How to Freeze Okra

1
Start with Fresh-Picked Okra

Fresh-Picked Okra
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Okra is a tasty summertime treat and a staple in many southern homes. Freeze some while it's in season, and you'll be able to enjoy it whenever you'd like. This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of freezing okra.

2
Wash and Stem the Okra

Cut the Stems Off the Okra
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Wash your okra. Then, cut off the stems, being careful not to cut into the seed cells (if you can see seeds, you're cutting off too much).

3
Blanch the Okra

Blanche Okra
Blanche Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Then, blanche your okra by submerging it in a pot of boiling water. Small okra pods need to be blanced for three minutes; large okra pods need four minutes. Blanching will hault the enzyme process, so your okra maintains that just-picked color, flavor and texture.

4
Submerge the Okra in an Ice Water Bath

Submerge Okra in Ice Water Bath
Submerge Okra in Ice Water Bath. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Transfer your blanched okra to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Let the pods cool for a few minutes; then, move them over to a colander to drain.

5
Chop the Okra

Chop Okra
Chop Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Leave the pods whole, or chop them up into bite-sized pieces – the choice is yours.

If you plan to fry your okra later, go ahead and dredge the pieces in your favorite cornmeal or flour mixture.

6
Flash Freeze the Okra

Flash Freeze the Okra
Flash Freeze the Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Then, spread your okra pods or pieces out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze them. This will ensure that your okra freezes in individual pieces, instead of clumps.

7
Transfer the Frozen Okra to Freezer Bags

How to Freeze Okra
How to Freeze Okra. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Once the okra is frozen, transfer it to freezer bags; and return it to the freezer. Use it within a year, for the best quality.

To use: Simply scoop out what you need, and add it to your recipe. It doesn't need to be thawed.