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How to Make the Best Old-Fashioned Southern Fried Okra

Christy has traveled to Disney World with her family several times, and each visit gives her something new to discover.

There's nothing better than fried okra!

There's nothing better than fried okra!

My Grandmother's Fried Okra

I am fortunate to live in close proximity to my family. They live in a rural area and have large vegetable gardens every year. In the summer, I greatly benefit from the surplus in their gardens and receive several pounds of fresh-cut okra each year.

As per our reputation, here in the Deep South we fry basically everything. Ever since I was a young child, I loved fried okra. I remember my grandmother frying it in her black cast iron skillet on her gas stove when we would go for a visit. There was nothing better! We would all sneak nibbles of its crispy goodness as the okra sat cooling on the plate.

When I go to a restaurant or even try to buy okra in the store, it is always the kind with a thick layer of batter all around. Even though this is certainly edible, it is nothing compared to the way my grandmother and mother make their fried okra. Their okra was thin, lightly breaded with cornmeal, and fried to make mouthwatering crunchy bites. In my opinion, the more commercially produced fried okra just doesn't even come close!

Thankfully, my grandmother, mother, and aunts have passed down their great okra frying wisdom to me. While I am not an exceptional cook by any means, if you ask my husband if I have any dishes that I make especially well, he will say without hesitation that I do know how to fry some great okra!

My parent's garden contains a variety of veggies, including okra

My parent's garden contains a variety of veggies, including okra

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds fresh-cut okra
  • 6 cups cornmeal (approximate)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable or canola oil (approximate)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, and salt and pepper. Mix until blended.
  2. Wash the okra and then slice it thinly. Discard head and tips.
  3. Place sliced okra in a bowl and toss to coat with cornmeal mixture.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet or pan on the stovetop.
  5. Add okra to the heated oil. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until okra is well browned and has reached the desired level of crispiness. It usually takes me about 30-45 minutes to fry up a large batch.
  6. When the okra is ready, remove it with a large slotted spoon to drain grease and place it on paper towels to drain and cool.
Cornmeal mixture

Cornmeal mixture

Slicing okra

Slicing okra

Cooking Notes

  • Prep time: Slicing two to three pounds of okra can be time-consuming. Sometimes it takes me between 15 to 30 minutes. Just be aware of this so you don't underestimate your cooking prep time.
  • Okra texture: Okra is very slimy after you wash it—just something to be aware of—but this helps it to better hold the cornmeal mixture coating.
  • Amount of oil: Make sure you have enough oil in the pan to cover the okra. I usually fill the pan about one-third full with oil.
  • Oil temperature: Do not put the okra into the skillet until the oil is hot. If the okra cooks too long it will not maintain its crispy quality.
  • Caution: Be careful when placing okra in the oil and when taking it out. Do not let the hot oil splash out and burn you.
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this fried okra recipe. The amount of oil and cornmeal will vary with the amount of okra you use. If you find there is not enough cornmeal to coat the okra then just add more. Happy frying!

My daughter learning to slice the okra.

My daughter learning to slice the okra.

Comments

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thanks misterhollywood!

John Hollywood from Hollywood, CA on September 06, 2014:

Thanks for the great recipe!!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

DealForALiving, thank you!

Read More From Delishably

Nick Deal from Earth on September 06, 2014:

A great hub that makes me hungry. Congrats on HOTD!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thanks for your comment Rota! I have never had okra like you describe so I might like that too:)

Rota on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra done Indian style with spices added. Never had it with cornmeal though...great idea to try next time

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thank you MsDora!! It is so fun and encouraging to have a HOTD for the first time and get to interact more with the Hubpages community! I hope you like the recipe if you try it!:)

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 06, 2014:

Congratulations on your HOTD accolade! Never fried okra myself, but I enjoy. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I might try it.

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thanks for your feedback mySucess8!

mySuccess8 on September 06, 2014:

I love to eat okra, but have never eaten it this way. Delicious-looking alternative to cooking okra, thanks for the simple and clear guide!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thanks jtrader! Fried okra does make just a great snack too!:)

jtrader on September 06, 2014:

Thanks for sharig your recipe. That should be a nice side dish or snack.

