Kanako's Kitchen

Okra Aemono: Seasoned Boiled Okra

Posted in Recipe, side dish by Kanako Noda on February 22, 2010

How many words from the Igbo language of West Africa have made their way into both standard English and everyday Japanese? I bet Okra is the only one!

“Okra?! What’s that?” It’s a fair question. If you live in Europe, Latin America, the US North or Canada, you may have never seen this odd-looking plant. It has certainly spread unevenly around the globe: by now its fleshy pods are a staple in East Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the American South and in Japan, but for some odd reason hardly used in China!

This recipe makes for a quick, very healthy and flavourful side dish.

It’s particularly tasty mixed together with natto (fermented soybeans) and served as a topping for white rice. But if like many people (including many Japanese) you are not a big fan of natto, you can serve Okra Aemono on its own over rice. Delish.



  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil
  2. Boil the okra for 2 minutes
  3. Drain and cool under cold water
  4. Cut the okra into pieces, discard the ends
  5. Season with soy sauce
  6. Add katsuobushi and mix

Serve as a side dish, or over rice.

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7 Responses

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  1. Megan said, on February 23, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    This looks lovely! That stickiness is fabulous, isn’t it?

    I had never eaten okra until I encountered it in my husband’s Japanese cuisine. It’s excellent when it’s chopped up and served on top of yudofu. I also particularly like it in miso soup. (http://chezyusuke.wordpress.com/tag/okra/)

    • kanako said, on February 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, I love that stickiness of okra a lot. And your husbands’s okra looks really gorgeous!

  2. foodlabasia said, on April 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I love Okra! I had never tried (or heard) of it until I went to a Malasian restaurant. I fell in love with it immediately. My co-worker told me that it’s used a lot in Phillipino cuisine.

    I’ve had it in Japan in a Udon restaurant. I had Okra, Natto, tororo and onsen egg on udon… it was REALLY good! 🙂

    • Kanako said, on April 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

      I love slimy vegetables, too. If you like that kind of vegetable, try Molokheiya! This is like spinach but slimy. It’s popular in north africa. I like cooking it in the same way as Okra.

  3. Rika said, on May 16, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hello Kanako-san! I remember my mother was using salt to remove hair from Okura before blanching. Toss handfull sea salt (hakata no shio!) on the chopping block, then toss and roll Okura on the ‘salty’ block (she used to call this process – massage okura), then rince the salt off in order to put them into the boiling water.

    I am so excited about this blog, as a fellow Kansai woman in montreal, I 100% support you!!

    • kanako said, on May 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

      Hi Rika-san,
      I didn’t know the massage okura technique. Thank you for the information!

  4. Statements of style said, on March 22, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was searching for

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