Pickled Okra

We got around to pickling some okra tonight and hope to add a few more jars to the collection here soon. And if this rain would keep up—we just may! Here I was excited at the measly .25″ that before I knew it turned to 1.10″ before it was all said and done. So thankful!

When I go to do things, like pickling okra, that maybe I didn’t learn directly from my family members who did, I go to those who know won’t lead me astray. And for this, I looked to John Martin Taylor of Hoppin’ John’s. For those that are—dare we say—new Charleston, he was inspiring, teaching, and running his downtown cookbook store 25 years ago. Awarded the first Lowcountry Culinary Legend Award at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival in 2007 for his contribution as an individual to lowcountry cooking, he was also recently named a Top 10 Local Legend by Charleston Magazine in July 2010. And the list truly goes on and on.

Here is his recipe for Pickled Okra, featured in his cookbook Hoppin’ John’s Charleston, Beaufort, and Savannah, that was posted on his website—along with many other delicious recipes if you’re in need of one:

These are the favorite lowcountry pickle, possibly because they are time-consuming to make: you must pack the okra pods tightly in the jars, alternating one up and one down so as to fill the jar and to prevent them from floating to the top. Use only freshly picked, bright green, blemish-free okra, no more than finger-long. Each pound of okra will yield two pints of pickles. You can multiply this recipe with no problem.
1 pound small young okra pods, all the same size
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 hot peppers
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon salt
2 cups white vinegar
Wash the okra and trim the stems a little, but not down into the pod. Pack the okra tightly in 2 sterilized wide-mouthed pint jars, alternating stems up and stems down. Divide the garlic, peppers, and mustard between the jars. Bring the water, salt, and vinegar to a boil, then pour it over the okra to within 1/2 inch of the rims. Place a lid and ring on each jar, lower the jars in a water bath, and process at a full boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the bath and allow to cool completely. If the lids have not sealed, refrigerate the pickles. Store the pickles for 2 months, then chill before serving. Makes 2 pints.

Next week, I will be pickling some family goodness—watermelon rinds!

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One response to “Pickled Okra

  1. Didn’t grow any Okra this year, but I do love pickled okra!
    Thanks for the recipe, I’ll save this recipe for next year.
    If I’m lucky I’ll find some young tender okra at a road side stand that I can can this year.

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