This Chinese-style Steamed Okra recipe has crunchy okra in a savory garlic sauce. It's super easy to make. Simply combine everything in a steaming dish and steam for 5 minutes.
Can't get enough of steamed dishes? Try my Steamed Mushrooms next!
🧄 About This Recipe
Steaming whole okra is an excellent way to showcase the vegetable's unique texture. After a short cook, the okra is fully cooked and tender but still has a bit of crunchiness.
Make sure to slice the okra lengthwise so it doesn't become too slimy. That said, the slime (or mucilage) is not all bad in this preparation. It works as a natural thickening agent for the sauce.
Choose okras that are firm but not hard. Fresh okras will have a bright green exterior with minimal bruising or brown spots.
- Okra: We'll be using about one pound today.
- Oil: Any neutral-flavored oil like canola or vegetable works. It gives the dish a better texture and helps extract the flavor from the garlic and ginger.
- Soy Sauce: Adds salty and savoriness.
- Oyster Sauce: I love the briny flavor of oyster sauce in this dish.
- Garlic: Freshly minced for the best flavor.
- Ginger: I recommend using a microplane to grate the ginger as fine as possible.
- Chinese Cooking Wine: Adds a nice flavor, but you can omit it entirely or substitute it with dry sherry.
- Sugar: A small amount brings out the vegetable's natural sweetness.
STEP 1: Trim the tops and bottoms of the okras and slice them into halves lengthwise. The slime and seeds will want to stick to your knife; you can rinse them under cold water to remove them. Transfer to a large bowl.
STEP 2: Combine the oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, and sugar in a small bowl.
STEP 3: Add the sauce mixture to the bowl of sliced okra and mix well.
STEP 4: Transfer the sliced okra to a steaming dish.
STEP 5: Steam on high heat for 5 minutes until the okra is tender. Give the okra a good stir to coat each piece in sauce, then serve immediately!
💭 Top Tips
- Steam for no longer than 5 minutes. This will fully cook the okra while still maintaining a nice crunch.
- Fresh okra is preferred for its flavor and texture, but frozen okra can work in a pinch. Make sure it's fully defrosted. Frozen okra expels moisture when it thaws, so make sure to drain them and pat dry with paper towels.
- Embrace the sliminess! No matter how you prepare it, there will always be a tinge of slime. Cutting them lengthwise reduces the problem, but not completely. Over time, I've learned to love the gooey insides of okra; it reminds me of many of my favorite foods, like Natto.
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Storing: Store steamed okra in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheating: Reheat by microwaving or steaming for 1-2 minutes until warm.
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Steamed Okra With Savory Garlic Sauce
- Trim the tops and bottoms of the okras and slice them into halves lengthwise. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Chinese cooking wine, and sugar.
- Add the sauce mixture to the bowl of sliced okra and mix well. Transfer to a steaming dish.
- Steam on high heat for 5 minutes. Give the okra a good stir to coat each piece in sauce, then serve immediately.