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Thank you, Linda BookLady! I hope you get some fresh okra before too long and enjoy the recipe!

Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra... cooked just like this. Thanks for the recipe. I will look at this again next time I'm lucky enough to get some fresh okra.

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@ThatMommyBlogger, thank you!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

Marlene B, thank you! It is my favorite too!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@erorantes, thank you! I appreciate your comment!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@SusanDeppner, thank you! And, I agree about the breading!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@Bobbi Purvis, thank you! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@Thelma Alberts, Thank you! Hope you get to try some fried okra too one day!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@moonlake, I am sorry you don't have much access to okra! Hope you get to have some soon! Thank you for your comment!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@cheeluarv Thank you!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@rebeccamealey, thanks for the comment! That is great to know about the cholesterol! Maybe that will negate any health negatives from the frying!:)

Missy from The Midwest on September 06, 2014:

Yummy! These look delicious.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on September 06, 2014:

My absolutely favorite veggie is fried okra. Excellent recipe. Congratulations on receiving Hub of the Day.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on September 06, 2014:

Congratulations on your easy recepy about the fry okra. It looks delicious. I like it how you dust it with the cornmeal mixture. Thank you for sharing your way of cooking miss Cpaldridge.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra when you actually taste the okra, not just the thick breading. Your recipe sounds perfect and is making me very hungry. Congratulations on HOTD honors!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra also, and GOOD NEWS...I read a list of cholesterol reducing foods the other day and okra was on it.

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@pawpawwrites, my parent's did have a good crop this year! I am glad you enjoyed the photo! Hope you get a chance to plant some next year!:)

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@Linda Smith, hope you get some good fried okra soon! Thank you for your comment!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@Lisa Keating, Thank you for your comment. I don't use any dipping sauces myself, but I have seen the okra with the thicker batter served as an appetizer at restaurants with ranch as a dipping sauce.

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@brittpinkie, thank you for your comment! Hope you liked your first fried okra!:)

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on September 06, 2014:

@gmwilliams Thank you for your comment! I am glad my hub could bring back some good memories!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 06, 2014:

Hi,

I am going to try your recipe as soon as I find any fresh okra. It is great to have a new member to share with us. I have a recipe blog and I have not share any of my recipes here yet.

Have a great weekend.

Bobbi Purvis

Thelma Alberts from Germany on September 06, 2014:

I have not eaten fried okra, yet. I have always eaten it in stir fry food. Congratulations on the HOTD! Thanks for sharing.

moonlake from America on September 06, 2014:

Love fried okra. We can't grow it here. I rarely get fresh okra I miss having it.

cheeluarv from INDIA on September 06, 2014:

Looks crisp,fresh, Yummy! Thanks for sharing your secret recipe for best fried Okra. Congrats on HOTD.

Jim from Kansas on September 06, 2014:

Didn't plant any this year, but it makes me want to plant some next year. I love the photo of your parents garden. That would produce a plenty.

LindaSmith1 from USA on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra, but haven't eaten it in years.

LisaKeating on September 06, 2014:

I love fried okra but it is hard to find it well made. Often it is either over-breaded, or too slimy. I would love to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing. By the way, do you use any dipping sauces or just eat it straight?

Brittany Brown from Sydney, Australia on September 06, 2014:

I just had fried okra for the first time today! I'll have to tell my friend about this recipe! :)

Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on September 06, 2014:

This hub brought very fond memories of visiting my maternal grandmother in South Carolina. Fried okra was an integral part of the family meal. My mother also made delicious fried okra. Great hub, voted up!

Christy Aldridge (author) from MS on August 24, 2014:

Thank you for your comment! Hope you get to try to some good fried okra one day! Some people like boiled okra as well, but I am only a fan of the fried version!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on August 24, 2014:

Okra is not a veggie I eat a lot of. Your recipe sounds and looks good and coming from a real southerner I bet this is tasty. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us and explaining what okra is.

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