Now that we live in Texas, fresh okra is a lot more easy to find at the grocery store.
This makes Dustin very happy, which makes me happy. Dustin absolutely loves the stuff. And, we have learned, Jordan can’t get enough okra either.
It’s really cute to watch them both gobble it down together. Like father, like daughter. 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?
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.
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.
Cornmeal Fried Okra
1 1/2 pints (3 cups) fresh okra pods
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to coat and taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more to coat and taste
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying
Wash and drain the okra pods. Cut off the tips and stems of each okra pod. Slice each pod into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle slices with kosher salt and pepper.
Combine cornmeal, flour, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large, shallow dish. Add okra slices, in batches, and toss to coat.
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.