Recipes / Grilled Okra with Sea Salt

Grilled Okra with Sea Salt

By Mark Bittman

Published June 4, 2024

Okay, let’s address the thing about okra: People complain it’s slimy. Grilling the whole pods takes that issue entirely out of the equation. You get the grassy, squash-like flavor, along with a little char from the fire, plus a pleasant chewiness. So there’s nothing not to like about this okra. Look for plump, uniformly colored pods, the smaller the better. Just make sure they’re about the same size to ensure even cooking.

Photo: Christina Holmes
Photo: Christina Holmes
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Make The Recipe!

Grilled Okra with Sea Salt

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time 25 to 30 minutes

Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 pounds okra pods, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


  1. Start the coals or heat a gas grill for medium direct cooking. Make sure the grates are clean.
  2. Put the okra in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat completely. Sprinkle with the salt and toss again.
  3. Put the okra on the grill directly over the fire. Close the lid and cook, turning them once or twice, until the pods turn bright green and a knife inserted in the thickest part goes through without resistance, 5 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

– Recipe from How to Grill Everything

Recipe variations

Double Sesame Okra
Perfect for a Chinese- or Korean-inspired menu: Substitute 1 tablespoon each good-quality vegetable oil and sesame oil for the olive oil. Toss the grilled okra with 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds before serving and pass soy sauce at the table.

Sweet and Hot Okra
Whisk the oil and salt with a pinch cayenne and 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar; toss the okra in the mixture.

Okra with Indian Flavors
Seed and chop 1 jalapeño chile and put it in a mini food processor or a mortar with 3 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon each garam masala, chopped garlic, and chopped fresh ginger; process or grind with a pestle to a smooth paste. Transfer to a large bowl. In Step 3, add the grilled okra to the paste and toss until coated; fold in 1/2 cup yogurt and serve.