Okra is a green, fiber-rich pod popular across the American South, India, and parts of Africa. As it cooks, it can become gooey or slimy. This turns some people off of the vegetable, but it's actually useful. Okra’s texture makes it a vital thickener for classic New Orleans gumbo. Many recipes, like the one for our chicken and sausage gumbo, use a flour roux to ensure the proper thickness. But also try our Creole gumbo, which is just thickened with okra. Both versions are great served over rice.