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!

When I’m looking to serve up some traditional Southern sides, I make cornbread dressing, fried cabbage and this ultra crispy fried okra.

Fried Okra Recipe #okra #appetizer #sidedish #dinneratthezoo Fried Okra Recipe #okra #appetizer #sidedish #dinneratthezoo

A serving plate of fried okra garnished with parsley.

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.

Okra pods on a sheet pan.

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.

Sliced okra in a bowl of buttermilk.

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.

Breaded okra slices on a sheet pan.

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 on a sheet pan, garnished with chopped parsley.

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

5 from 18 votes

Fried Okra

AuthorSara Welch
A serving plate of fried okra garnished with parsley.
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!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 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.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1227mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. This has made my southern belly less homesick in Canada. They don’t really know what fried okra is up here, but have a small season of fresh okra. I tried another recipe with just cornmeal and it wasn’t very good. It definitely needs both flour and cornmeal. I really enjoyed your recipe. I need to try it with buttermilk which is hard to find up here. Even with just milk it’s great. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is solid, but I tweaked it. Make the oil hotter (400 or so). Use peanut oil. Don’t crowd the okra in the oil. It doesn’t crisp if it’s crowded. Frozen okra works fine- don’t even bother thawing before you cut up. For gluten-free and wheat-free diets, chickpea flour makes a nice substitute for the wheat flour.

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe…I am a southern belle, woohoo, fried okra is in our blood and this is really a good, simple recipe. THANKS

    1. 5 stars
      Yes I am a Southern Lady and love Okra boiled or fried. Fried is my favorite. Have to try your Recipe with my Lima Beans, Corn, Steamed Cabbages, Collards and different Dired Peas and Beans.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe. This was the first time I made my own fried okra and it turned out great. I will never buy frozen breaded okra again.

    1. Yes because just like southern fried chicken and fried green tomatoes it makes it taste why mess with years of wont taste the same if youndont use it..its amazing😍

      1. Thank you. That sounds good. Will have to try. I also remembered a good bottled sauce that I like on onion rings, its called yum yum sauce I believe. Tastes just like burger King onion ring sauce. That might be good, too.

  5. 5 stars
    We had this at a restaurant before and my husband loved it. Can’t wait to surprise him with this! Thanks for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    Fried okra is one of my all time favorite appetizers. There are so many great ways to enjoy it. Love this!