What goes with Okra
Category Ingredients that Pair with Okra
Fruits Lemon, Tomato, Lime
Vegetables Onion, Bell pepper, Garlic
Spices/Herbs Cayenne, Cumin, Coriander
Proteins Chicken, Shrimp, Sausage
Drinks Lager, Iced tea, Bourbon

Okra, with its unique texture and slightly sweet taste, is a delightful ingredient that can be transformed into a variety of dishes. But what goes well with okra? Let’s find out!

Key Takeaways

  • When serving fried okra, popular side dishes that pair well include Korean corn dogs, cauliflower mac and cheese, crispy green beans, Asian pork chops, and jambalaya.
  • Other delicious options for okra pairings include grilled Cajun shrimp, tzatziki sauce, chicken feta burgers, cornbread, fried chicken, and collard greens.
  • For a refreshing accompaniment, try serving okra with coleslaw, pulled pork sandwich, or hush puppies.
  • For a taste of the South, consider pairing okra with Southern baked beans or a classic tomato cucumber salad.

Okra’s versatility allows it to be paired with a wide range of flavors and textures. Whether you’re looking for comfort food or a refreshing side dish, there’s something on this list to suit every palate!

Okra and Side Dishes

When serving fried okra or any other okra dish, it’s always a good idea to pair it with delicious side dishes. Some classic options include cornbread, collard greens, and coleslaw. These traditional Southern staples complement the crispy texture and slightly sweet flavor of okra, creating a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

For a truly comforting experience, serve your okra alongside a golden slice of cornbread. The crumbly texture and subtle sweetness of cornbread perfectly balance the crispy okra, creating a mouthwatering combination that will leave you craving for more.

Add a touch of Southern charm to your plate with a side of collard greens. These dark, leafy greens are often simmered with bacon or smoked ham hock, resulting in a smoky and rich flavor that pairs beautifully with okra. The tender texture of collard greens provides a delightful contrast to the crunch of fried okra.

No Southern meal is complete without a refreshing side of coleslaw. The cool and creamy coleslaw acts as a palate cleanser, cutting through the richness of the fried okra and adding a fresh and tangy element to the overall flavor profile. The crispness of the cabbage and the creaminess of the dressing create a perfect harmony with the crispy okra.

Delicious Side Dishes for Okra

Expand your culinary horizons and experiment with other side dishes that complement okra’s unique taste. Try pairing your okra with Southern favorites like fried chicken, hush puppies, or Southern baked beans. These classic dishes add depth and variety to your meal, ensuring every bite is packed with flavor.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding international flair to your okra feast. Korean corn dogs, with their crispy exterior and gooey cheese filling, provide an unexpected and delightful contrast to the soft and tender okra. Alternatively, indulge in the creamy decadence of cauliflower mac and cheese, or savor the crunch of crispy green beans alongside your okra.

Remember, when it comes to pairing okra with side dishes, the possibilities are endless. Whether you stick to the classic Southern choices or venture into new culinary territories, the key is to find flavors and textures that complement and enhance the natural appeal of this versatile vegetable.

okra side dishes

Okra in Ethnic Cuisine

Okra is a staple ingredient in many ethnic cuisines, such as African, Indian, and Asian. From hearty okra soups to spicy okra curries and flavorful stir-fries, the possibilities are endless. Let’s explore the diverse and delicious ways okra is incorporated into these traditional dishes.

In African cuisine, okra is often used to make thick and hearty soups. One popular example is okra soup, a rich and flavorful dish made with a combination of okra, meat or seafood, and various vegetables. The slimy texture of okra acts as a natural thickening agent, creating a velvety consistency that is both satisfying and comforting.

Indian cuisine also embraces okra in a variety of dishes. Okra curry, known as “bhindi masala,” is a spicy and aromatic dish made with okra, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of flavorful spices. The okra is cooked until it becomes tender and slightly crispy, adding a lovely texture to the dish. Another popular Indian recipe is okra stir-fry, where the vegetable is sautéed with spices and other vegetables, creating a simple yet flavorful side dish.

okra curry

Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Chinese, also feature okra in their culinary traditions. In Thai cuisine, okra is often added to stir-fries, creating a vibrant and colorful dish. The okra maintains its distinct texture while absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients. In Chinese cuisine, okra is commonly used in soups and stews, contributing a unique flavor and texture to the dish.

These are just a few examples of how okra is utilized in ethnic cuisines around the world. Its versatility and ability to absorb flavors make it a popular ingredient in a wide range of dishes. Whether you prefer it in a comforting soup, a spicy curry, or a flavorful stir-fry, okra adds a distinct taste and texture to any meal.

Okra and Tomatoes

The pairing of okra and tomatoes is a match made in culinary heaven. From hearty stews to vibrant salads, the vibrant flavors of these two ingredients complement each other beautifully. Okra, with its unique texture and mild taste, pairs perfectly with the tangy sweetness of ripe tomatoes.

One popular dish that showcases the combination of okra and tomatoes is the classic tomato cucumber salad. This refreshing salad is a delightful blend of fresh tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and tender okra, drizzled with a zesty dressing. It’s the perfect side dish for a summer barbecue or a light lunch.

okra and tomato salad

For those looking for something heartier, okra and tomatoes can be used in comforting stews and soups. Gumbo, a traditional Creole dish, combines these two ingredients with an array of spices, meats, and vegetables to create a rich and flavorful stew. Another option is to make a delicious tomato-based curry with okra, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a satisfying dish.

Incorporating okra and tomatoes into your meals not only adds a burst of flavor but also provides health benefits. Okra is a good source of fiber and vitamins, while tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and A. This combination is not only delicious but also nutritious.

