Recipe: John Ondo's Red Rice with Okra

This red rice and okra recipe is a hearty Lowcountry classic. Toss and stir a pound of Old Bay-seasoned shrimp in with the okra to make it a main course, and use long-grain white rice as a base.

Recipe by John Ondo

Serves 8 to 10


8 ounces smoked bacon

1 onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

Salt to taste

1 bell pepper, diced

¼ cup tomato paste

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups long-grain white rice

4 cups chicken stock

8 ounces okra, halved lengthwise

Hot sauce to taste

Pepper to taste

In a medium pan over medium-low heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve bacon fat. Sauté onions and celery in 2 tablespoons bacon fat until soft, about 8 minutes. Add salt, bell pepper, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, oregano, cayenne, and rice. Stir until well combined. Add stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir in bacon and quickly add okra, then cover again and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes more.


Photos by Leslie Ryann McKellar

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