A simple and healthy panko crusted okra recipe ready in less than 20 minutes.
You guys, I LOVE okra! Panko crusted okra is one of the few (maybe the only?!) vegetables tiny tot T will eat these days. Okra has a very mild taste and is one of the few veggies I don’t mind at all raw. I made an on-the-fly IG step-by-step story this week and I got so much great feedback about this underrated (idk maybe it’s just shy?) vegetable I thought I’d turn it into a blog post too.
Disclosures: None. This post wasn’t created in partnership with any product or brand.
Panko Crusted Okra
Panko crusted okra is made with olive oil, panko (Japanese bread crumbs available at any local grocery store, I use this brand), okra, and salt and pepper to taste. This okra recipe cooks up in about 7 minutes and takes minimal ingredients. It’s a great one to keep in your regular rotation!
I uploaded my IG story prepping okra below here:
Or watch it via Instagram here.
What is Okra?
Okra is an edible seed pod. It’s botanically a fruit, but nutritionally more like, and usually referred to as, a non-starchy vegetable (like a tomato!). Okra is popular in southern states, and is most often served fried or in gumbos. Personally, I 100% prefer okra panko-crusted instead of fried!
Is Okra Healthy?
Okra is a nutrient-rich veggie! One serving of 7 pods clocks in at 25 calories with 3 g of fiber (good source of fiber), 6 g carb (low carbohydrate), and interestingly 2 g of protein (1,2)! It’s high in vitamin C (30% DV), and is a good source of folate and magnesium (1,2).
How to Pick Okra
Okra is in season in the warmer months (think May-November), but you can often find it year round. Ideally you want to choose bright green, fairly firm pods. If there’s a little bit of dark discoloration on some of the edges, it will cook fine and doesn’t necessarily need to be thrown out. If it’s very discolored or flimsy, I wouldn’t use it!
How to Cut and Prep Okra
You can actually eat the entire okra! But for this recipe we won’t.
Start by rinsing your okra (you should do this with all produce, including things you slice through like avocados!) and patting it dry. Then, lob off the top and the furthermost end. For this recipe, we’ll next make a series of 1/4″ slices horizontally throughout each okra pod. I like to line up 4-5 okra pod ends and slice them at the same time to save time.
Okra is Slimy + Sticky in the Prep Phase
You won’t notice it dry, but once you rinse, pat dry and start slicing up your okra, you’ll find okra feels a little sticky and slimy. Some of the little seeds will even stick to your knife and require a little elbow grease to clean off. This is normal! Once you cook your okra you won’t notice any sliminess or stickiness anymore. And that slime actually helps make a nice natural thickener for gumbo if you are feeling brave!
Panko Crusted Okra Recipe Tips
You can’t really go wrong with this easy okra recipe. BUT…
If you accidentally add too much panko, it will be okay! It doesn’t all actually stick to the okra, so you can either keep it in your pan when you transfer it to a bowl or plate to serve, or you can eat around it. Or heck, you can eat it!
If your panko isn’t browning, you need to add a little more oil. It just isn’t going to brown without it. I do use more oil in this recipe than I typically use for sautéing!
That’s it! Enjoy!
Panko Crusted Okra
- 21 okra pods (~1/2 a plastic "box")
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (divided by 1 Tbsp each)
- 1/4 c panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse and pat dry okra. Slice off either end.
- Create 1/4" slices along each okra pod.
- Prepare sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add okra. Mix.
- Add panko bread crumbs. Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix. Cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add last 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix. Cook until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Serve.