Pickling Without Canning: Okra

2013-08-25 at 12-35-06 (1)

I had my first taste of pickled okra last winter in Dallas. My brisket at Stampede 66 was served with a small lock jar full of little pickled treasures: cucumbers, jalepeños and okra. I couldn’t get enough. After scarfing mine down, I stole the jars from my colleagues/friends that I was with.

Prior to this, okra was just the weird green vegetable in the gumbo I would order at Empire Brewing Company.

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My Wegmans does not carry it regularly and I have only been able to find one farm at the Regional Market that sells it. I picked up a basket of it recently for the purposes of pickling it.

My vessel of choice was a 1L sealed lockjar that I grabbed at Wegmans for $5. It was just the right size for the $2 pound of okra that I brought home from the market. That said, I’ve used 1- and 2-quart Gladware containers in the past with success.

2013-08-25 at 12-33-19Pickled Okra
By Jared Paventi

  • 1 lb. okra
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalepeño, halved and seeded
  • 3 cups tap water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. pickling/canning salt (kosher salt is okay; never use table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed

Wash your container in hot, sudsy water and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.

Wash and stem the okra. Add to the container you plan to use with the garlic and jalepeño.

In a stockpot, bring the water and vinegar to a rolling boil. Add the salt and remaining spices, stirring to dissolve the salt. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes and carefully remove from heat.

Ladle the brine into the container and let it come to room temperature. Lock or seal the container (I will tip the container upside down over a sink to make sure it doesn’t leak. I will also give it a quick shake, because I’m like that.) and transfer to a refrigerator. Let it stand for 1 to 2 weeks before opening.


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