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Okra (a word of African origin), Hybiscus esculentus , is a mallow plant. It grows fibrous pods full of round white seeds. It is eaten as a vegetable.

The best okra, like almost all vegetables, is young and fresh right out of the garden. Okra is easy to grow, prolific, and beautiful. Okra is in the hibiscus family, and has very pretty yellow flowers. Okra gets very woody when it gets too mature, so be sure to pick often, even if you stick if in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to eat it. Okra is one of the most popular vegetables in late 20th century Japanese cuisine.

Steam okra until tender, either whole or sliced about 1/2 half inch thick. Smother it with butter. Okra can also be boiled with tomatoes, or fried in a cornmeal batter. Okra can also be the thickening agent in gumbo[?].

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