Fried okra is one of my favorite southern side dishes. It’s easy and delicious. The recipe is versatile in that you can take advantage of fresh okra, or simply use frozen.
- 8 ounces of okra, washed with stems removed
- 1/2 cup flour or cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of milk or water
- Vegetable oil—enough to cover the pan
- Wash the okra, and remove stems with a knife.
- Slice the okra into small, round pieces. While the exact size doesn’t matter, the more uniform the sizes are, the more evenly the okra will cook.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Combine flour or cornmeal, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and mix well.
- Add the milk to the egg and mix well.
- Dip the sliced okra into the egg/milk combination.
- When the oil begins to sizzle, carefully pour the okra into the pan. Watch out for splatters from the hot oil!
- Fry the okra until it reaches a nice golden brown color, probably within five to seven minutes. If needed, you can reduce the heat to medium.
- Drain the fried okra on paper towels, and serve hot.
The key to successful fried okra is in the seasonings. If the above seasoning isn’t your cup of tea, use your favorite seasonings. Perhaps it’s the seasoning you use for fried chicken? Or, create your own combination of flour and seasonings based on your personal tastes. Paprika offers a nice change of pace, as does chili powder.
Not feeling creative? No worries—your local supermarket is bound to have a wide selection of spices designed for frying. I’ll be reviewing some of these in future articles, so stay tuned!
Did you know you can also fry squash and zucchini? In fact, many southern restaurants offer fried vegetable platters consisting of all three vegetables fried and served together.
Are you worried about the fat and calories associated with frying? There are
plenty of oven baked ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable. In an upcoming article, I’ll feature a healthy “fried” okra recipe that involves no oil and no frying.