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Growing Good Food at Home

Southern Fried Okra

Tastier than a batch of fries and more nutritious too, these Southern Fried Okra are twice as divine served alongside a spicy cajun remoulade. 

Southern Fried Okra

Southern Fried Okra is to the south, what Clam Strips are to the north. Or at least that’s what I think. They are an ultra-savory and delicious side dish that can go next to any meal and anybody who might nay-say okra normally will love it fried in this cornmeal batter.

There are few dishes that represent the deliciousness of southern hospitality as fried okra. It’s a warm, crispy welcoming side dish that you can make as spicy as you like; just add your favorite spice to the cornmeal mixture. Now, traditionally, this dish is cooked in a deep fryer. If you don’t have one, no worries! You can use a Dutch oven or a deep pan to heat the oil.

The dipping sauce is important too. It can be dipped in many things, but I love a good cajun remoulade. You can make this remoulade by combining 1 cup of mayo with: 2 tbsp Creole mustard, 1 tbsp horseradish, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.

Feeling a little health-conscious about frying your okra? You can take the air fryer route if you like; in fact, you can skip the dipping and dredging part and just toss the okra with some seasoned olive oil at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes. It won’t be traditional southern fried okra, but it will still be crisp and delicious!

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Southern Fried Okra

Southern Fried Okra

Tastier than a batch of fries and more nutritious too, these Southern Fried Okra are twice as divine served alongside a spicy cajun remoulade.

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Sides & Sauces

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Fresh oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oil to 375 degrees F in a fryer, deep skillet, or Dutch oven.
  2. Cut the okra into 1/2-inch slices.
  3. Combine buttermilk, egg, and optional hot sauce (to your taste) in a deep bowl.
  4. Combine corn meal, self-rising flour, salt, and optional Cajun seasoning in a large shallow bowl.
  5. With one hand, dip the okra pieces into the buttermilk mixture; let excess liquid drip off.
  6. Drop the okra pieces into the corn meal and flour mixture, and toss them with your other hand until the pieces are thoroughly coated.
  7. Fry in small batches, with just one layer, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the okra is golden brown.
  8. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  9. Serve hot.

Fried okra will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. But you probably won’t have any leftovers!

Okra is highly versatile and can grow almost anywhere that has lots of sun. From containers on balconies to open fields of freestanding plants, there’s an okra that you can grow. It’s delicious raw or cooked—and if you’re not big on that slime factor, no worries—there are plenty of ways to prepare okra that are totally slime-free! Check out The Guide to Growing Okra. You get everything from the history of okra to planting to picking and storing and, of course, eating. Get it all in The Guide to Growing Okra Collection right now!

Have you tried this recipe? This traditional side dish is almost irresistible—please tell us how it turned out for you.

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