Fried Okra

Fried Okra

Fried Okra is a dish that is very popular where I live. You might call breaded fried okra a Southern staple. It is a wonderful way to serve this vegetable. I know you are going to love this Southern fried okra recipe, I will show you how to fry okra like a pro!

overhead view of fried okra on parchment paper

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Pan Fried Okra with Cornmeal

Okra is one of those things that normally is in the background and served as a side dish. With this crispy fried okra recipe, you can make it the start of the show, the perfect appetizer.

Why This is the Best Recipe for Fried Okra!

We start with raw okra because fresh okra has a delicious and unique flavor that isn’t matched in the frozen okra you buy. We cook this in small batches that are seasoned perfectly.

Your homemade fried okra will have a crispy coating that will make it the perfect side dish. That’s why this is the best fried okra recipe. And this Southern fried okra is a favorite of my family.

What Exactly Does Okra Taste Like? 

Honestly, okra is in a world of its own when it comes to vegetables. It has a very distinct sweet grassy flavor. I know you don’t hear that description often and may put you off, but don’t let it. It is delicious in this crispy fried okra recipe.

To ease you a little bit, some people do compare the taste of okra to green beans or even eggplant. The thing that makes okra distinct is its slimy texture. But when it’s cooked it becomes crunchy and delicious!

What is Fried Okra Made of?

Frying things is a lot easier than you think. You can make this recipe for fried okra with a lot of what you already have in your pantry. Here are the ingredients you will need for frying okra:

  • Okra
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Egg
  • Cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil
fried okra ingredients

How to Make Fried Okra

  1. Wash okra and cut it into 3/8 inch slices.
cut pieces of okra in a bowl
  1. Place flour, paprika, chili powder, garlic salt, and onion salt in a small bowl.
flour and seasonings for fried okra in a bowl
  1. In a large bowl stir flour and seasonings until well blended.
  2. Place sliced okra into the seasoned flour mixture and stir to coat the okra with flour.
  3. Beat two eggs in a medium bowl.
  4. Place the corn meal in a shallow dish.
  5. Dip okra into the flour-coated okra into the egg mixture Stir to coat okra with egg wash.
  6. Drop wet okra into cornmeal. Toss to coat the okra with cornmeal mixture. Shake off excess.
cornmeal breaded okra
  1. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet (or other heavy skillet) over medium-high heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place breaded okra in the hot oil in the skillet, I love to use a cast-iron skillet, or a dutch oven, they seem to keep a more uniform temperature.
  3. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on one side or until golden brown.
  4. Flip the okra with a slotted spoon to cook until browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the okra from the skillet and drain it on paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle it with salt while it is still warm.
southern fried okra on parchment paper

Pan Fried Okra

Frying okra in a pan or skillet is the best way to get it crispy. And Southern fried okra needs to have a certain crispness in order to be just right.

How do you make fried okra not slimy? 

Okra is one of those vegetables that can be a little difficult to cook and get the texture that you want, or better yet want to avoid. Okra can seem a little slimy when it is cooked. 

There are two ways you can avoid this. 

  1. Soaking the Okra – If you soak the okra in white vinegar for about 30 minutes before you need to cook it, it helps cut down on the slimy texture. Just be sure to pat down the okra as best you can to cut down on the vinegar taste that can be leftover from soaking it.
  2. Less is More – It is said that if you cut the okra less, you avoid having more of the mucilage released which is what makes it slimy. The more cuts you make the more mucilage is exposed. So, if you want, cut the okra into larger pieces, and in return, the okra will be less slimy. If you happen to get some of the smaller pods you could fry those whole if you desire.

Try one or both of these methods to achieve the best results when it comes to making okra for any recipe. 

How to Make Fried Okra Crispy

Okra can tend to be a little bit tricky to cook. Here are 3 tips on how to fry okra so it’s crispy:

The first tip is to use fresh okra. If you use frozen okra, it will have been exposed to more moisture and that is not what you want for frying vegetables. So, the fresher the better!

My second tip is to make sure to extensively dry the okra before anything! Leaving any moisture on the okra will give way for the slime to build up around the okra while cooking. Pat the okra down one, maybe two times to be sure that there is no water left on the freshly washed okra. 

My third tip, make sure your oil is hot enough! If the oil you are frying the okra in is not hot enough, you will end up cooking it for longer to make sure it is done. You may want to use a deep-fry thermometer to make sure your oil is hot enough. When you cook the okra extra long, it will begin to absorb some of the oil into the breading, which will also cause a soggier piece of fried okra.

Recipe Variations

You may want to change the seasoning blend a bit. You may want to add some garlic powder, or even some cayenne pepper to the recipe to change the flavor. Both work well.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Fried Okra

Once the okra has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

I like to reheat my okra in an air fryer. I reheat for about five minutes at 350°F.

If you do not have an air fryer, the oven is my second favorite. Spread it out on a baking sheet. Reheat at 350°F for about 8 to 10 minutes. Reheating in an oven means you enjoy crispy okra the second time!

a basket of fried okra

Love fried vegetables? Try these recipes!

Check out more of my easy side dish recipes and the best vegetarian recipes on CopyKat!

overhead view of fried okra on parchment paper

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Fried Okra

You can make crispy southern fried okra from scratch. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Fried Okra, Okra
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 205kcal

Equipment

  • Deep fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Wash okra and cut it into 3/8 inch slices.
  • Place flour, paprika, chili powder, garlic salt and onion salt in a small bowl.
  • Stir flour and seasonings until well blended.
  • Drop cut okra into the seasoned flour.
  • Beat two eggs in another bowl.
  • Drop flour coated okra into beaten eggs. Stir to coat okra with eggs.
  • Place cornmeal in another bowl.
  • Drop wet okra into cornmeal. Toss to coat the okra with cornmeal. Shake off excess cornmeal.
  • Heat a skillet with about ½-inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • When the oil is heated to 375 degrees, place breaded okra in the skillet.
  • Cook the okra for 1 to 2 minutes on one side or until browned.
  • Rotate and flip the okra to cook until browned on all sides.
  • Remove the okra from skillet with a slotted spatula or spoon.
  • Drain the fried okra on paper towels.
  • Season it with salt while it is still warm.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 707mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 17.4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.3mg

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