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 and Savannah can’t get enough okra either.
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?
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.
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.
- 1 1/2 pints fresh okra pods 3 cups
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 3 tbsp olive oil
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, chickpea 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.
When oil is hot, add okra (after shaking off excess cornmeal mixture), in batches. You will likely have 4-5 batches.
Cook okra until golden brown on all sides (about 4-6 minutes), flipping over and/or stirring in the oil frequently.
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30 thoughts on “Cornmeal Fried Okra”
Thanks for sharing this okra recipe. It is very close to what my grandmother (Mammaw) use to fix but she would add some small potato slices. Very yummy!
Question: Can regular flour be substituted for the chickpea flour? I’ve used only cornmeal in the past so I want to try it your way with some flour. I also throw in some onion. Love this stuff!!
I’ve been eating okra my entire life. Okra has a very delicate, almost nut-like flavor. Breaded okra tastes likes like breading. So here is my recipe:
Skip the breading.
Start by sautéing the onion or shallot in olive oil, or oil of your choice.
If you want mushrooms, saute them with the onion.
When onion is tender, add sliced okra & chopped garlic if desired.
Sautee 3 minutes.
Other options: use bacon fat or duck fat rather than oil. Try other veggies – chopped red bell pepper, peas. Add finished okra to yellow rice.
Once breaded can they be frozen to fry up later?
I love these so much we should totally grow our okra again and make these with the chili dogs 🙂
I was born in NC and raised in Georgia. THIS is how you’re supposed to make fried okra! Thanks for posting!
Woohoo! I’m so glad you agree with the recipe 🙂
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.
Yay! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
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.
I am cooking some right now with my dad’s fresh okra! this and gumbo are the only way I like okra. My sisters love it just smothered with onions- basically the same recipe, just no cornmeal. That and a roux is how you start gumbo.
Oh, interesting…I somehow have NEVER tried gumbo! lol
Thanks for the tips, Polly!
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!
Oh, you’re in for a treat! Make sure to pick the okra before it gets too large so it stays nice and tender 🙂
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
Where on the east coast can’t you find good fresh okra? I’m SE and it’s abundant right now. Look for a farmer’s market, and if you have access to a community farm program (or even a day trip into the country) you should be able to find.
lol – that’s cool! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Yes, we have a good amount of it out here in Texas. I’m glad you can at least get it frozen out there.
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!
That’s so cool – I totally agree 🙂
Will this recipe work well with frozen okra? Unfortunately, fresh okra isn’t as readily avaliable on the east coast 🙂
It should – just make sure the fried okra isn’t already battered.
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.
Hi Gary! You are very welcome. I’m glad my recipe helped you out. 🙂
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 🙂
Yay for searches! 🙂 I’m so happy you like my site — welcome! I’d love to know how the okra turns out for you.
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.
Glad I could help! 🙂
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!
Ooh, now I’m gonna have to try that with some tomatoes this summer! Sounds tasty 🙂
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