I have to post this recipe as I have friends wanting me to share it. We have lots, I mean lots of okra produce from our garden. And the plants are still producing! We sold some, we ate a bunch, and I preserved some, too. Making Okra pickles is not much different than making Cucumber Pickles and Dilly Green Beans Pickles. The brine solution and acidity are about the same unless you want a little twerk: adding more spices, adding sugar, eliminating ingredients you don’t like (in this recipe). I prefer sour pickles over sweet & sour. If You want to add sugar in this recipe just make sure that the salt, sour and sweet flavor is balance. I don’t like super strong, high acidity brine, so I use 2:1 ratio (2 cups water, 3/4 to 1 cup vinegar/fresh lemon juice).
NOTE: You can make Refrigerated Okra Pickles using this recipe. No water bath process needed! Scroll down to read more…
Category: Canning and Food Preservation
Okra (smaller sizes)- 4 to 5 pounds (2-3 kilos)
water – 6 cups
apple cider vinegar – 3 cups (fresh lemon juice is another good option)
salt (prefer pickling salt) – 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons)
garlic cloves – 2 pcs per jar
red bell pepper – few strips slices per jar
coriander seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar
mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon per jar
dill seeds – 1/4 teaspoon per jar (optional)
Simplest Ingredients’ Alternative
Okra, water, vinegar (prefer organic natural), salt, garlic cloves, bell pepper, onion slices, 2 lemon slices to place at the bottom of the jar. You can also put chili pepper or 1/2 teaspoon (or more chili) powder if you like hot and spicy food.
WHAT YOU NEED:
4 quart canning jars with lids and rings
Water bath canner
1. Select the freshest, young okra. Wash and drain. Cut blossom ends, leave the head but trim to a shorter length.
2. Prepare the canning equipment. Wash and clean canning jars with warm water. You can also wash it in dishwasher. Read here for more information on water bath canning.
3. In a big pot, put water, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Bring it to boil for about 3 minutes.
4. Arrange okra, garlic, peppers, in the canning jars. Pack tightly. Add other seasonings: coriander seeds, mustard seeds, dill seeds. Make sure there is about an inch space left above the okras.
5. Pour the brine up to the neck of the jar, covering the okras. Leave about an inch space below the lids.
6. Wipe the rims of the jars with clean, damp, washcloth to remove debris that could affect the sealing process.
7. In a canning pot, fill some water about half to three-fourth full, and bring it to boil. Let it sit until jars are ready for canning process.
8. Place the filled jars in the canning rack. Add water to the boiling water if necessary to make sure that water covers the jars (about an inch above the lids). You can also place a hand towel at the bottom of the pot (if you have no rack available for use), to avoid breaking the jars.
9. Bring the water to boil and process for 15 minutes.
Note: Don’t be confused as to why pickled okra is processed by water bath. Most homemade canned pickles are done by water boiling process, even though Okra is a type of vegetable. The sour (acidic) brine is what makes it capable to process in water bath (boiling process). Unlike canning plain vegetables (except for tomatoes, because it is naturally acidic) they must be pressure-canned to cook the vegetable thoroughly, and to prevent bad bacterial growth that could cause botulism.
10. Using a jar lifter remove the jars from the pot and set it on a towel. Cover the jars with towels to prevent drastic temperature change.
11. Wait for the lids to seal. If you hear popping sound (the suction pressure), it means the jar has been sealed. When jars have cooled off (after 8 hours), check for unsealed jars. Lids must be sucked down, not bulge out. You can re-process the content of the unsealed jars by transferring it to a new, clean jar. OR you can refrigerate it, and enjoy after 24 hours!
12. Put label on each jar: Name, date, ingredients, etc. You may or may not remove the jar rings/bands. If you intend to keep it longer in the pantry, taking the rings off will help prevent rust from forming around the rim.
Your canned pickled okra will be best eaten after 24 hours. Shelf life is 6 months up to 2 years… and longer, whenever you open it! I still have canned pickled okra from three years ago and they are still fine! 🙂
You can do refrigerated Pickled okra (without doing the water bath canning process) using the same ingredients, except you will need to boil all the ingredients (except onions and peppers) before pouring the brine into the jars. Refrigerated pickled okra will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks. Enjoy the crunch!