Old-Fashioned Fried Okra

Fried okra is a southern staple, and now that frozen chopped okra is available in most supermarkets, it can be enjoyed year round. (Mind you, fresh is better than frozen, but good, fresh okra can be hard to find outside the southern states.) This recipe makes classic fried okra, as opposed to what is often found in many restaurants -- okra so heavily battered you can hardly taste the okra.

  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds fresh okra pods
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 3 cups melted shortening or vegetable oil
  1. Wash okra well and drain. Cut off tip and stem ends. Cut remaining pods in 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside in a medium bowl. You should have about four cups of okra pieces.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Pour the beaten egg over the okra, and toss well until okra is coated. Pour the flour mixture over okra and toss to coat. The best tools for tossing this mixture are your hands. Yes, it's messy, but you can always wash your hands.
  3. Heat the shortening or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (oil should be hot, but not smoking hot). A deep, steep-sided saucepan may be used in place of a skillet.
  4. Add okra and fry until brown and crisp. Fry in batches if necessary. Drain well on paper towels.
  5. Serve immediately.

Note: Makes 4 to 5 servings. Remember, the larger the okra pod, the tougher it will be, so choose small pods if you're using fresh okra.

Ready in: 35 Min

Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell