A bunch of okra

How to select

  • Choose okra that is about 2-4 inches long and tender. 
  • Avoid okra that is too large. 
  • Fresh okra has a fresh green color; avoid any with brown discoloration.

How to prepare

Rinse okra in a cool stream of water when ready to use.

How to store

  • Refrigerate dry, unwashed okra pods in the vegetable crisper loosely wrapped in perforated plastic bags. 
  • Wet pods will quickly mold and become slimy. 
  • Okra will only keep for 2-3 days. 
  • When ridges and tips of pods turn dark, they need to be used immediately. 

Peak season


Ways to use

  • Trim ends of okra, coat in oil, and grill for five minutes on each side. Sprinkle with lemon.
  • Add to stews and soups. Try making gumbo.
  • Boil okra, drain water, and combine with stewed tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.
  • Top your salad or pizza with okra.

Fun facts

  • Okra is also known as "lady's fingers" and is part of the hibiscus family. 
  • Okra is native to Africa but is grown around the world, including the U.S. 
  • Okra is technically a fruit, but is eaten as a vegetable. 
  • There are several varieties of okra including burgundy, purple, orange, red, and white.

Nutrition info and facts

Okra is a good source of vitamin C to promote immune health. Okra is a good source of fiber, which aids in digestion. Okra is low in calories, fat, and cholesterol.

1 cup okra = 33 calories, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 82 mg calcium, 57 mg magnesium, 61 mg phosphorus, 299 mg potassium, 23 mg vitamin C

Expand all


Almanac. Okra. December 4, 2023.

FoodData Central. Okra, raw. April 2018.

MarthaStewart.com. How to buy, store, and cook okra, an often overlooked (but delicious) vegetable. September 13, 2023.