If people dislike okra, it's usually because of its mucilaginous (read: slimy) nature. I know okra as a bright addition to tart-sweet Vietnamese seafood soups and an earthy fried Indian side dish. In those Asian preparations, okra doesn’t reveal its gummy nature. Rather, you savor its ridged skin and little round seeds. You marvel at its lovely spoke structure and graceful appearance.
Okra is native to Africa but traveled to India at some very early
in time; no one is sure when that happened. In the 19th century, okra found itself in Southeast Asia and it moved on to China after that.
The pod has a mild flavor and plays well with other ingredients. It’s also a relatively expensive vegetable most of the year. For those reasons, it rarely has a starring role and is often cooked with other ingredients.