Using the refrigerator method makes this spicy pickled okra recipe quick and easy. The amount of heat can be dialed up or down according to your preference.
The refrigerator method of pickling
Are you familiar with it? I have never jumped on board with the waterbath canning method. I think the main reason is because I don’t typically have huge amounts of anything to preserve.
The refrigerator method is much simpler and it’s quick (we also use this method for our Homemade Pineapple Preserves). The only downside to it that I know of is that anything you pickle this way isn’t going to last as long. But, as I mentioned earlier – if you don’t have large amounts of whatever you’re pickling, then it shouldn’t matter. You don’t need to preserve a year’s worth, right?
How can I use pickled okra?
Sometimes referred to as okra pickles you can use them anytime you would use a pickled cucumber – alongside a sandwich, as a snack on their own, with a hot dog or chopped up on a salad.
But, hands down our two favorite ways to use pickled okra?
First of all, they are perfect on a cheese board, appetizer tray or charcuterie board. This Southern Appetizer Board wouldn’t be the same without pickled okra.
Second, but a definite favorite too is with a Bloody Mary. You’ll want to make yours spicy if adding them to a bloody mary bar (or bloody mary gift basket like this one).
But, as y’all know, we’re big fans of spicy foods so we always make ours with some heat. Fiery Cajun Shrimp and Spicy Chicken Sandwich are just a couple of the many recipes with a kick you’ll find here. Heck, we even make our Pimento Cheese spicy.
If you’re not into heat like we are that’s the beauty of this pickled okra recipe. You can tone it up or down as you choose. Leave the red pepper flakes out altogether, add just a few, or go all out.
The basics of making pickled okra:
A pound of okra pods is slightly too much for two pint sized jars. I would happily throw any extras in gumbo, soup or cook it with a pot of peas. But, if you want exactly the right amount it should be just over ¾ pound.
- Choose young, tender okra.
- Wash the okra thoroughly.
- Place 2 garlic cloves and a bay leaf in the bottom of each jar.
- Add okra to the jars alternating stem up and stem down.
- Add 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill to each jar.
- Bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. NOTE: Be sure to use un-iodized salt.
- Remove from heat and stir in peppercorns and red pepper flakes.
- Pour vinegar solution over the okra.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before sealing with lids and rings.
- Refrigerate for 5 days and up to two months before eating.
Items you’ll need:
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- Pint jars (these include rings and lids)
- If you have the jars but just need rings and lids you can order here
- A canning funnel really comes in handy
Keep in mind that with the refrigerator method it’s okay to use rings that have been used previously. I’ve been told it’s okay to reuse the lids too, but I prefer to use a new one each time. A box with just the lids can be ordered here.
Okra is distinctly southern
In the United States okra is known as a southern vegetable. But do you know where it came from originally? You’ll find the answer to that and more in Southern Food: Then & Now.
And, if you loved old school southern fried okra you’ll want to check out this healthier version. Air Fryer Okra is made using our favorite new appliance, and we don’t say that often, but air fryers have stolen our hearts!
THIS RECIPE MADE OUR “BEST OF THE YEAR” LIST. OTHERS ON THE LIST CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Pickled Okra Recipe: Spicy and Quick
- Place two garlic cloves and 1 bay leaf in each of two pint sized glass jars.
- Place okra pods in jars alternating stem end up and down. Add dill sprigs.
- Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in peppercorns and red pepper flakes, making sure salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Pour vinegar solution over okra and fill to about ½ inch from top of jar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before sealing tightly.
- Refrigerate a minimum of 5 days before eating and a maximum of 2 months.
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