This fried okra recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser – even for folks who typically don’t care for okra! The secret to making this Southern classic more of a universal favorite is the dredge. It packs a big burst of flavor that compliments the earthy “greenness” of the okra. It’s also great with most every vegetable from your garden – which you would consider frying, of course. Slicing the okra thin also keeps the “gooeyness” to a minimum. Enjoy! Yields approximately 4 servings.
For the Dredge:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 pound fresh okra
Oil for frying
1. Mix together dredge and set aside.
2. Cut okra to ¼-inch slices (or as thick as you like).
3. Add oil to your pan for frying. You can either pan-fry, for which you would only add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, or you can deep-fry, for which you would add at least a few inches. Pan-frying will require you to add oil in between batches. If you go the deep-frying route, a thermometer may be helpful to keep the oil at the right temperature. Heat your pan to 350 F or until the oil begins to ripple.
4. Drop your okra pieces in the dredge right before you’re ready to fry them. Make sure all sides are fully coated. The liquid in the okra itself will be enough to make the dredge adhere.
5. Fry until your okra turns a nice golden brown. Depending on your pan size, you may need to fry in batches. It’s never a good idea to overcrowd a frying pan since your vegetables will steam rather than fry, and thus won’t achieve that delicious brownness.
6. When done, remove from oil with slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.