Easy ochro and rice

2.9.22 | Recipe by Renz

A delicious one-pot cook-up dish of white rice with ochro (okra) and simmered down in coconut milk. This well-flavored side dish is another alternative for your white rice as a side.

Close up of cooked ochro and rice in a white bowl.

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Everybody loves a good rice dish. Caribbean people have a lot of rice cook up dishes of some sort. Some are just rice and vegetables or peas and some include meat like pelau does.

I was not, an okra lover. I am unsure how people manage to eat them boiled especially and like it. I always give my dad a face when I see it on his plate.

I can manage, however, eating it with rice, once that slimy residue is not there. I can also eat it when baked with roasted fish. Other than that I would avoid it.

But thankfully my aunt taught me how to get that sliminess out of the okra.

This ochro and rice dish, it's a tasty dish with rice and ochros simmered down with fresh spices and coconut milk. The good thing is that you are not going to get that slimy texture.

We are going to eliminate that gummy residue that we usually don't like and have a nice seasoned dish.


Ingredients for ochro and rice

The ingredients for this are pretty basic as this is a simple recipe. There are some notes to keep your eye out for some of the ingredients.

Ingredients needed to make ochro rice portioned out into little bowls.

  • Ochro/Okra - If you happen to only find the small ones, you may need to add about 6 more of them to the count. Use the freshest ones. Those that bend easily and pop as you bend them
  • Rice - I always use parboiled long-grain rice to make these types of dishes. This type stands up to longer cooking times and doesn't get mushy. Uncooked rice is needed for the recipe.
  • Coconut milk - you can use canned coconut milk, the powder version or just make your own.


Large dutch pot

How to make delicious ochro and rice

I love that these types of rice dishes really just require you to have a little patience and not necessarily much skill. 

Frying the ochro

The ochros need to be cut up into small discs. If you are not worried about the slime they can be longer than 2" or so but I still prefer to cut them at the maximum height. It also is easer for thinner pieces to get stir fried better.

Cut the head and the ends off and discard, then cut up.

Onions, garlic and ochros being sauted in hot oil to remove the slime from the ochro.
Onion, garlic and ochro being sautéed in oil.

We are going to fry these in oil, like a stir fry, with onion, and cloves garlic till it is gone. Fry this up for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This helps to remove the sliminess that most people do not like.

You would realize that nothing pulls from the ochros as you are stirring them up.

Finishing up the okra rice

Add the green seasoning to the mix, then your rice, and make that stir fry a little to bring out the flavor of the rice.

Now let's add the coconut milk and water, salt and black pepper, and hot pepper if you are using.

Water and coconut milk added to pot boiling with rice and seasonings.

And the hardest part of making the rice is done.

Bring everything to a high boil and then cover and lower to a simmer until rice is cooked.

Fluff up with a fork and serve. You can garnish with some fresh parsley.

Steamed pot of ochro and rice ready to be served.

What can I serve with ochro rice?

This rice can be eaten alone since it's so flavor filled. But it can pair nicely with a host of dishes.

Have this with some steam or roasted fish and a side of lentils.


Want to make this a full one-pot dish and make it a complete meal? Then add some salt fish to the mix.

Rehydrate your saltfish however you like. If you like boiling it or soaking it. For all methods check out my post on how to remove salt from saltfish.

Once desalted, chip up the saltfish and set it aside. You can add it to the pot when you add the rice or the rice is starting to get tender.

Some people also like to add pigtail.

Pumpkin is another thing you can include. 

A white plate of ochro and rice with a garnish.


  • If you can't find fresh okra, you can definitely use frozen okra instead. The good thing about the frozen ones, they already come cut up. When I do use them I don't even let it defrost all the way, I let it shed some of the ice on it then drain and throw into the pot.

  • Instead of long grain rice, replace with brown rice or even basmati rice. You will just need to adjust your cooking time when it's simmering.

  • If you happen to already have cooked rice, you can still make this dish. You will eliminate the water and reduce the amount of coconut milk. Sauté the vegetables and ochro as instructed, add a little coconut milk so that the ochros can boil and cook (not too much milk, you are not trying to have too much liquid). Then add your cooked rice and combine. Add a little coconut oil to the rice to add an additional layer of flavor. Season with salt and black pepper.

  • You can substitute chicken broth for water. Any leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for up to three days. It can also be put in the freezer and left for up to three months. To reheat, place in a microwaveable bowl and warm up in the microwave.

A serving of ochro and rice in a white bowl, garnished with a bunch of cilantro.

Check out some other rice dishes: