I don’t think I’ve ever had a family holiday dinner without a spoonful or two of rice. Luckily, it’s not always the same rice dish, my mother would always mix it up and give us something interesting. So today’s dish is an homage to my mother’s family meals – okra fried rice. It’s so tasty, with fresh vegetables, pancetta, shallots, garlic and a teeny kick from some cayenne pepper.


Okra Fried Rice by Diverse Dinners


Okra is a recent obsession of mine. I became a convert after tasting Yardbird‘s charred okra with brown butter and lemon juice. I visited the Yardbird in Miami, and I’ve never looked back. It’s a great place to eat, and conveniently very close to the Mondrian, the hotel I stay at when I’m in town.

Okra is high in dietary fiber and contains potassium, folic acid, vitamin B and C, and also purported to help manage blood sugar. With all those benefits everyone wins. To hold on to those benefits though, you should avoid cooking the okra for too long. 


Okra Fried Rice by Diverse Dinners


Okra fried rice is a tasty side dish, a medley of different textures, which is great for the holidays are on theme too.

I shared this dish with my family, they really enjoyed it all by itself. Okra fried rice has all the necessary food groups, so you can serve it as a main course too.


Okra Fried Rice by Diverse Dinners




63 cal


4 g


8 g


2 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Serves 4

Okra Fried Rice

10 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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  • 8oz pancetta (sliced thin)
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots (sliced thin)
  • 1 clove garlic (sliced thin)
  • 4 cups okra (sliced)
  • 2 large tomatoes (deseeded and diced)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Equipment & Utensils
  • Large saucepan with cover
  • Large skillet or fry pan


  1. Heat skillet and carefully add pancetta, toss until crispy, then remove and place on paper towel to drain.
  2. Wash rice and drain, then transfer to large saucepan and add chicken stock.
  3. Heat on high until bubbling, then lower to simmer and add 1 tbsp of butter.
  4. Cover pan allow to cook until stock is absorbed and rice is fluffy, approx. 15-20 mins.
  5. Once rice is cooked set aside.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil in skillet, then add shallots and garlic.
  7. Toss shallots and garlic until the flavors release then add okra and tomatoes.
  8. Toss until okra and tomatoes are warm throughout, then add 4 cups of rice.
  9. You may have a little rice left over, which you can save for another dish.
  10. Toss ingredients until combined then season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  11. Add pancetta and toss one final time, then cover and reduce heat to lowest setting.
  12. Leave on low heat setting for 5 mins, then serve.