Roasted okra with soy sauce and garlic

Roasted okra with soy and garlic glaze

Okra holds a special place in my heart. I grew up eating it in the grossest way. While most people try to cook okra in a way that will make it less slimy, my mother encouraged–even reveled in it. We ate okra boiled whole in salted water. Nothing else. You ate it in a bowl with the slimy “sauce” poured on top.

Doesn’t that sound good?

My dad hated the stuff. Anyone who tried it hated the stuff, and it took me a very long time to figure out that maybe it wasn’t the okra that was so disgusting. Maybe it needed to be cooked a different way.

This recipe for roasted okra with soy and garlic glaze is simple. It doesn’t hide the okra. It actually highlights it. The sweet okra flavor is more pronounced. The texture is tender—not slimy. Each little pod is beautifully shellacked in golden soy sauce, split open to reveal the little seeds inside.

This is one of those recipes I will make over and over because it’s that good. It’s eat-the-whole-batch-yourself-good.  If you are one of the few people in the world who love okra, and want your family to love it too, this is your recipe.

There are only four ingredients at work in this recipe, but one of them is a little harder to find. Dark soy sauce (you can substitute regular soy if that’s all you have). Dark soy sauce is reddish-brown in color and thick like molasses (but not sweet). You can find it in Asian markets for a few dollars. Regular soy sauce and the “light” soy sauce are thin, saltier and better for adding at the end of cooking. Dark soy sauce is better for slow cooking and for giving sauces deep color and flavor. You can spoon it over roasts or duck to form a beautiful glaze. It works well with vegetables, too because it “sticks” better.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try. I’d love to hear about it. I’d also love to hear your favorite way to eat okra. Please share!

Roasted okra with soy sauce and garlic

Roasted okra with soy sauce and garlic

Roasted okra with soy sauce and garlic


  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 3-4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark or regular soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder


Wash and dry okra. Cut off the hard stem and “head” of larger okra. Slice lengthwise. On a large sheet pan, mix okra, olive oil, soy sauce and garlic powder. Arrange in a single layer and roast for 15-20 minutes, flipping twice, until okra is tender and rich brown on the edges. Taste and sprinkle with salt if necessary. Serve warm.

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