This Southern-fried okra recipe uses nuggets of fresh okra that are dipped in a spicy buttermilk mixture, dredged in cornmeal, flour, and breadcrumbs, then fried until crisp and golden.
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They’re addictive and you can’t stop popping them into your mouth. There’s a reason Southern-fried okra is referred to as the ‘popcorn of the South’.
I like to serve them with Crunchy Batter-fried Cod, Cornbread Salad, Coleslaw, and Hushpuppies for a meal that is rich, delicious, and very, very Southern. Wash it down with a pitcher of Florida Hurricane Cocktails.
WHAT IS OKRA?
Okra is a long, slender seed pod that is considered a fruit. It is covered with peach fuzz and has a slimy gel substance in the flesh when cut. The flavor is mild and almost grassy.
Washing rids the okra of the fuzz and cooking the okra tames the slimy texture. It’s originated in Ethiopia and was brought to the States with the slaves. It’s become a Southern staple and is a popular ingredient in gumbo. It also makes a wonderful side dish when stewed, baked, or fried.
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- Okra. Fresh works best, but frozen will work in a pinch. Look for fresh okra that is bright green and firm. If using frozen, thaw it and dry on paper towels.
- Buttermilk, hot sauce, and an egg. This will add a tang and a bit of heat, and act as the glue to ‘stick’ the coating to the sliced okra.
- Flour, cornmeal, and bread crumbs bring the crunchy coating.
- Salt, garlic herb seasoning, salt, and pepper for tons of flavor
- Oil for frying. Use canola, peanut, or vegetable oil.
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6
This Southern-Fried okra is a delicious crunchy side dish that your whole family will love.
3 cups sliced fresh okra
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Crystal brand)
½ cup flour
½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic herb seasoning
½ teaspoon black pepper
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Place the okra in a single layer on paper towels. Pat the tops with additional paper towels.
Stir together the buttermilk, beaten egg, and hot sauce in a shallow bowl.
In a large paper bag, shake together the flour, bread crumbs, cornmeal, salt, garlic-herb seasoning, and pepper.
Dip the okra in the buttermilk mixture. Scoop out a handful with your hands and allow excess to drain off.
Place the okra into the bag of cornmeal mixture and shake to coat fully on all sides.
Shake off excess and place on a plate. Set aside.
In a Dutch oven or deep-fat fryer, heat 2-inches of oil to 375 degrees. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil.
Use a spider to lower some of the okra into the fat. Cook for 1 ½-2 ½ minutes on each side until golden on all sides.
Use the spider to scoop out the okra. Place paper towels to drain.
Season while hot with salt and pepper.
Repeat with remaining okra.
Serve warm with ranch dressing, hot sauce, or ketchup.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Fry
- Cuisine: Southern
Keywords: Southern-fried okra, okra recipes, Southern food, vegetables, fried foods, side dish, fried vegetables
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