Okra-Tomato Gumbo

When I was a child I remember okra being served 3 ways, fried, pickled or okra and tomato’s. My favorite was fried, I would stand by the stove as it cooked and beg for a piece. When it came time for stewed okra and tomato I ran away.

Today I had 2 fresh tomato’s and some okra (thanks mom) that needed to be cooked and decided to go back to my roots. The okra you want are about the size of your finger if and the stem end crunches when you cut it toss it.


  • 2 tomato’s (chopped about the same as okra)
  • 2 cups sliced okra (about 1/2″)
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Red pepper flakes or finely chopped jalapeno pepper.

Optional, use 1 can stewed tomatoes instead of fresh. You also can add cooked bacon bits.


Fry onions and pepper (or peppers) in oil/butter until clear. Add peeled tomatoes and okra, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until tender maybe 15 minutes or so (pull a piece of okra and taste). If desired add bacon and simmer 3 more minutes.


My old school recipe didn’t call for any herbs but I hit it with some fresh chopped parsley and basil at the end of cook. This needs salt, taste and re balance. Also a good base for a lot of variations, you could add shrimp at the end or start of with chorizo and use that instead of oil.  It also is traditionally served on cooked rice.


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