Okro Rice

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

You may omit the pork from this dish for a vegetarian version, but if you do, adjust the salt to taste. If you eat meat but not pork, you can substitute salt beef or cured turkey bacon, and it will be just as flavorful. “Okro” is the Trinidadian word for okra.


  • 24 fresh okra, stemmed and sliced into ½-inch slices, or 1 (16 oz) package frozen precut okra
  • ½ pound boneless salt cod, salt pork, or cured ham (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, or water
  • 1 small Scotch bonnet pepper or other hot red chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped, or to taste
  • coarse salt to taste


  1. If using frozen okra, place it in a colander to defrost and drain for 10 minutes. Spread on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and pat dry. If you are using salt cod, place it in a bowl with cold water to cover for 1 hour. Drain the water and shred the fish into ½-inch pieces. Set aside. If using salt pork or ham, cut into ½-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the salt cod, salt pork, or ham and toss well to coat. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the okra and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  4. Place the rice in a deep bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 1 or 2 inches above. Swirl rice around with your hand until the water becomes cloudy and then gently pour off the water being careful not to pour out the rice with it. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times or until the water stays clear. Drain.
  5. Add the washed rice to the okra mixture and put pan on heat and toss well to coat. Add the broth, hot pepper, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender but not sticky (all the water should be absorbed). Fluff with a fork and serve.