What’s Not to Like About Okra?

Grilled Okra with Blueberry Spice Rub

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.

Blueberry-Coffee Spice Grilled Okra


  • 1 lb. okra pods; Gently scrubbed cleaned
  • 4 tbsp. of peanut, sunflower or safflower oil
  • About ¼ cup Blueberry-Coffee Spice Rub or blackened seasoning; plus more for garnish
  • A pinch of sea salt; to taste
  • A pinch of fresh black pepper; to taste


  1. Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add okra pods to blanch for about one minute. Quickly remove from pot. Rinse with cold water and strain excess water.
  2. In a large bowl, toss blanched okra with two tablespoons of oil, Blueberry-Coffee Spice Rub, salt and black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare an outdoor or indoor grill. If using indoor grill, heat over medium-high heat. When the grill pan is hot, add the last two tablespoons of oil. After a few seconds, add the seasoned okra pods. Grill for about three minutes per side. Remove onto a paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Vertically slice each grilled okra pod. Garnish with a little sprinkling of Blueberry-Coffee Spice Rub.
  5. Enjoy.

Grilled Okra with Blueberry Spice Rub




6 thoughts on “What’s Not to Like About Okra?

  • March 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I like okra very much. I am basically vegetarian. I like spices and various tastes and recipes.

  • September 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    muy bueno todo me gustaría intentar hacerlo 😉

  • July 22, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I love okra, and I will try this recipe. Also, my mom taught me how to get most of the slime out of okra. She would stir it in oil on a fairly high heat. The goo would bleed out and dehydrate. The trick is to keep stirring until it stops oozing. Most of the time she would toss in her onion (and garlic) after the okra had cooked a bit. It takes a little practice to get the timing right. Timed correctly, you get nice okra and onion to which you can add any other ingredients you want.

  • May 6, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Great Post. My kids are fond of Okra. In India you would find this in every house during summers. I too have a okra in yoghurt greavy.

    Your recipe of grilling sounds goo. I will surely try for kids to enjoy. Impressed with your content Lady. In a word “superb”

  • April 23, 2015 at 4:12 am

    LOVE this post Sanura! The humour, the recipe, the info, the new spices and ideas and a whole new way to cook Okra! In a word? Brilliant!

  • April 21, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I do not like Okra. However, I think I would try this recipe it looks like I would have to at least taste it.

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