This fried okra recipe is fresh sliced okra coated in buttermilk and a seasoned cornmeal mixture, then deep fried to golden brown perfection. A classic side dish or appetizer option that’s easy to make and totally delicious!
In my opinion, okra is an underutilized ingredient. My favorite way to enjoy this vegetable is when it’s served as fried okra. The crispy coating with tender interior just can’t be beat.
How do you make fried okra?
The first step to make fried okra is to prepare the okra by cutting off the stem ends and slicing it up. Next toss the sliced okra in a bowl of buttermilk until the slices are completely coated. The buttermilk coated slices get dredged in a bowl of flour, cornmeal, salt and spices. The okra slices go into hot oil for a few minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Serve them hot and add a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.
Tips for the perfect fried okra
- Be sure to stir the okra occasionally as it fries to make sure that the okra cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together.
- If you want spicier okra, add some cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
- Look for similar sized okra pods so that all the okra slices take about the same time to cook. I use okra pods that are about 3 inches long.
- Be sure to use a frying thermometer to make sure that your oil is at the correct temperature. If the oil is too hot, the okra can burn. If it’s too cold, the okra will absorb excess grease and have a heavy texture.
- Fresh okra works best in this recipe. Frozen okra is typically mushy when thawed and will not hold up well when fried.
- Serve your okra plain, or add a dipping sauce on the side of your choice.
What is fried okra made of?
Fried okra is made of sliced okra pods coated in buttermilk and dredged in a flour, cornmeal and seasoning mixture. After a quick dip in hot oil, fried okra is ready to eat.
Okra is a vegetable that is grown in warm, wet climates for their edible seed pods. It is popular food in the southern region of the United States. Okra is used in stews and gumbo not only as a vegetable, but as a thickener. It is also popular to pickle this vegetable.
How do you cook okra so that it is not slimy?
Okra can be slimy once it is cut. However, with fried okra a slimy texture is not an issue. The okra in this recipe goes into a buttermilk bath and is coated with flour and cornmeal which minimizes the slime. The okra fries up golden and crispy.
For other recipes involving okra, you can reduce the sliminess by drying okra before slicing and cooking it or cooking the okra with lemon juice, vinegar or other acidic ingredients.
What are the health benefits of okra?
Okra is full of vitamins such as vitamins C, K and A. Okra also contains magnesium and folate. Plain okra is a low calorie food and is low in carbs. Frying okra of course increases the calories and carbs. Okra also contains antioxidants which may help with with cancer prevention.
Fried okra is a delicious Southern dish that is great as a side dish or as an appetizer. Once you try it, you won’t be able to stop eating it!
More side dish recipes you’ll enjoy
- 1 pound fresh okra pods
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley optional
- Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the stem ends of the okra. Slice each okra pod into 3/4 inch thick pieces.
- Place the okra slices in a bowl along with the buttermilk; toss to coat evenly.
- Place the flour, cornmeal, salt, paprika garlic powder and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine.
- Dredge each piece of okra in the flour mixture, making sure it's coated evenly. Repeat the process with the remaining okra pieces.
- Fry 10 pieces of okra at a time for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle with parsley if desired, then serve.