Okra Leaf Recipe – Super Simple Sauteed Okra Greens

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Yes… you can eat okra greens! Okra leaves are a little on the coarse side, so many prefer them cooked over raw, such as in this super simple sauteed okra greens recipe.

Don’t have okra greens? No problem! This okra greens recipe works equally well for any of your favorite cooking greens such as kale, chard, collards, and mustard greens.

This will get you started in experimenting with cooking the nutritious okra greens, which are actually commonly used in many African countries, such as Zimbabwe, as well as Asian countries like India and Malaysia.

Sauteed okra and okra leaves… RICH in nutrients and flavor, and not slimy when prepared this way. You can do this with just okra, just okra leaves, or both together, as we did for breakfast.

Egg bake With Sauteed Okra Greens and diced hash brown potatoes-RecipesAndMe.com
Egg bake with okra greens and diced hashbrown potatoes – Image by RecipesAndMe.com

Other Ways to Cook Okra Greens

Now as gardeners know, okra plants are not overly abundant in leaves. So when we do harvest okra leaves in season, we’re very careful to only plus a couple per plant. While the younger leaves are typically favored, we tend to wait until after the okra plants have played out their blossoming and fruiting for the season before harvesting a lot of okra leaves for okra leaf recipes.

Visit our family’s gardening website if you’re interested in how to grow okra, okra nutrition and more okra recipes.

Our preferred mode of chopping okra greens for pretty much all of the recipes is to chiffonade it.

Add Okra Chiffonade to:

  • Egg bake
  • Blend into green juice
  • Dehydrate and make greens powders for adding nutrition and body to virtually anything
  • Ramen / Homemade ramen
  • Soups – use in place of kale and other greens in your favorite recipes
  • Stir fry
  • Veggie burger mix (shredded or ground in food processor

You can cook okra leaves in most of the same ways you’d cook any of your favorite greens. Some of our favorite ways to cook okra greens is to chop them into soups, egg bakes, stir fry and sautees.

While you’re at it, you can also cook this okra leaf recipe with okra pods. Then, right before serving, top the dish off with a couple okra blossoms as edible flowers, for an exotic touch.

However, we might pluck one to decorate the dish (and to eat), but otherwise, we prefer to let the beautiful flowers live out their destiny to become okra pods.

Serving Ideas – What to Eat With Okra Greens and Okra

This okra leaf recipe goes great with whatever foods you normally enjoy with your cooked greens. Some of our favorites include any combination of these complementary dishes:

  • Cornbread, black eyed peas and mashed potatoes
  • Egg bake for breakfast or any meal.
  • In Soups and Gumbos

Notes on This Sauteed Okra Leaf Recipe

The larger the okra leaves, the tougher and more chewy they’ll be. We don’t mind that because we’ve learned that chewy foods that are harder to chew is actually healthier than soft foods.

For more on that, we highly recommend the illuminating, fascinating and important-to-know book: Breath, by James Nestor.

If you only have the older and tougher okra leaves, and you don’t like it that chewy, here are some ways to soften the okra leaves.

For More Tender Okra Leaves

  • Omit the lower portion of greens closest to the base of the stem where the thicker stem part is, or remove the greens from around that.
  • Chop greens into smaller strips or bites; or you can shred or chop smaller in food processor
  • After sauteeing, add water and cover to simmer for ~20 minutes.
  • OR, boil greens in a 1/2 cup water, covered, for 20 minutes until soft. While greens are boiling, saute onions, garlic and peppers (and sliced okra pods if using them), then add the boiled greens to the onion pan, and stir in well, then serve.

This same simple okra greens recipe works equally well for any of your favorite greens. From here, you can also add additional seasonings if you prefer.

Sauteed Okra Greens With Chili Pepper (optional)

Cooks
Yes… you can eat okra greens! Since the okra leaves are a little on the pokey side, they work best cooked over raw, such as in this sauteed okra greens recipe.
Many cultures boil okra greens like how southerners You can cook okra leaves in most of the same ways you'd use kale or mustard greens.
Some of our favorite ways is to chop them into soups, egg bakes, stir fry and sauteed.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups okra leaves chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon of olive oil more or less to taste, or substitute with butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped (or 1 Tablespoon minced garlic)
  • 1 spicy pepper of choice sliced thin, (or 1 Tbsp. chili flakes (optional) (more or less to taste)

Instructions
 

  • CHOP, wash and spin okra greens
  • MINCE or chop garlic
  • DICE onions
  • OIL: Add 1 Tbsp. oil or butter to saute pan and turn burner to medium heat
  • COOK onions, garlic and pepper, stirring until translucent and a little seared
  • ADD another Tbsp. of oil or butter if desired along with the okra greens.
  • SAUTE on medium-high for around 5 minutes until greens are wilted and tender
  • SEASON with salt to taste
  • SERVE with your favorite foods to enjoy with cooked greens

Notes

The larger the okra leaves, the tougher and more chewy they’ll be. We don’t mind that because we’ve learned that chew foods that are harder to chew is actually healthier than soft foods.
For more on that, we highly recommend the illuminating, fascinating and important book: Breathe, by James Nestor.
If you only have the older and tougher okra leaves, and you don’t like it that chewy, here are some ways to soften the okra leaves.

For More Tender Okra Leaves

  • After sauteeing, add water and cover to simmer for ~20 minutes.
  • Or, boil for 20 minutes until soft. Saute onions, garlic and peppers while okra greens are cooking, then add the greens to the onion pan and stir in well, then serve.
This same super simple okra greens recipe works equally well for any of your favorite greens. From here, you can also add additional seasonings if you prefer.
Keyword okra leaf, okra leaf recipe, okra leaves, sauteed okra greens
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Simple Boiled Okra Recipe for More Tender Okra

If you prefer your greens to be more tender and less chewy, then you’ll probably want to boil them first. Then you can always add them to the saute pan of goodies.

Cooked-boiled greens for best results of tender greens

Quick and Easy Boiled Okra Greens

Cooks
Boiled okra greens is for you if you prefer your cooked greens to be style southern style soft.
In our feature photo these have not yet been boiled, as we prefer to saute them.
If you don't mind chewy greens and prefer to retain more of the nutrients, then you might want to try our sauteed okra greens recipes, and sautee them instead.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Vegetables
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 86 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups okra greens chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 cup water for boiling add more if it evaporates before greens are tender.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to tenderize

Instructions
 

  • CHOP or shred okra greens, removing thicker stems.
  • RINSE: swish in bowl of water, remove and spin in salad spinner to further spin off any debris
  • BOIL: add water, greens, salt and baking soda to the pot and bring water to boil.
  • COVER and reduce heat to simmer for 10-20 minutes until greens are soft and tender.
  • SEASON as desired, or add to your favorite dish, such as our sauteed okra greens recipe with onions, garlic, and chili peppers (or pepper flakes).

Notes

This makes 4 small servings or 2 larger ones. If you’re vegetarians and so this is a larger portion of your meal, consider it a 2-serving quantity.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSodium: 371mgFiber: 10gSugar: 8g
Keyword boiled greens, boiled okra greens, boiled okra leaves
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You may also enjoy this beef vegetable soup with okra.

We’d love to hear how your using okra greens in the comments below or drop us a note.

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