Okra has a mild flavor that is uniquely okra. While it's sometimes compared to the taste of eggplant or green beans, its texture gets more attention. Okra is crunchy when cooked quickly but becomes almost mouthwateringly tender when slow-cooked.
Okra is a fruit, though it is eaten as a vegetable. The light green seed pods are cooked whole or sliced, so preparation is extremely easy, and it can be cooked in so many ways. However, choosing the right cooking method, such as frying, grilling, sautéeing, and pan-roasting, can reduce or prevent it from becoming slimy.
Okra is most commonly used in soups and stews. It contains mucilage, a substance that acts as a natural thickener when heated. While this is beneficial to dishes like gumbo, it also produces the sliminess so often associated with okra. In some Caribbean regions, okra is breaded and deep-fried while in other cuisines it is pickled.