Gotta love social media. Out of all the positive responses to the picture of grilled okra posted on My Life Runs On Food’s Facebook page, one person’s response was “yuck… not my cup of tea.” The response was annoying to read, but I wasn’t entirely mad. Okra isn’t my cup of tea, either.
My reason for disliking okra is the slimy texture it leaches out when it’s overcooked. Being a curious food lover, I know a disliked recipe or ingredient can be prepared several ways before finding a version to love. With many okra lovers in the world, I knew there had to be a recipe to try.
My first attempt was recreating Dad’s Fried Cornmeal Okra. He made it knowing my sister and I hate slimy okra. It was love at first bite for both of us. Along the way, I’ve become addicted to Ricks’ Picks Smokra. Then I read Bryant Terry’s Afro-Vegan cookbook to learn another favorite technique for cooking okra: Grilling. It’s an addictive taste. Slightly crispy. Salty. Perfectly seasoned. No slime in this recipe.
Terry uses blackened seasoning, but the recipe in this post uses leftover blueberry coffee spice rub. I’ve also tossed okra with Teeny Tiny Spice’s West African Curry seasoning. Each time grilled okra is served in my house, it quickly disappears. I recommend doubling or tripling this recipe when serving to a large crowd.
In the same crowd, a few people will cry out “…yuck…” when they see grilled okra. Don’t challenge them. After all, who wants to share crispy, salty, perfectly seasoned okra with someone who doesn’t know how to keep their mouth shut.