Fried Okra

Fried Okra

Fried Okra is super easy to make and seriously addictive. Dredged in flour and fried until golden and crispy, it’s delicious as an appetizer or side dish!

How do you make fried okra from scratch?

Fried okra is so easy to make! You don’t even need to go through all the steps of a classic dredge. The bite-sized okra is quickly dipped in egg, then tossed in a zip-top bag with a breading mixture made from a combination of cornmeal, flour, and cayenne pepper. To get the crispy coating, the okra is fried in piping hot oil for just a couple of minutes. It’s best served warm with a sprinkle of salt.

Do you thaw frozen okra before frying?

We prefer fresh okra for its texture and flavor, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use frozen okra instead. Frozen okra needs to be thawed completely before cooking, but just be warned, the thawed okra will be wet (which can make it mushy). We recommend draining it and patting it dry completely with paper towels before breading and frying.

Why is my okra slimy?

It’s true: Okra has a tendency to be slimy when it’s cut. And the longer it sits cut open, the slimier it will be. So, the best way to prevent the unwanted texture is to slice it just before eating or cooking. Look for fresh okra in July and August (the smaller pods will be tender and less woody) and dry it to prevent it from becoming slimy. If you can only find frozen okra, drying it is even more important. You’ll also find that cooking okra over high heat or frying it will produce the best tasting okra without any of that slimy texture.

Table Of Contents

  • Ingredient notes
  • Frying tips
  • Serving suggestions
  • More crispy appetizers
  • Fried Okra

Fried okra is a popular delicacy in the Southern United States. As this vegetable is also a staple in Filipino kitchens, I want to share with you how I make these crispy nuggets.

The recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes and uses simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. The breaded nuggets turn out golden, crunchy, and tasty; they’ll be a great addition to your appetizer or side dish list.

Directions

Instructions Checklist

In a small bowl, soak okra in egg for 5 to 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and pepper.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge okra in the cornmeal mixture, coating evenly. Carefully place okra in hot oil; stir continuously. Reduce heat to medium when okra first starts to brown, and cook until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Ingredient notes

  • Okra– choose small, young pods as they’re softer and less woody. Look for bright-green color with no brown spots or blemishes.
  • Flour and Cornstarch– use a mix of flour and cornstarch for breading. Cornstarch inhibits gluten formation, creating a lighter, crispier coating
  • Eggs– help the flour stick better
  • Oil– use oil with a neutral taste and high smoke point for deep-frying such as canola, safflower, or vegetable oil.
  • Salt and pepper– I use a simple seasoning of salt and pepper as these babies don’t need much to be super delicious. You can, however, experiment with your favorite spice blends like garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper.

Frying Tips

  • Drain the okra well and pat dry to help the breading adhere well.
  • Deep-fry at the optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F. Too hot and the coating will burn before the okra is cooked; too low and it will absorb a lot more grease.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan, fry in batches as needed. Heat the oil back to 350 F before adding the next batch.
  • Don’t drain on paper towels as they absorb steam, turning deep-fried foods soggy. Instead, drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to catch oil drips.

Serving suggestions

  • If you’re looking for a delicious appetizer, these golden and crunchy okra nuggets are the perfect match to an ice-cold beer. And they make a tasty side dish, too!
  • They’re usually served with buttermilk dressing, but I prefer them with spicy vinegar.
  • As with most fried foods, they’re best enjoyed hot and fresh from the pan.

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