Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

In Life:

Have you ever felt cut off from the world when you’re sick? Ugh, that was me for nearly two weeks. But I’m finally over being sick! I’ve been better since earlier this week but wow, did that take a toll on me. I was a homebody (more than usual) and laid low for a full solid week then spent the next week slowly reacclimating to the world. It was an intense experience and one that taught me to go to the doctor next time I’m not feeling well for more than a day or two.

In the time period while I was sick, my cooking schedule got put on hold. One was because I wasn’t feeling well, but the more important part was that I lost my sense of taste for about 3 days. That was strange, truly. I’d never experienced anything like that before. And it was a little scary, too. I figure it was the last holdout of this cold being something ugly and fierce. Thankfully by last weekend I was over it and getting back to normal with my taste. I hope that never happens again!

Probably the biggest thing that happened to me while I was sick is that our (Jeremy and me) book proposal was accepted by The History Press. Woo-hoo!!! Over the next 8 months Jeremy and I will be authoring a book on Southeastern Louisiana foodways. We’re focusing on five in particular: oysters, shrimp, sugar cane, citrus and the marshlands. I’m absolutely thrilled about this and can’t wait to share updates with you as this whole thing rolls out. This isn’t a cookbook, but I am totally okay with that. I really have no desire to pen a cookbook anyway. But that’s another topic for another day. Today we celebrate the book deal!!

What about you? Have you been sick or gotten some really great news lately? Or maybe it’s something else? Tell us all about it in the comments section below. As always, I’m interested in hearing what’s been going on in your world lately.

In Cooking:

Since it’s Friday, I’ve got another game day recipe for you today. There’s one catch, though: this takes four weeks to make. Say what? Come again? Did you say four weeks?!?! Yes, I did. And that’s because this is a refrigerator pickled okra recipe. Like all the best things, refrigerator okra takes time, lot of time, to properly age and pickle. But when it’s done…. Watch out, so worth it!

Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

Okra is one of my favorite fall foods. It’s highly underrated and fairly versatile. This is actually the first time I’ve tried making my own pickled okra at home. Inspired by my success with my refrigerator pickles, I set out to modify that recipe to be amenable to making pickled okra. Some quick research on the web indicated while I could easily adapt the ingredients, I was going to need much more time than my seven days for refrigerator pickles. No bother, I’ve got plenty of time! Right?!?

Fresh Okra Pods

One thing I decided to shy away from here was the fresh dill. Dill flavor isn’t really what pickled okra is known for. It’s really just a tangy/spicy/delicious mixture. One that I felt was best accomplished with a little sugar, spice mix and a couple of garlic cloves. I decided to stick with the apple cider vinegar, too, since it had been so delicious in my other batch of pickles. I’m happy I did. It really stands up well to the sturdy okra pods.

Key Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

The prep and cook times on this is actually ridiculously short because all you really need to do is measure out ingredients. There’s no chopping to be done and you just have to combine things in a saucepan and pack okra pods into jars. Done and done. Again, the hardest part about this recipe is waiting the four weeks it takes to properly age these babies.

Below you can see the difference in color from when I first packed the jars to when they were finally ready for snacking on. The okra definitely lost that bright green color. But with that loss also came the softening of the fiber structure that was needed to make these okra pods edible without really cooking them. As the okra aged and pickled, the stiff, woody okra pieces became much more soft and pliable. The stem of the okra pod was even edible after that aging process (I still don’t eat them, though – I just don’t like the end piece).

Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

My favorite ways to enjoy these pickled okra pods are either in a spicy Bloody Mary cocktail or as part of a charcuterie or cheese snack plate. The pickle makes a great addition to other meats, cheese or spreads you might want to combine them with. A pickled okra pod would also make a great sandwich or burger accompaniment, just as a dill pickle spear would. Really, though, you can use pickled okra pretty much anywhere you use pickles. They’re delicious and diverse, tangy and crave-able. Pretty much the perfect snack!

Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

Yield: 2-pint sized canning jars

Refrigerator Pickled Okra Recipe

This refrigerator pickled okra recipe is easy to make and takes only four weeks to age in the refrigerator. No canning equipment needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 ounces okra, rinsed and pat dry

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the okra in a small sauce pan and gently heat, only until sugar is dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat once sugar is dissolved.
  2. While that mixture is heating, pack each of the two pint jars with half of the okra.
  3. Use a canning funnel and a ladle to transfer the brine to each jar. The ladle is important because it allows you to scoop up mustard and celery seeds for each jar instead of them just all ending up in the last jar.
  4. Top off each jar with a little water if okra pods are above the brine. (You don't necessarily need to leave head space like you would with heating canning methods, though, since this will not be heated).
  5. Allow the jars and their contents to cool to room temperature and then secure jar lids.
  6. Refrigerate for 4 weeks. Shake gently every week to ensure that the flavors evenly distribute.
  7. NOTE: these should last in the fridge for another month after the aging period.

Recipe inspired and influenced by my own Refrigerator Pickle Recipe and also Simply Recipes and The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking.

Prep:5 min

Cook:5 min

Total:4 weeks + 10 min

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