Okra’s edible green seed pods are an indispensable ingredient in many African, Indian, Caribbean, and (American) Southern cuisines.
Fresh pods are firm to the touch. The smaller they are, the fewer seeds they’ll have, which means the less slimy they’ll become when cooked. If you’re needing the slime to thicken gumbo, then seek out the larger pods by all means!
In order to reduce the potential sliminess of okra, dry the pods completely after rinsing and cook the sliced pods on high heat. It also helps to add an acid — lemon juice, vinegar — to the pan. Okra is quite nutritious and invites you to explore ethnic cuisines and tastes you might not otherwise. Embrace the adventure!