My Moms Simple Japanese Okra

Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Appetizers, Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Salad, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 10 comments

This week is proving to be quite a busy week as we settle into a new routine and I get ready for a big celebration this weekend. Bebe E started nursery school last Thursday, but it was a day for her to acclimate to her new surroundings with the comfort of my presence in her classroom.

However, the other day Bebe E went to school all by herself, and she didn’t shed a tear when we said our goodbyes. As a matter of fact, she was so eager to sit down and start her paper cutting craft that I had to ask her for a kiss goodbye (no clingy hugs as she was engrossed) and when I said, “Ok sweet pea Mommy will pick you up after school,” she quickly responded with, “OK bye.” I admit to getting teary-eyed thinking how much she’s grown-up, but when I went to pick her up she was one of the first in line waiting for me. One of the assistants shared with me that 30 minutes before school was dismissed Bebe E began asking (every 5 minutes) if school was over and whether it was time for Mommy to pick her up. Awwwww, my baby!!!!!


While Bebe E is only at school for 2.5 hours a day now (she will soon go for 3 hours when all the kiddies are adjusted), one would think I might have more time to get things done, but alas, it gives me an hour to go to the gym, wait for gas in a long line at Costco, and then head back to school. At least I’m able to exercise, a benefit for both myself and Bebe E, long term, and something that’s been lacking in my daily routine these days.

In light of a busier week, a recent visit to our local farmer’s market reminded me of a simple side dish that can be prepared in no time at all. My Mom always served lots of different vegetables at dinner, and one of my favorite side dishes as a child was okra, or as my Mom called it, “oh-ku-la”. I realize not everyone likes okra, my husband included, but not surprisingly, it’s a dish that Bebe E also likes.

As a busy mom herself, my Mom always knew how to keep our meals simple and quick, yet delicious and nutritious at the same time. Okra can be quickly cooked in boiling water and then sliced into pretty star-like shapes. My Mom always garnished the okra with katsuo bushi (dried bonito shavings) and served this with shoyu (soy sauce) or dashi shoyu (seasoned soy sauce). It’s side dishes like these that remind me of my Mom and her simple Japanese dishes.

My Mom's Simple Japanese Okra
Recipe type: Side Dish, Appetizer
Serves: 2
  • 10 pieces of fresh okra
  • Katsuo bushi (dried bonito shavings), to taste
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  1. Remove stems from okra.
  2. Bring water to a boil. Cook okra for 4 minutes until tender.
  3. Shock okra in ice bath to quickly stop cooking and preserve green color.
  4. Slice cooked okra on the horizontal to make small pieces. Garnish with katsuo bushi (dried bonito shavings) and serve with soy sauce.




  1. avatar

    Mmmm…..yummy okra!!

    • avatar

      Wow, something you actually like to eat! LOL. And of all things… okra. :) Finally, something we both enjoy!

  2. avatar

    What a lovely, simple, and elegant dish! I’ll have to try this. I’ve never had okra Japanese style! Looks delicious.

    I love that story about Bebe E, though it makes me very nostalgic. It is amazing how fast the time flies by!! I remember so clearly when J was 4 and taking him to preschool. He was always one of the clingy ones and I usually had to stick around a little longer than everyone else. That’s great that Bebe E isn’t like that, but she still loves her mommy so much and looks forward to you coming to get her! :) Soooo sweet.

    • avatar

      Thanks Melissa. I truly wish time wouldn’t fly so fast!:(

  3. avatar

    Just wanted to say your blog/recipes really come in handy!! I bought some okra at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Honolulu and last night I wanted to prepare this dish. I called my mom before I thought of your blog to ask how to prepare this dish, but unfortunately, she was busy with the temple functions. So, after calling, I thought of your blot wondering if you had a recipe and sure enough, there was!!

    So, thank you so very much!! Next time, if it’s a Japanese dish, I will refer to your blog first, before calling my mom. LOL


    • avatar

      Wow! I don’t know about that. LOL! :) But thank you very much for the compliments. I still learn things from your Mom too, so I wouldn’t stop calling her just yet. xoxo

  4. avatar

    googled around for a recipe to make my own okra salad instead of buying from the store. am so happy for find your page. I would like to prep the okra salad the night before so I can bring to work for lunch the next day. this is a silly question but is it ok to keep okra salad overnight in the fridge? or I shld prep it fresh and consume within the same day?


    • avatar

      Hello Jocelyn, Prepping okra salad the night before and chilling it overnight should be just fine. I tend to cook okra and leave it in the fridge, enjoying it for up to three days.

  5. avatar

    Do you have any okra and natto recipes?

    • avatar

      I believe so… but recipes using natto use pre-packaged/pre-fermented natto. Please use the search function at the top right-hand corner of the blog as my memory fails me as to all the recipes featured here. :) Thank you!

Please Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: