used in Middle Eastern cooking and stuffed with rice and lamb?

Fantastic! I'll have to try this. I've been steaming wild grape leaves to soften them and then filling with stuffing. I've tried many stuffings but my favorite so far is: crumbled meat loaf, rice, parmesan cheese, and soy sauce.

September 25th, 2007, 02:05 PM
Now remember, I haven't tried this...it's merely a suggestion for the very brave here...I love stuffed grape leaves. This recipe is a bit different from the recipe I'm used to, but it's the one in the book with the brine recipe. :)
Bon Appetit!

Preserved Grape Leaves

When leaves are young and tender, gather ones that are uniform in size.
Heat 2 tsps salt and 1 quart of water in a large saucepan. Add grape leaves and blanch for 30 seconds.
Drain, then pack in loose rolls and pack into sterilized pint jars.

Prepare the following brining solution:
1 cup lemon juice or 2-1/2 tsps citric acide
1 quart water
Bring to a boil, then pour over the leaves in the pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal jars. Then process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

1 lb ground beef or ground lamb
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsps fresh mint, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups canned tomatoes, broken up (with juice)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix meat, onions, rice, parsley, mint, salt & pepper together in a bowl.
Remove grape leaves from jar, rinse in hot water and carefully separate . Spread leaves out on a clean work surface, trim stems if attached
Place 1 to 1-1/2 tsps meat filling in center of each leaf, fold in edges and then roll up.
Place stuffed leaves into bottom of a large kettle or dutchoven. Simmer on stovetop for an hour. Let 'stand' to cool for a few minutes prior to serving.

September 25th, 2007, 04:03 PM
People always seem to be fond of whatever kind of okra they're growing.:D

September 25th, 2007, 09:53 PM
People always seem to be fond of whatever kind of okra they're growing.:D

Seems to work that way with a lot of plants: tomatoes, hot peppers, melons, ... :)

Okra lovers can change tho'. I've been happy with Emerald for many years but I tried Texas Hill Country this year in my new garden-in-the-woods and it was more productive than Emerald. Next year just THC okra. (yeah! I wish.)

It helps that THC is such a pretty plant: red stems with lime green pods blushed with red on the south side.

Hairy Moose Knuckles
September 26th, 2007, 02:09 AM
That does sound like a pretty plant. I planted a few hills of Alabama Red the other day. I'm not sure if they have time to make any before the cold weather sets in, but I am always game with trying.

September 26th, 2007, 12:17 PM
I was rather surprised that the okra leaves actually are very tasty. My neighbors cat stood there watching me eat okra leaves and thought (he thinks I'm krazy!) I won't be able to brine the leaves on Hill Country because they are 5 narrow lobes on one leaf, but thanks blhr I will save the receipe for next year on a type with broad leaves. Will definitely eat more okra leaves! :cool:

September 27th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Tuk, you could always do something silly, and use it for Grape Leaves, lol

September 27th, 2007, 05:38 PM
my son, lives about 2 miles from me and they have a grape vine covering one fence 6ft high, but if you don't and they don't spray every summer there is a small yellow and black striped catapillar that strips most of the leaves off and they sting also, the only catapillar that I've seen that does actually hurt. Next year I may help them take care of the vine and pickle some of the leaves. I've always wanted to do it so its on my todo list, along with the okra leaves. Thanks again for the recipe. I am a silly kind of guy, so it will probably get done. :cool:

September 27th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Bluelaced, heh heh heh! If anybody gets to the point of making stuffed grape leaves, try this:


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot-pepper sauce or cayenne
1 small clove garlic, pressed
Combine ingredients and mix well.

Put in wide bowl & dip each grape (or okra) leaf into the dressing before adding stuffing and rolling.

They come out tasting a whole lot like the ones in Greek restaurants ... yum.

September 28th, 2007, 08:39 PM
I first ate the okra leaves last year after reading an article about then being edible. I stir fried them with a little olive oil, I was supprized at how good they were. They are also umbelieveable if fry some bacon till crisp then drain some of the fat off and sautee some garlic in the drippings then add coarse chopped leaves and stir till wilted then crumble the bacon into the mix and serve, outstanding. When stir fried the leaves can have some spines on them given a unique feel to the mouth. But if boiled they are not spiney at all. The flavor is just like okra. This summer at the Fall festival at Monticello one of the speakers was talking with me and all parts of the okra is edible and was eaten. The blooms are great in a salad or sauteed or fried, the dried seed can be ground into a flour and used as a thickening agent the leaves were boiled and used in stews and obivously the green pods . I have tried all except the ground seed. Rodger

September 28th, 2007, 11:11 PM
I went out and ate some okra leaves raw for the first time. I liked them. I thought that maybe they'd be good with the wild purslane that grows here.

September 29th, 2007, 04:21 PM
This is such an interesting thread! I never thought to eat okra leaves. I think I'll make them (rodger, that recipe sounds yummy) and let my BF wonder what they are.:) What great info!

Rodger, when you mean they have spines that "give a unique feel to the mouth," that doesn't mean that they're all pokey and hurtful, right? I could get in big trouble for that!:) Kinda like he did when he fed me something stir fried with a habenero.

September 30th, 2007, 06:33 PM
No they wont poke or hurt your mouth, but there is a unique texture to the leaves, if they are cooked longer or boiled it does away with it. Rodger