Okra Tempura Recipe

Cover okra in a crispy, golden batter for a satisfying snack with some crunch. This okra tempura is a great side dish option or party appetizer.

From "Smoke and Pickles"
October 2018

  • okra tempura
    Indulge in this okra tempura on its own or with a dollop of mayo and some hot sauce.
    Photo by
  • Smoke and Pickles
    “Smoke and Pickles” by Edward Lee redefines modern American food with incredible recipes and stories from a new Southern kitchen.
    Cover courtesy Artisan Books
  • okra tempura
  • Smoke and Pickles

Yield: 4-6 servings

Okra Tempura Recipe

Surrounded by a feathery light, crispy batter, okra is just soft enough to give way but still retain its crunch. This is a great side dish, appetizer, or party snack, or just an indulgent bite on a lazy afternoon. Serve it on butcher or craft paper, or on a linen napkin for a more elegant look. The rémoulade makes this a culinary treat, but in all honesty it's just as good with a dollop of Duke's mayo and some Texas Pete hot sauce. Try serving this on its own with some Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale.


  • About 4 cups corn oil for deep-frying
  • 1 pound okra, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Salt
  • Perfect Rémoulade for dipping

For the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups club soda or seltzer


To make the batter:

  1. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the egg yolks.
  3. Slowly add the club soda, whisking vigorously; the batter should have the consistency of pancake batter.
  4. Set aside.

To make the okra tempura:

  1. Pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Working in batches, dip the okra in the batter, let the excess drip off (a long wooden skewer is perfect for dipping, so you don't get your fingers covered in batter), and gently lower it into the hot oil.
  3. Fry until golden, about 2 minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with a little salt.
  5. Let the oil return to 350 degrees between batches.
  6. Serve hot, with the rémoulade for dipping.

More from Smoke and Pickles:

In Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen, Edward Lee delivers Southern cooking with an Asian twist! These recipes take a bold approach on traditional American cooking, resulting in exquisite dishes packed with amazing flavors. Readers of any culinary skill level can create flavorsome meals such as miso-smothered chicken, Kentucky-fried quail, and so much more! The following excerpt is from chapter 7, "Veggies and Charity."

Excerpted from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Grant Cornett.

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