Okra is a delicious vegetable that is amazing fried, made into side dishes or even popped into a stir fry. However, it can be easy to end up with too much, especially if you have managed to buy some in the supermarket so what do you do with the excess?
Can You Freeze Okra?
Yes, you can freeze okra for up to 12 months. Okra can be frozen raw or fried. If freezing okra raw, then it should be blanched beforehand to lock in the flavour and texture.
Can You Refreeze Okra? No
Does Okra Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Okra
As with most vegetables, there is some prep work involved for you to freeze okra successfully. Especially if you want to freeze it from raw. Let’s get started and find out how you need to prep this vegetable in order to freeze it.
- Wash and Sort
Wash and sort through your okra pods. You want to throw out any that are damaged or show signs of spoiling. You should also cut off any stems.
- Chop Up
You can freeze them whole, but it is usually a little easier to use them if you have chopped them up before freezing. To chop, you can slice them into bite-sized pieces or dice them into any shape you prefer.
Next, you need to blanch the okra. Drop the okra into boiling water for a minute or two before plunging instantly into ice-cold water to prevent them cooking any further.
Let the okra drain, and while it is doing this, you can prepare a baking sheet that is suitable to put in the freezer by popping a layer of parchment paper onto the baking sheet.
Lay the okra onto the baking sheet in a single layer. The idea is to keep the okra from freezing together into a clump. Pop the tray and okra into the freezer and freeze for about four to five hours.
- Transfer to a Bag
Once the okra has frozen, you can take the tray out of the freezer and put the okra into a freezer bag.
Label the bag with the date and contents and seal it tightly.
Pop the bag into the freezer for about half an hour. After this time, take the bag out of the freezer and give it a little shake to separate the okra as it freezes. Then you can put it back into the freezer and forget about it until you need some okra in your meal.
3 Tips for Freezing Okra
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing okra to have the best results:
Blanching is Vital
Blanching is really important when it comes to freezing your okra. It cooks the okra just enough to maintain its lovely colour and flavour but doesn’t overcook it.
Soak In Vinegar
If you are unsure if your okra was grown using pesticides and chemicals, then you can soak the okra in white vinegar for a few minutes to kill any bacteria and remove these pesticides. Do this before you wash them and blanch them.
Chop Before Freezing
Chopping your okra before you freeze can make it much easier to use them when it comes to cooking. It means you can cook them right from frozen, and this saves you a lot of time.
How Long Can You Freeze Okra?
You can freeze okra for up to a year! Great news if you want to keep okra handy in the freezer whenever you need it. Fried okra can be kept for a little less time than this, and we would recommend that you use it within three months if possible.
You Can Freeze Okra for up to 6 Months
How Do You Defrost Okra?
One of the best things about freezing your okra using the method outlined above is that you don’t need to thaw it out before using it. You can cook it right from frozen, and this saves you a lot of time.
However, if you want to thaw out the okra, you can do this by popping it into a bowl and putting it in the fridge to thaw out for several hours.
Can You Refreeze Okra?
Once you have frozen, thawed and heated your okra, we would not recommend that you refreeze it. Doing so could end up with spoiled okra that doesn’t taste great. It isn’t worth the risk.
Does Okra Freeze Well?
As long as you blanch the okra first, then it does freeze fairly well. It will never be quite as good as it was fresh, but the changes should be so minimal you won’t even notice them.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing okra or okra in general, then these may help:
Yes, you can freeze cooked okra. Cooked okra freezes best. Once cooled, bag it up and place it into the freezer.
Yes, fried okra can be frozen. It will lose some of its crispy texture, unfortunately, so will need to be refried or warmed through in the oven to bring back the texture.
No, we would not recommend freezing okra raw. You should blanch it beforehand to lock in the texture, colour and flavour.
Yes, you can freeze okra curry. Once cooled, pour it into freezer bags (keeping one portion per bag), seal up and then place in the freezer. It’s not a good idea to use Tupperware as it will stain.
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