A sweet-and-sour symmetry is inherent in my style of cooking. If it isn’t expressed through actual components of a dish, it’s delivered via side bowls or ramekins. Okra chow-chow has become one of my favorite media for attaining culinary harmony. And considering that okra is integral to Southern cuisine and agriculture, it’s also one of the clearest examples of two food cultures existing side by side and the ways they intersect. Serve okra chow-chow alongside scrapple (as I so often do), and you could consider this dish the poster child of Amish soul food.

MAKES 3 CUPS [900 G]


  • 1½ cups [360 ml] white vinegar

  • 15 spears large fresh okra, thinly sliced

    TST_Homage Book Cover Homage: Recipes and Stories from an Amish Soul Food Kitchen Chris Scott
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely diced

  • ½ yellow bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely diced

  • ½ red onion, finely diced

  • 3/8 cup [75 g] sugar

  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt

  • 2 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley

Place the vinegar, okra, bell peppers, onion, sugar, and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, until the mixture reduces by half and just starts to thicken, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the parsley and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 6 months. 


Many folks dislike the slimy texture of okra. But you can actually make that slime work for you. One thing I do is sear the okra in a very hot pan in small batches, until the slime essentially caramelizes. Another trick is soaking sliced okra in salted vinegar before cooking it—30 minutes to 1 hour will usually do the trick. Then just take it out of the salted vinegar, give it a rinse, and pat dry before cooking or doing whatever you’re going to do.

Reprinted from Homage by Chris Scott with Sarah Zorn, with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022. Photographs © Brittany Conerly.

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