When cooking okra, quickly exposing it to high heat like flash searing cuts down on the sliminess. Grilling is another excellent way to get a dry, crisp result so skewer a few or toss them directly on the grill or at your next cookout. If you’re pan-frying, give each piece plenty of space and never cover the pan—overcrowding and steam equal slime. If you want to know how to cook okra that your kids will eat, try roasting or baking it in the oven.

It’s not only how you cook okra, it’s also what you cook it with. Other foods that are particularly acidic—like tomatoes, lemon juice or wine—help keep it firm and slime-free. Lastly, raw okra is fresh, crisp and delicious on salads or served with dip. Just be sure to choose small pods as the bigger ones tend to get hard and stringy.