I taught this quick pickled okra recipe a few years ago on Okra Day at our local farmers market. It's simple to make these spicy okra refrigerator pickles!
My super awesome friend Jenifer Carter does design work with the Freedom Farmers Market. It's a small market that's dense with good vendors, and a few summers ago, they celebrated Okra Day and invited me to make pickled okra at the market.
What are refrigerator pickles?
The pickled okra recipe below is a variation of my green bean refrigerator pickles. This recipe is for refrigerator pickles, which means that you don't need sterile jars or any sort of canning skills.
Refrigerator pickles get stored in the fridge, even before you open the jar.
Stored in the refrigerator, these pickles keep for three to four weeks.
You don't need to sanitize your pint jars, but you do want them to be clean.
If you're using new mason jars to store your pickled okra, wash them either in the dishwasher or by hand with hot, soapy water. You can also reuse glass jars, as long as they're around a pint in size.
Once your jars are clean, it's time to salt the okra. Salting softens the veggies and helps preserve them. And it's very easy. Just toss the okra with some salt together in a colander, and set it aside to drain.
After the salting time is up, rinse the okra well to get off any excess salt, and divide them up between your three pint jars.
Now, it's time to make that brine! Combine all of the brine ingredients in a saucepan, and simmer them until the onion and jalapeno soften.
Then, pour the hot brine over the okra in the jars. This will soften the okra even more. It will soften further as it sits in the jars while the brine cools.
Loosely cover the jars until they're cool to the touch, then tighten the lids and store. You can eat your pickled okra immediately, but it gets better with time. If you can wait 24 hours, the flavor will deepen considerably.
It's really that easy!
How long will it keep?
Quick pickles are often called refrigerator pickles, because you need to store them in the refrigerator. They will keep in the fridge for three to four weeks.
This recipe doesn't need a hot water bath or any canning supplies. The trade-off is that they won't keep for as long. You're still prolonging the shelf life, but it's by weeks rather than months.
How to use pickled okra
So, you pickled some okra. Now what? Here are some delicious ways to use it:
- Snack on it straight from the jar.
- Use it as garnish for a bloody Mary.
- Add it to your next vegan cheese board spread.
- Garnish your next martini, instead of using an olive.
- Dice it into vegan mayo-based salads, like chickpea salad or tofu salad.
- Create a fun spin on bruschetta with okra slices instead of tomato. The onions from the jar are nice here, too! Scatter onto toast rounds with a drizzle of olive oil.
More quick pickles
Pickled okra recipe
- 1 pound whole okra
- 1 tablespoon table salt or sea salt
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup sugar - optional
- ½ cup sliced sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 jalapeno - seeded and chopped, or more, if you want your pickles even hotter
- Combine the okra and salt in a colander, and toss to combine it really well. Let the okra sit for one hour, then drain and rinse well. Divide the okra between your jars.
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar (if using), onion, dill, garlic, and jalapeño in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture on high until it comes to a boil, then simmer for just a couple of minutes, until the onions and jalapeno begin to soften.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the okra in the jars, making sure to get some of the goods (the onion and jalapenos) into each jar as well as the brine.
- Screw the caps onto your jars loosely, then tighten them when the jars have cooled to the touch. Let your pickled okra chill for 24 hours before serving. Use within 3-4 weeks.