Skip to main content

Jamaican Okra Recipe With Saltfish

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.


Please rate my recipe

What is okra?

This okra recipe is very popular in Jamaican and is usually served for breakfast or dinner. If you aren't familiar with okra it is a vegetable that looks like long pointy fingers, green in color with seeds inside its pods.

This vegetable is eaten when green and in its young stage when the pods are tender and easy to chew and swallow. Ripened pods tend to be fibrous and hard to chew or swallow.

It is believed that this vegetable originated in either Asia or Africa, no one is really certain of the origin. (To the right is a photo of the okra plant). Even though the origin of the okra is still in contention, the name "okra" derives from West Africa. Okra goes by other names such as lady's fingers, gombo, kingombo and Bhindi and vendakkai.

Regardless of where the okra originated or its name, it is good vegetable to have on your table. The okra has a slimy substance when cut and tend to be even slimier when overcooked. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are many ways okra can be prepared such as:

  • Steamed
  • Batter fried
  • Crispy fried
  • Makes a great gumbo
  • Great for thickening soups and stews
  • Great with fish as we often use it in Jamaica


Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

10 min

40 min

Serves 3 -4


  • 1/2 lb (1 1/2 doz) okra
  • 1/4 lb salted cod fish
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • black pepper
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. First step is to rinse the excess salt from the codfish. You have two choices : (a) boil the codfish for 15 minutes (b) soak for 10 minutes, then strip the scale side off. Cut the codfish into bite size pieces then soak another 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze excess water from fish before using.
  2. After you prepare your codfish, set aside.
  3. Prepare your okra by putting one 2 cups of water to boil. in the meantime, trim the stems and the tips from the okra then cut each okra into tow or three, depending on your preference.
  4. When the water boils turn off flames and place the okra in the pot and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain.
  5. Prepare your seasoning by slicing onion, shop garlic, chop scallion and pepper.
  6. Heat oil in skillet until very hot in high. Fry cod fish for a few minutes than add seasoning and reduce flames to medium. Stir fry for another 3 minutes.
  7. Add black pepper and stir fry another 30 seconds, then add okra. Reduce flames to medium low, stir and cover.
  8. Let steam for about 5 minutes then your okra and saltfish is ready.


  • When buying okra just break off one of the tips to see if it breaks easily. If the okra is too soft, which means it was no freshly picked it won't snap.
  • Okra should be firm to the touch and not sagging or soft
  • If the okra is firm but the tip does not break easily, that means the okra is too old and fibrous
  • Don't overcook your okra so don't cook too long
  • The color should be bright green when cooked. If the color is pale green or starts to get an olive brown color then you have definitely overcooked your okra.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to water when blanching okra (and any other green vegetable), this help retain the bright green color.


Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 16, 2012:

Thanks Bluebird, I hope you like it. Have a great day.

bluebird on August 16, 2012:

Scroll to Continue

This caught my attention, I'm gonna try it, sounds so good!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 16, 2012:

Hi Genna, I can't think of a substitute for the cod fish. I too can't have too much salt so I soak the salt away as explained in the recipe. Or you can choose to boil the saltfish. Thanks for stopping by.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on August 16, 2012:

Another delicious recipe. I have to say away from salt, and wanted to ask you if there is a substitute for the salted cod? Okra is one of my favorites, and this dish is very tempting. :-)

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 15, 2012:

Hello Ruby, vinegar is such a handy thing to have around as it has so many uses. I love fried okra as well. Nest time I will do a spicy fried version. Thanks for stopping by.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 15, 2012:

Hello Cardisa, I love okra, esp. breaded and fried. Your recipe looks delicious. I learned that by adding one tsp. of vinegar keeps any green veg. color from fading..Thank you for the info.. voted up, up, and up.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 15, 2012:

Hey Green Lotus, happy to oblige! I will be posting more salt cod recipes for you. Thanks for stopping by.

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on August 15, 2012:

Thanks Cardisa - I love okra anyway you make it and this looks lovely. Okra is a staple here in the south so it's readily available.

I'm so happy to learn how to cook salt cod too, because I'm also an ackee fan and have been waiting to make ackee and salt cod for months!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 15, 2012:

Hi Om, thanks, and I do hope you like it. Have a great day!

Om Paramapoonya on August 15, 2012:

Okra isn't really my favorite veggie, but since it's your recipe, I'm more than willing to give this a try. Rated up and pinned!

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Mhatter, thanks to Mrs. Land. My brother used to mash it between his hand and chase me around the house trying to smear it on me, of course he used the cooked okra. It took me years to get past that and actually eat the

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 14, 2012:

Thanks for this recipe.Mrs. Land was the person who positively exposed me to okra. what a lady, what a cook

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Hi Nell, I am sure you can get it in England. I have relatives there who get it but you may have to check with a Jamaican foods market. I hope you find it. Thanks for stopping by.

Nell Rose from England on August 14, 2012:

Hi Cardisa, this is totally new to me, so it looks really good, I am not sure if we get Okra over here, I will have to go and take a look, thanks for the idea, take care, nell

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Hello Randy, that was funny and I suppose the jeep was green? LOL. I love crispy fried okra as well. I may do a batter fried okra when I get some more. Thanks for stopping by.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on August 14, 2012:

I love fried and pickled okra so this recipe caught my eye, Cardisa. A funny story about okra though. During WWII my dad drove a jeep in Patton's 3rd Army and had to name his jeep starting with the letter "O". The only thing he could think of to name his jeep was "okra"! LOL! He managed to wear out several jeeps by that name before the war ended.

Recipe sounds good, by the way. Rated up!


Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Hello Carol, when I was a little girl no bribery could get me to eat the stuff. Now as an adult I just can't do without Thanks for visiting.

carol stanley from Arizona on August 14, 2012:

Healthy and delicious. I have stayed away from okra..however this is very enticing. Thanks for sharing.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Thanks Billy, I am sure you will like it very much. Thanks for visiting.

Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2012:

Hello Algareview, the salted codfish is the I don't know if you can get okra in Portugal but I suppose you can. Just ask at your local market. Thanks for stopping by.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 14, 2012:

My goodness that looks delicious! I have never tasted okra but I may have to now. Great recipe!

Joana e Bruno from Algarve, Portugal on August 14, 2012:

Hello, Cardisa, very interesting hub, I had never heard of Okra before and it's quite interesting that you say you can eat this dish for breakfast or dinner and the other thing is that you use salted cod fish, it resembles the dried salted cod fish we use in Portugal... I definitely have to try this recipe. Voted up and interesting and sharing! Take care!

Related Articles