fried okra

Fried Okra

Southern Sides, Vegetables

You won’t find a food more Southern than fried okra. Want to make it like a real Southern cook? Check out our tasty recipe!


Fried okra isn’t just a tasty side dish. Okra is a super food! One cup of okra contains just 33 calories, yet it has tons of vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and B6 and is high in antioxidants and fiber.

Since we’ll be frying it up for this recipe, we recommend using canola oil, which is a heart-healthy oil to help keep cholesterol at bay. But vegetable oil can be used if you’re out of canola.

Preparing Fried Okra

Making fried okra is quite easy, and doesn’t even need to follow specific instructions. For instance, you can skip the buttermilk and just roll your okra right in the cornmeal mixture if you want a very light batter. If you want a heavier batter to stick, you can mix an egg in with your buttermilk.

Some folks skip the batter completely. You can just brown your diced fresh okra in the oil with no coating. It’ll look like the picture below and will taste very good.

I’m a breading gal though, so I love frying okra with the cornmeal batter. It’s crispy and satisfying. If you want to indulge in a meal of fried food, be sure serve this alongside our Southern Crispy Fried Chicken.

Flavor Options for Fried Okra

You can stir a variety of seasoning into your cornmeal & flour mixture, depending on what you like:

  • garlic powder
  • cajun seasoning
  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper

And don’t forget your dipping sauce! Put that crispy okra right into some hot sauce. Or smother it in my personal favorite — remoulade sauce!

What if I just don’t like okra?

The problem could just be the texture. Some people don’t like that the inside gets a bit gummy when okra is cooked. Personally, I think the deep fry cures all. But if you’re not a fan of the texture, try this slicing technique shown below. The sides of the okra pods are sliced off, and the inside is discarded.

So batter and fry up your sliced okra, and you just might become a fan!

fried okra sliced lengthwise

Ingredients

  • 20 pods of okra
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Dice the okra pods into 1/4 inch pieces, or slice them lengthwise (discarding the center) if preferred.
  2. Place okra in a colander, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle buttermilk over the okra and toss to coat.
  3. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Dredge your okra through this dry mixture to coat.
  4. In your skillet, pour the canola oil to thinly cover bottom of the pan, and place over medium to medium-high heat. Heat the oil until it’s hot but not smoking. To test if the oil is ready, flick a little water into the oil. If the oil sizzles, it’s ready.
  5. Fry the coated okra in the canola oil in a single layer. Flip them when the bottom side gets golden brown, and then brown the other side. (Don’t stir! You’ll lose the batter.)
  6. Transfer the breaded okra to a bowl lined with a paper towel to drain the oil.

fried okra
Want to try out some more real deal Southern veggies? Check out our recipe for greens! You’ll love our collards and turnip greens recipes!

We hope you’ll enjoy our Southern Fried Okra recipe!

fried okra
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Fried Okra

You won't find a food more Southern than fried okra. Want to make it like a real Southern cook? Try this tasty recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: okra
Servings: 4
Calories: 429kcal

Ingredients

  • 20 okra
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying

Instructions

  • Dice the okra pods into 1/4 inch pieces, or slice them if preferred.
  • Place okra in a colander, rinse with cold water, and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle buttermilk over the okra and toss to coat.
  • Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Dredge your okra slices through this dry mixture to coat.
  • In your skillet, pour oil to thinly cover bottom of the pan, and bring to temperature over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Fry the coated okra in the canola oil in a single layer. Flip them when the bottom side gets golden brown, and then brown the other side.
  • Transfer the cooked okra to a bowl lined with a paper towel to drain the oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 479IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 2mg
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