Kushiyaki: Okra Wrapped in Bacon


These tasty bits on skewers—okra wrapped with bacon—are a fine example of kushiyaki. Click on the pictures of chicken and zucchini below to see other recipes for grilling on a hibachi.

Kushiyaki:Okra Wrapped with Bacon
link to original recipe by Skewer It
15 small to medium sized fresh okra (makes 3 long skewers)
scant ½ pound bacon, (cut the package in half crosswise)
Soak skewers in a tall bottle.
Soak 3 long or 4 short bamboo skewers (6″ long should be fine, but I happened to have only long skewers…). A neat way to soak skewers is to put them into a glass or jar bouquet-fashion: takes up less counter space, plus you can snag one without getting your fingers wet. 20 to 30 minutes is long enough soak.

Wash okra and cut off the stems without cutting the okra open.
Simmer the bacon until it is cooked (or microwave). Rinse well, and dry with paper towels.
Wrap a half-length strip of bacon around the middle of an okra pod. Be sure the ends of the bacon overlap. Push the point of a skewer through the overlapped ends to secure them, and then straight out of the okra. Repeat 3 or 4 more times to fill the skewer. Repeat with your other skewers.
Grill until bacon is sizzling with a nice golden brown.

note: If I were obsessive, then I’d have skewered the okra alternating the stem and tip ends…

15 thoughts on “Kushiyaki: Okra Wrapped in Bacon

  1. Am delighted to hear that you aren’t obsessive. ;-)

    Every time I see okra on your blog, I nearly snicker. It’s hard to explain just why, but any southerner would recognize the taste of these bacon wrapped okra skewers, and they do look delicious.

    Thank you for the excellent tip about soaking skewers in glass jars. I’d have never thought of it. :)

    • Obsessive?!? moi?
      (to self: don’t snort coffee on the laptop)

      Would it not be great if we each could choose one ‘issue’ at a time to deal with?

      Yes okra: so far I’ve only cooked it so it won’t be slimy, but from what I read, slimy is a texture Japanese people like.

      And also bacon: though blogs from Westerners in Japan say that bacon there is different. (?)

      As I mentioned to Joseph above : greebenes??
      How would crispy chicken skins be? I have seen recipes for yakitori chicken skins…

      • Tess, as long as I get to choose, I select NO issue with which to deal. Ah, it’s perfection for me. lol

        I’ve not had Japanese bacon, but have had Chinese, and it’s quite different from U.S. bacon, but heavenly. We used to go to a splendid and long gone Chinese restaurant, and they’d make Asian greens with Chinese bacon for our family. Good days, they were.

        Chicken skins can be VERY crispy — yakitori chicken skin should be a very fine thing!

    • Oh s-squid my dear!!!
      It is really OKRA again.
      As I mentioned before, I did not even consider okra edible some little while ago.
      Husband may disagree with me, but this way of cooking the pods is like popping bubble-wrap: Crunch, then little spurts of juice…

      And if you don’t like it, then bacon on other veg?

      You know, I did not like cilantro until recently?

      love ya anyway!

      best best

      • “but this way of cooking the pods is like popping bubble-wrap: Crunch, then little spurts of juice…”

        I’ll tell you my reaction as soon as I read that line:

        *holding my hand in front of my mouth and exclaiming a big: EEEEEEEEEEEEEWW!!!

        How can you do that to the bacon! Oh that poor bacon. Oh dear, the (hot-seedy-gooey-mixture) surprise people don’t get when they take a bite.

        Cilantro? oh no… My mom loves it, I dont eat the food if it touched cilantro. brrr How can people eat that stuff…!


        • Well, I’ll admit the bubble-wrap-popping may not be very appetizing! And cilantro smelled and tasted like cat pee until recently.

          But I learned to love cilantro by ordering tacos de lengua from our favorite little neighborhood Mexican restaurant. One time, she made a mistake and my order came with cilantro and onions. It was either eat it, or dig in the freezer for the odd chicken pot pie, or starve. Her tangy green-chili sauce just sparked (or sparkled) the cilantro, and ever since, I’ve thought, “This is something I’m not supposed to like, but I’ll keep that a secret!”

          Maybe like beer? I didn’t like it when I first tasted it, but now it’s interesting, varied, and I enjoy it.

          As a toddler my daughter would get into my baskets of yellow onions and lemons: I’d find little bites taken out of them! But now she is grown up I don’t think she still likes bites of raw onion or lemon w/skin!

          It is interesting how our preferences change as we age. But not surprising: I liked picture books when I was 3, but these days not so much!


  2. Tes!!!! I’m using serial exclamation points because I’m excited!!! You have a hibachi!!! How wonderful!!! What could be nicer than food threaded on a stick and crisped to perfection over such a delightful contraption!!! Somehow a bit of smoke in the eye just adds to the occasion…I think Alice Waters would highly approve of your set up. (Bedtime reading is the Chez Panisse Alice Waters biography – plus any of her recipe collections pulled from the shelf to read alongside).I still haven’t made my peace with the okra issue but there’s so many other veges out there begging to be toasted in jolly, pink bacon sleeping bags.

    • I love your description: bacon sleeping bags! Great!!!

      Mr. Tess cooked on the hibachi all last summer. To be honest, this was my first time using it: quite different from the big Weber grill.

      Years ago I had a tiny cheap hibachi that I’d take to our community garden plot. Used it a lot for little kebobs and crispy wontons. But being cheap it fell apart: it had little holders so you could put the grill closer or further from the coals. They went first but it was still usable until the bottom fell out.

      Then I had a really cheap square grill with a lid. I loved it because the rack could be moved up and down, there were air-vents front, back and top so you could control the heat. I got used to sort of smocking things like turkeys, roasts, big chickens: charcoal on cherry wood on one side, food on the other. It was great for low and slow cooking. When the bottom rusted out, husband put in a steel plate for the coals to sit on. When it rusted even more, the legs had nothing to screw into…

      The “new” cheap grills no longer have all the vents, so we got a Weber. But the round grill rack and the non-intuitive vents are cumbersome. Plus it burns through tons of charcoal. That’s why I wanted a hibachi again. But I didn’t grill on it last summer: so having tried it, I like it.

  3. I love the idea of the bacon wrapped okra. Mmmmm. Okra is so amazing. I’m curious about the crispy chicken skin. That sounds so good.

    • I’ve made a lot of greebenes. Like Jewish bacon!

      As for the crispy chicken skin yakitori, I’m saving up chicken skin to give it a try. I’m thinking a little pre-simmering to get them started will be what I’ll try.

      Sort of the way I do greebenes: start with a little water in the skillet, then low and slow, when the water evaporates the skins are already hot and beginning to cook and render out the fat. I think my method is unusual, though. It just made sense to me and why change what works?

  4. In the following paragraph:
    Wash okra and cut off the stems without cutting the okra open.
    Simmer the bacon until it is cooked (or microwave). Rinse well, and dry with paper towels.
    Do you mean to simmer the bacon or the okra?


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