International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Quimbombó Guisado


(Puerto Rican stewed okra)

Average: 3.3 (7 votes)

Okra, or "quimbombó," was introduced to Puerto Rican cooking by African slaves. This easy dish makes excellent use of these green pods with their unique texture and taste.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil, vegetable or olive -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped finely -- 1
  • Green bell pepper, finely chopped -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 to 4 cloves
  • Ham (optional), diced -- 1/4 cup
  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped -- 3
  • Okra, destemmed, cut into 1-inch rounds -- 1 pound
  • Water or stock -- 2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the ham and stir to heat through. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes to cook the tomatoes down somewhat.
  2. Add the okra, water or stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the okra is cooked through and tender. Adjust seasoning and serve as a side dish.


  • Garnish the finished dish with chopped cilantro.
  • To turn into a full meal, add 1 cup diced potatoes, green plantain or calabaza squash at the same time you add the okra. Cook until tender and serve over rice.
  • Sauté 1/2 cup of chopped chorizo along with the ham if you like.


Ohhh... now I know what quimbombo is... I don't care whether you call it quimbombo or okra, it's still the same sticky, gooey, vegetable.

Don't eat this stuff no matter how it's seasoned or called.

To each his own cause I personally love okra. I haven't had it cooked like this in a really long time and I think I'll be cooking this sometime next week.

You know if you add a tiny bit of vinegar to water and soak the okra in there for a while then drain, the sticky, sliminess disappears :D

If you have okra and are wondering how to use it, this is a good, basic recipe. I prepared it with fresh tomatoes. If you don't have garden tasty tomatoes, I'd use canned ones--the dish needs their flavor.
I tested the recipe above without meat and used plain water instead of broth. I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor the stewed veggies had. It's partly that okra does have flavor! But note that I sautéed the onions, garlic, and pepper long enough and at high enough heat to brown and caramelize them into a state of savoriness.
There's a Jamaican okra recipe in whats4eats that uses lots of thyme, so after I tasted the recipe as written, I threw in a hefty sprig of fresh thyme. It's good! I also sprinkled in some powdered instant ham broth. It's too sweet--but real ham or sausage would be perfect with this dish. A couple of fiery hot little peppers made it super yummy. It did get a little thick but isn't slimy. But maybe that's due to the variety of okra I planted?

This was introduced and modified in the Americas by CUBA not Puerto Rico....again stealing everything from the Cuban culture. Music, dance, cuisine, whats next?

You say it like the Joke, that I heard as a teenager.
There were three people in a plane 1 Cuban and 2 puerto Ricans, the plane was going down because of engine failure ans there was 1 parachute, the 3 flipped coins to see who got the parachute, the Cuban won the toss and jumped, as he was sailing down with his parachute, the 2 Puerto Ricans jumped and as they zoomed by pass the Cuban with the parachute, the Cuban said oh you think your going to beat me, so he took off the parachuteto beat the other two.
I always tell this joke to my Cuban friends