Try this Recipe: Okra and Tomato Curry

Ingredients Instructions
  • 1 lb okra, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  2. Once the seeds crackle, add minced garlic and chopped onions. Sauté until onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn mushy.
  5. Add okra and stir well. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the okra is tender.
  6. Serve hot with rice or naan.

Next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget to bring together okra and tomatoes for a delicious and nutritious culinary experience. Whether you choose to make a refreshing salad or a comforting stew, this combination is sure to delight your taste buds.

Okra and Rice: A Comforting and Satisfying Combination

Okra and rice dishes offer a comforting and satisfying combination. One such renowned dish is the flavorful jambalaya, a Louisiana classic that features a delightful blend of okra, rice, and various meats or seafood. Jambalaya is a one-pot wonder that brings together the rich flavors of Cajun and Creole cuisine, making it a beloved dish in the Deep South of the United States.

What sets jambalaya apart is its versatility. It can be made with chicken, shrimp, sausage, or a combination of these meats, creating a dish that suits different preferences. The inclusion of okra adds a unique texture to the dish, as the vegetable softens and thickens the jambalaya as it cooks. The rice absorbs all the flavors, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.

In addition to jambalaya, there are other delicious okra and rice dishes to explore. Okra rice pilaf, for example, combines the earthy flavors of okra with fragrant spices and aromatic rice. This dish is perfect as a main course or as a side dish to accompany grilled meats or fish. Another popular option is gumbo, a Creole stew that often includes okra, rice, and a variety of meats and vegetables. Gumbo is a comforting and hearty dish that warms the soul.

Whether you choose jambalaya, okra rice pilaf, or gumbo, the combination of okra and rice is a match made in culinary heaven. So, next time you’re looking for a comforting and satisfying meal, give one of these okra and rice dishes a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

okra and rice

Popular Okra and Rice Dishes Accompaniments
Jambalaya Grilled Cajun shrimp, cornbread
Okra Rice Pilaf Grilled meats or fish
Gumbo Crusty bread, Southern baked beans

Did you know?

“Jambalaya” comes from the Spanish word “jambalaya” which means “a mish-mash” or “mixed-up thing”. It’s a fitting name for a dish that brings together a variety of flavors and ingredients.

Unexpected Pairings with Okra

Okra’s versatility extends beyond traditional pairings. With a little creativity, you can create unique and satisfying dishes like Korean corn dogs, cauliflower mac and cheese, and crispy green beans that enhance the flavors of okra. These unexpected pairings bring together different cuisines and ingredients to create exciting and delicious meals.

Korean corn dogs are a popular street food that combines the sweetness of cornbread with a savory hot dog. By adding okra to the batter, you get a crispy and flavorful twist on this classic dish. The okra adds a subtle earthiness that complements the cornbread perfectly.

Cauliflower mac and cheese is a healthy alternative to the traditional version, and when you add okra to the mix, it takes on a whole new level of deliciousness. The okra adds a slight crunch and a touch of sweetness, balancing out the richness of the cheese and cream sauce.

If you’re looking for a light and crunchy side dish, crispy green beans with okra is a winning combination. The okra adds a unique texture to the green beans, and when they are oven-roasted or lightly fried, they become irresistibly crispy. It’s a refreshing and flavorful dish that pairs well with any main course.

Pairing Description
Korean Corn Dogs A fusion of sweetness and savory, combining cornbread and hot dogs with crispy okra.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese A healthier twist on the classic comfort food, enriched with the addition of okra for a delightful crunch and sweetness.
Crispy Green Beans with Okra A light and crunchy option that brings together two vegetables for an irresistible side dish.

These unexpected pairings with okra are just a few examples of how you can explore and experiment in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new flavor combinations. You never know what delicious creation you might come up with!

Crispy Green Beans with Okra


Okra is a fascinating vegetable that offers endless possibilities in the kitchen. Whether you prefer classic pairings or are open to experimenting with unexpected combinations, there are numerous ways to enjoy the delicious flavors and textures of okra.

When serving fried okra, there are several delicious side dishes that pair well with it. Some popular options include Korean corn dogs, cauliflower mac and cheese, crispy green beans, Asian pork chops, jambalaya, grilled Cajun shrimp, tzatziki sauce, chicken feta burgers, cornbread, fried chicken, collard greens, coleslaw, pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies, Southern baked beans, and tomato cucumber salad. These dishes provide a variety of flavors and textures that complement the crispy and slightly sweet okra. Whether you’re looking for something comforting, spicy, or refreshing, there’s a side dish on this list to satisfy your taste buds.

Additionally, exploring okra in ethnic cuisines opens up a world of flavors. From okra soup to okra curry to okra stir fry, different cultures incorporate this versatile vegetable into their traditional dishes. It’s a great way to experience new culinary traditions and expand your palate.

And let’s not forget the classic combination of okra and tomatoes. Whether it’s a tomato cucumber salad or a rich okra and tomato stew, these two ingredients complement each other perfectly. The tangy sweetness of tomatoes pairs beautifully with the earthy flavor of okra, creating a harmonious blend.

Lastly, okra and rice make a winning combination. Whether in a hearty jambalaya or a simple rice and okra dish, the chewy texture of rice complements the tender okra pods. It’s a satisfying and comforting combination that appeals to many palates.

In conclusion, whether you’re a fan of traditional pairings or enjoy exploring new flavors, there are countless ways to enjoy the unique qualities of okra. From side dishes to ethnic cuisines to classic combinations, this versatile vegetable is sure to delight your taste buds and elevate your meals.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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