Cover Image: The Whole Okra

The Whole Okra

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Member Reviews

I know what it is Okra but the whole okra and the many possibilities? No, I didn’t and it was great to be able to have a hand on this specific book as it explained about the origin, benefit and recipes. Furthermore, I did enjoy reading the biography of the author which was warm and welcoming.
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I've always loved okra!  It's a staple in my vegetable garden and my freezer.  I've had my share of badly prepared okra so have restricted it to my home menus only.  I had minimal knowledge of the history of this tasty vegetable and even less knowledge of it's beneficial properties.  I just knew it tasted good!  Chris Smith has done we okra lovers a favor and given us even more reasons to eat okra.
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The Whole Okra was a joy to read and work with. I love to eat jambalaya, but I'm sad to say that had been the extent of my experience with Okra until I read this book. I learned a lot about growing Okra, and the recipes were exciting. You will have to try out the Okra Sourdough Bread if you are looking to expand your okra recipes. 

I'm really excited because I have a pick your own vegetable farm near my home that grows okra, so I'm looking forward to getting fresh okra at the beginning of the season to enjoy eating raw, and all the different ways that you can cook them in this cookbook. Whether you are an established okra fan, or if you are looking to expand your food options, The Whole Okra is a great book to check out!
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This wasn't just a cookbook but a journey into the world that is okra.  Being from the South I've grow up eating this often hated vegetable and have always enjoyed it.  For those who dislike it you should step into this wonderfully written book and know that okra, when done well can not only be appetizing but delicious as well.  As I took my own journey into the pages and I came out on the other end much more knowledgeable.  The variety of okra that is out there was astounding and I look forward to searching for different kinds in my trips to the grocery store and farmers markets in my area.  There are lovely photographs throughout and one that really caught my eye showed 60 different varieties and the names each goes by.  I was able to see the differences not only in coloring with some but with sizes and lengths also.  As you read you realize that you are getting a fabulous exploration into the world of okra.  How to grow, harvest, and maintain as well as how to freeze, pickle, and even dehydrate it.  it even goes into detail about different pests and diseases and how to keep the okra from falling victim to either.  I came to realize that okra as a super food with quite a few health benefits.  The recipes were amazing and the ones I tried easy to follow.  Being from the South I've only cooked okra in two ways before, deep fried obviously and in soups during the colder months.  I was happy to try a few of the recipes in the book to get a different take on the vegetable, there is a Savory Muffin recipe that I fell in love with along with a Couscous one.  There is one that I haven't gotten around to doing yet but look forward to making, it sounded so interesting called Okra Marshmallow Delights.  I had a fun time diving into this cookbook and can't wait to try out more recipes, look for different varieties, and go back through it again to see if I missed anything else interesting.  Okra is more than just some slimy vegetable, all its parts from flower to actual okra have so many different uses.  I definitely recommend giving this cookbook a try!!!
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An ode to the humble yet strongly polarising vegetable, The Whole Okra is an impressively well-researched look into the incredibly versatile uses for okra from pod and flower to seed and stalk. 

The recipes featured are intriguingly innovative and tasty, introducing new uses and culinary ideas I'm sure will surprise even the biggest okra fan, including Okra Marshmallow Delights, Okra Kimchi and Okra Sourdough Bread. There are plenty of wonderful ways to utilise okra in your kitchen and home - especially if you decide to make use of the informative Grow Okra Grow chapter to introduce some into your garden.

I am a self-confessed lover of okra, but I must confess I did find myself a little okra'd-out as I drew closer to the end of this volume, but this is perhaps testament to the breadth of knowledge and information contained in Smith's work. An indispensable gift for any okra devotee.
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The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by Chris Smith

I have always loved okra (also known as bhindi or lady’s fingers in Indian recipes). A particular favourite of mine is a West African okra gumbo I learned to cook while living in Liberia in the 1980’s.

The idea of a whole book about okra had never really occurred to me and I wondered just how many recipes it would take to fill the book. I little realized just how many different ways there are to use the plant; from the fruit pods we mostly associate with okra to the seeds and even leaves. Even okra superfood microgreens and okra sourdough bread from the ground seeds. Or how about making your own paper from okra fiber?

This book really is “a lighthearted but information-rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and more”. A fascinating read that will help you appreciate just how versatile the okra plant is.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a preview copy.
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Wow, this was a spectacular book! One of the best and more useful garden books I've read in quite a while. I grew up eating okra that my grandmother grew (or bought) and cooked but it was only recently that I discovered grilling or eating it raw. I'm a convert! It's such a highly underrated edible plant that I'm here to help spread the okra gospel! 

Fantastic book---I will be buying a copy for sure because there are so many interesting tidbits I want to read again as well as get those recipes and idea on how to use it in other ways.
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This was amazing!  I tried Okra for the first time a few years ago and was fascinated by it.  It was in a Cypriot dish (it's very common in Cyprus) that was like a tomato stew.  I was put off by the slimy texture at first, but once I got used to it, I absolutely fell in love with the nutty flavour.  Since then, if there's ever Okra on the menu I will order it.  I love trying the variety of different ways it can be prepared.  This book not only gives great recipes, but the history of Okra, and the tips of growing and preparing it were great.  While my copy may have been a digital Galley, this is the first time I've really been desperate to get myself a paperback copy to have in the house as well.
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I adore a single-ingredient cookbook but this is so much more. It's a one-stop shop for okra lovers, providing readers with lore, history, geopolitics and delicious recipes!
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.


A foray into the history of okra and its importance in the American South, including celebrity recipes for gumbos and stews, okra pickles, tofu, marshmallow, paper, and more. 

Chris Smith's first encounter with okra was of the worst kind: slimy and fried at a greasy-spoon diner. Despite that dismal introduction, Smith developed a fascination with okra, and as he researched the plant and began to experiment with it in his own kitchen, he discovered an amazing range of delicious ways to cook and eat it, along with ingenious and surprising ways to process the plant from tip-to-tail: pods, leaves, flowers, seeds, and stalks. Obsessed and inspired, he talked okra with chefs, food historians, university researchers, farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners. The result is The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration, a roving and rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and so much more.

The Whole Okra is foremost a food lover's handbook, but Smith also pro­vides practical tips and techniques for home and market gardeners, including planting methods and non-food recipes. Classic recipes like fried okra pods (as well as unexpected delights like okra seed pancakes and okra flower vodka) are included, along with dishes from some of America's most beloved chefs: Okra Fries by award-winning chef Vivian Howard, Okra Soup by culi­nary historian Michael Twitty, Limpin' Susan by chef BJ Dennis, Bhindi Masala by chef Meherwan Irani, and Spicy Okra by Marcus Samuelsson.

Chris Smith is a garden writer and homesteading consultant who serves on the board of Slow Food Asheville. When he is not okra-ing he can some­times be found at Sow True Seed, an Asheville-based, open-pollinated seed company. The Whole Okra is his first book.

I love okra but I am the only one in my entire family that does, which is why that every family meal I bring something with okra in it so there is something that I can guarantee to eat as the usual hostess is a horrible cook. The recipes here are varied and yummy and there was lots of information on the story behind the recipe and ingredients involved.

I have four bags of frozen okra in my freezer right now so I think that dinner is bound to be a great, albeit solitary affair. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲.
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