white bowl with black rim filled with golden crispy southern fried okra sitting on top of glass tabletop
Appetizers, Sides

Crispy Southern Fried Okra

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Fried okra was not on the menu for this week, but they had so much for sale at the Farmers Market. I couldn’t resist. These golden, crispy okra are completely addicting, and make for a perfect appetizer or side dish. I love to fry up a fresh batch when we have company at the house. I feel like it is not something you get to eat very often so it feels special, and my friends are always excited for something different.

This recipe is way too easy not to share. If you make it like I do, you only need one bowl! It is so fast, and the clean up is easy. Well, theoretically, it should be easy. Dylan did spill peanut oil all over me last night when trying to pour it back into its bottle. I’m not entirely sure that it wasn’t intentional, but it made us both laugh. I always reuse my oil a couple of times for frying. I normally just put a funnel in the oil bottle and cover that with a small sieve to strain out the fried bits as it is poured back in (after it has completely cooled of course). You definitely don’t have to save the oil though, just be sure it doesn’t go down your sink!

You can see in the recipe picture that my fried okra aren’t uniformly coated, but I actually prefer it that way! I think it tastes a little lighter and let’s more of that fresh okra flavor shine through. If you are looking for a more uniform coating, you can soak the okra in the egg/buttermilk mixture, then roll each piece individually in a mixture of the flour, cornmeal and seasonings on a separate dish.

Preparing The Okra

When frying okra (or most any other food), I bring the oil temperature to 350 degrees over medium heat. As you add food to the oil, the temperature drops quickly, so you have to turn the burner up a bit to maintain the heat. Keep a digital thermometer close by so you can keep an eye on things. The cooking time can vary greatly, so it is best to watch closely.

When you add the okra to the oil, they have a tendency to clump together. Make sure you break up the clumps to allow each individual piece to cook separately. I do this with my tongs. When they have cooked for a couple of minutes on the first side, grab as many as you can with your tongs to flip. Continue to cook until they have reached a nice golden brown on both sides. It is ok to flip them several times, just make sure you don’t disturb them too frequently. One final thing about making this okra. I always have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen if I am frying with large amounts of hot oil. I’ve never had a fire, but better to stay safe!

Side Note

As a total side note, I REALLY want commit to buying more local produce in the next year. I have been saying that for a while so I am hoping that by posting it on the blog, I will get myself in gear. 2021 will be the year of the farmers market. Keep me honest!

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white bowl with black rim filled with golden crispy southern fried okra sitting on top of glass tabletop

Crispy Southern Fried Okra


  • Author: Katelyn
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x

Description

Fresh okra fried to crispy golden perfection. A fast and easy appetizer or side dish that is perfect for any party. Every addictive bite transports you right to the South!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups okra, sliced into rounds 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (your preference)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 
  • peanut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a medium sized bowl. 
  2. Add the sliced okra and stir to thoroughly coat.
    steel mixing bowl filled with sliced okra covered with egg and buttermilk mixture with spoon in bowl
  3. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and cayenne to the okra and toss to combine. 
  4. Heat peanut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium high heat until oil temperature reaches 350 degrees. Oil should be about 1/2 inch deep in the pan. 
  5. Add the okra to the hot oil in batches. Break it up with steel tongs as you add it to keep it all from clumping together. 
    Cast iron skillet filled with hot peanut oil frying golden crispy southern fried okra
  6. Cook it for a few minutes per side until golden brown. When flipping, grab as many pieces as you can at one time using tongs. 
  7. Once golden in color, remove the okra to a cooling rack for a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then enjoy!

Notes

  • This okra will be best served hot and fresh. Dig in as soon as it is cool enough to handle! 
  • Always make sure to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen when you are frying with hot oil. Not to scare you, just to be cautious!
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: fried okra, southern, crispy, fried, appetizer, side dish

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2 Comments

  1. I can attest that yours is the best fried okra I’ve ever had and Matt agrees.

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