Cornmeal Fried Okra

Cornmeal Fried Okra

Now that we live in Texas, fresh okra is a lot more easy to find at the grocery store.
Cornmeal Fried Okra

This makes Dustin very happy, which makes me happy. Dustin absolutely loves the stuff.  And, we have learned, Jordan and Savannah can’t get enough okra either.

Cornmeal Fried OkraCornmeal Fried Okra

It’s really cute to watch them all gobble it down together. Like father, like daughters.

This also makes me happy.

For those of you who may not be familiar with okra, it has a light, delicate flavor with a bit of a peppery kick and can be a little slimy.  I often compare it to cactus in texture, if that helps at all.

Okra is often offered at restaurants as a side and is usually fried.  I find restaurants fry their okra in an egg and flour batter, which surprises me because I find it so much better with a just a simple cornmeal mixture.

Using cornmeal instead of a heavy batter allows for more of the okra flavor to get through and keeps it more healthy. Why not, right?

Cornmeal Fried Okra

Enjoy some fried okra along with your next barbecue or steak.  It makes an easy, tasty side and is a nice change from the usual options.

Or, if you’re anything like Dustin, you’ll absolutely love this side with some Chili Cheese Dogs with Homemade Chili.  It’s his favorite meal.

Cornmeal Fried Okra

Feel free to add some cayenne pepper or other Cajun seasoning to increase the heat, but we like it nice and simple.

Word to the wise when buying okra: Try to stay away from the larger pods, as they tend to be more woody in texture.

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If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

Cornmeal Fried Okra
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This fried okra recipe uses cornmeal instead of a heavy batter which allows for more of the okra flavor to get through and keeps it more healthy.
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4
  • 1½ pints (3 cups) fresh okra pods
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to coat and taste
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to coat and taste
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (can sub chickpea flour for GF)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Wash and drain the okra pods. Cut off the tips and stems of each okra pod. Slice each pod into ¼-inch slices. Sprinkle slices with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, ½ tsp. kosher salt and ¼ tsp. pepper in a large, shallow dish. Add okra slices, in batches, and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (you may also use a deep fryer, if you prefer). Pour enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is hot, add okra (after shaking off excess cornmeal mixture), in batches. You will likely have 4-5 batches. Fry okra until golden brown on all sides (about 4-6 minutes), flipping over and/or stirring in the oil frequently. Remove from pan and let drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Season to taste.

This post was last updated on August 14, 2015 to include new images and a recipe video.
This post contains affiliate links for product(s) I recommend.


  1. says

    First time using okra.From NY and never had it.Just moved down south and finding a whole new world of foods.Will be doing it tonight.Thanks for your recipe.

  2. Polly says

    You are right on with your recipe! It also works to cook the okra in the pan first, then throw in the cornmeal! Also, if you turn too much too soon, you will knock off all the cornmeal! Sometimes I put chopped onion in too.

  3. says

    I am growing okra in my garden for the first time this year. Before now, I have only had fried okra. But I am going to harvest some tonight and try this recipe. I can’t wait to begin exploring all that can be done with okra. This recipe looks fantastic!

  4. Kandy says

    I love fried okra cooked just like this. I have also used the frozen and cut it up because you can never get really good fresh okra on the east coast. Love your website

  5. Risa says

    Thanks so much for your recipe! This is how my mom has always made fried okra and I, too, believe it to be much better than the kind that is completely covered in batter. There is nothing better in the world than a meal of fried okra, cole slaw, and green beans. I could live off this all summer long!

  6. Gary says

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I have been anti-okra all of my life, but about 6 years ago was invited to someone’s home after church and all they served was undressed spaghetti, a tossed salad, and a huge skillet of cornmeal fried okra! Her’s was similar to yours except she started with sauteed onions & after the okra was well on its way to cooking, she threw in a 1/2 cup of cornmeal! After running into your site, I was inspired to buy some local okra and give it a try.
    I used the onions, but didn’t have the courage to throw in the cornmeal! But it was a hit! Both of my daughters and two out-of-three grand-kids voted that I prepare cornmeal fried okra any time! Thanks. I’ll be sampling many more of your beautiful dishes! Thanx.

  7. says

    I just found your site through a search for the best way to fry okra. I’m about to try this way right now. I love your site! It’s well designed and your pictures are beautiful! I’m always looking for new food blogs :)

  8. says

    I love all of this fried okra. In fact I am loving most of the food out here in general. I am glad you found a way to make it super tasty and a little better for me.

  9. says

    Oh, my. Add some sliced heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with kosher salt, and you’ve got my favorite summer meal – fried okra and fresh tomatoes. Mmm, mmm good!

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