Okra Shelf Life: How Long Does Okra Last?

Raw-2-3 Days12 Months
Cooked-3-5 Days12 Months
Frozen--12 Months

Shelf Life of Okra

The shelf life of okra is pretty similar to most of the fresh vegetables that you buy from your grocer. When you go to your local store to purchase okra, you don’t usually see a best before date or a sell by date. Here again, you can only consider your purchase date.

Okra can easily last up to 3 days at room temperature on your counter. If you place them in your refrigerator, then they won’t go bad for more than a week. The rule of thumb is that you should only wash your okra before you consume them because they tend to soak water.

Purchasing Okra

Make sure you buy okras that have vibrant green color. When they are fresh, they tend to have a crunchy flavor and texture. With time, they lose their crunch and tend to be mushier. They also lose their vibrant green color and develop a darker shade. With the passage of time okras also develop slime on their surface particularly near the bud. It is a signal that the vegetable is relatively old and has started to go bad. Once they have gone bad, they also begin to develop mold because they have enough water content in them.

Storing Okra

The rule to refrigerate your okra is to store them unwashed. Because okra is a fresh vegetable, therefore, the treatment of this vegetable is similar to others. It can last up to 3 days on the counter and up to 10 days in the fridge. If you want to freeze your okra for an extended period, then keep them in a plastic bag and place in freezer. Storing them whole is the ideal way, but if you want to cut or slice them before storing, then you should be looking to consume them within 2 to 3 days.

Handling Okra

You should only wash your okras before you cook or eat them. They have an excess amount of water content which makes them mushy and develop mold with the passage of time. The best technique to extend the life of the okras is to trim the stem ends and ensure that you don’t cut into the pod when you are trimming. Blanch the pods for 3 to 4 minutes depending on the size and cool them quickly in the ice water. This way you can use them whenever you want for an extended period.

Cooking Okra

As okras grow old, they tend to develop slimness which can be very irritating for many people. To reduce the slime, you can soak them in vinegar for about 30 minutes before you cook them. Rinse them and pat dry and then use them for cooking. You can also pre-cook your okra at a high temperature by blanching, roasting, grilling or sautéing. Use this okra in your recipe, and you won’t experience any slimness at all. Okra can add an excellent flavor to your recipes provided that you reduce the slime content within them.