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Easy way to clean Okra and Stewed Okra (Mpamies Giahni)

Easy way to clean Okra and Stewed Okra (Mpamies Giahni)

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Learn how to clean okra (mpamies in Greek pr. MPAH- miess) and cook them stewed, the Greek way.

In Greece, okra are usually cooked “laderes” which means “oily” and is today’s vegan dish cooked with olive oil, in a tomato sauce. 

However, I have also cooked them with sundried tomatoes as well and they are very delicious.

Okra is a summer vegetable and in Greece they appear in the farmers’ market from June to late September.

Another popular way of cooking okra is baked in the oven, with chicken and feta. 

I have recently made them with fish (pollock), cooked on the stove top and they were amazing!

Fresh okra is often maligned for being slimy, but if they are handled properly, before cooked,  these small, green pods will become delicious when cooked if you follow one of the following two procedures:

fresh okra mpamies photo


Okra have tiny spines, so if you want to avoid getting itchy, wear latex gloves when preparing them.

First way:

With a sharp knife cut the stem in a circular manner leaving a small cone on the top, without cutting through and revealing the seeds.   Wash them thoroughly and drain.

How to Clean Okra image

Put them on a large  tray in one layer and sprinkle them with wine vinegar (about 2 tbsp).

Let them sit in the sun for about 1 hour.  Cover them so that insects may not go on them.

They are ready to be cooked.  No rinse is necessary.

okra in the sun image

Second way:

Recently, I made this video showing you the way I peel them:  This is how my mother used to peel them and they never got slimy.

Put some salt in a small bowl ( 3 – 4 tbsp).  With a sharp knife cut the stem in a circular manner leaving a small cone on the top, without cutting through.  

Dip the cleaned edge in the salt and place on a large tray lined with kitchen paper,  in one layer.

Okra dipped in Salt image

Let them sit in the sun for about 1 hour or more, covered with a tulle to prevent flies or insects from sitting on them.

Rinse thoroughly and drain well before cooking.  If you are in a hurry to cook them, pat dry on kitchen towel.

fresh okra mpamies cleaned image

Update:  10th June, 2012 

I was looking for the vegen recipe of okra to link it to this recipe and I realized that I have never added the recipe.

There was a time that I was writing recipes on other sites but did not post the same recipe simultaneously on ny blog as well.  

I wrote about okra on Group Recipes, many years ago and it somehow, slipped my mind to post it here as well.

This is a classic Greek recipe of okra and is the one I usually cook for my family.  

This is an updated recipe on how I cook it today.

The same recipe can be used with frozen okra.  None of the above methods are necessary.

Mpamies okra in tomato sauce image

Update:  5th December, 2017:

During August, I made the above Okra Stew and when preparing them, I made the video.

As during summers I do not have much free time due to the cooking classes, I have updated the recipe today.

The next day I had a plate of leftover okra stew, so I turned them into this delicious Pasta dish.

Penne with Sausage and Okra

Preparation:  5 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Serves:  3


  • 250 grams penne rigate
  • 1 serving leftover mpamies giahni (stewed okra)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
  • 1 Greek sausage (around 150 grams)
  • ½ cup red dry wine
  • 4 fresh ripe tomatoes peeled or 1 can (500 grams / 1.10 oz) whole tomatoes, blended
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Myzithra to sprinkle on top


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan and sauté the onion and the garlic until translucent.
  3. Add the sausage and sauté until cooked.  Add pepper and the wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates.  Add cooked okra and cook until the sauce thickens about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and mix.
  5. Remove from the heat and mix in parsley and basil.
  6. Serve with myzithra on top.
Penne with Sausage and Okra image
Mpamies okra in tomato sauce image

Stewed Okra (Mpamies Giahni)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Fresh okra is often maligned for being slimy, but if they are handled properly, before cooked, these small, green pods will become delicious when cooked!


  • 1 kilo Fresh or frozen okra
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 clove roasted garlic, mashed (optional)
  • 2 cups of fresh ripe tomatoes or 1 can of whole tomatoes blended
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 organic vegetable bouillon
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • Water (about 1 cup)


  1. Peel stem of okra and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Wash and drain them.
  3. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and slightly fry the okra.
  4. Remove them with a slotted spoon in a sauce pan.
  5. Chop the onions and fry them in the olive oil till slightly brown.
  6. Add the garlic and mix for a few seconds.
  7. Add the tomatoes, vegetable bouillon, vinegar, salt and pepper and water.
  8. Simmer for five minutes and put the sauce on top of the okra. Simmer until the okra is cooked (without stirring, as they will break) and until the sauce thickens, for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  9. Occasionally tilt the pan so that the okra will not stick to the pan.
  10. Just before the end mix in the parsley.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 239Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1272mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 7gSugar 9gProtein 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Greek Okra recipes

More Greek okra recipes:


Mpamies okra photo image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Friday 19th of February 2016

I love to teach healthy vegetable tips thanks is a good share....

Mary Strollings

Saturday 11th of July 2015

It looks very interesting. This is the first time I know that we can cook Okra like this. Thanks for your article!

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