Learn how to store fresh okra properly for use in soups, sides and more.
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Okra, known for its slippery quality and slender green appearance, is found in dishes around the world, from Okra Fry (Bhindi Masala) to Vegetarian Gumbo. The vegetable, which is the edible seed pod of the tropical plant Abelmoschus esculentus, is at its best from mid- to late summer. Learn how to store fresh okra the right way to make the most of the tasty vegetable.

How to Store Okra

Before storing okra, make sure it is completely dry. Wet okra is a breeding ground for mold, so hold off on washing the vegetable until just before you're ready to cook. Store fresh okra in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can also loosely wrap the okra in a paper towel, then store in a perforated plastic bag.

Once the okra is in the bag, there are a few places within the refrigerator where it can be stored. Okra likes to be in the warmest part of the refrigerator, which is usually the refrigerator door. While you can store it there, the vegetable crisper drawer may actually be the best location. The crisper drawer allows you to control the humidity in the drawer, so you can make it the optimal location for okra (FYI: fruits need lower humidity while vegetables need higher humidity).

When stored properly in the fridge, okra can last up to three days. The vegetable has a short shelf life, so it's best to use it as soon as possible from the date of purchase. If you notice the ridges and tips of the pod darkening in color, it needs to be used immediately as that's a sign that it's beginning to deteriorate. Fresh okra will have pods that are firm and dry and a skin coating with a peach-fuzz appearance.

If you're looking for a more long-term storage solution, okra can also be stored in the freezer. Check out this easy step-by-step guide to learn how to freeze okra.