How can I get fresh okra in the US, outside of the South?
March 21, 2005 6:10 PM   Subscribe

I want to cook with okra, but I live in the Pacific Northwest. Help with this specific dilemma would be great, or more generically -- any tips on finding produce that seems, at first pass, to be unavailable in a given area?

I've already checked out all the local produce markets, and I've had a go at Googling the problem, but all I can find is that okra is available year-round in the South and May-October in "many other areas". I'll grow it if I gotta, but that won't help my short-term craving....
posted by gurple to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Go to your local Indian store, and you'll find it fresh or frozen, and cut. It's called Bhindi in Hindi.
posted by riffola at 6:16 PM on March 21, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, Riffola! I seem to have found my solution, slightly more indirectly. My local Indian store didn't carry it, but they knew of a market that did!
posted by gurple at 6:28 PM on March 21, 2005

Response by poster: (I should mention that I called my local Indian store, which I frequent because they sell me turkish coffee, on your suggestion -- I hadn't answered my own question by the time you responded)
posted by gurple at 6:29 PM on March 21, 2005


I've seen it frozen for sale at the Central Market off Aurora in Seattle.
I've also seen it fresh there.

However, I think I've seen it in the frozen section many places.

Good luck!
posted by mildred-pitt at 6:31 PM on March 21, 2005

Response by poster: That's uncanny, m-p. I already had plans to head to that area tonight. And they've got it fresh. Looks like fried okra is on the menu at Chez Gurple!
posted by gurple at 6:41 PM on March 21, 2005

In general, when you want to find something weird, call a good restaurant -- one that cooks its own food and serves good produce, you know what I mean -- at about 3 in the afternoon and just ask. They may help you out with finding a supplier (every area has its food wholesalers, who can get special orders for the odd stuff). If they're a REALLY good restaurant, they may just let you tack on to their order for much lower than retail cost. Happy cooking.
posted by Miko at 9:32 PM on March 21, 2005

Grocery Outlet often has big bags of okra, cheap.
posted by xiojason at 10:50 PM on March 21, 2005

gurple, you don't have your email address on your profile or your website, so I will have to ask you here - what Indian markets do you prefer in Seattle?
posted by matildaben at 8:50 AM on March 22, 2005

Response by poster: matildaben, I like Continental Spice on Aurora, which is really sort of a pan-Middle-Eastern market that also has Indian stuff. But that's because I live in Greenwood and my desire for better Indian ingredients isn't strong enough to get me to look farther afield.

Profile now updated with email.
posted by gurple at 4:10 PM on March 22, 2005

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