Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Fried Okra

Fried Okra
Susan Russo for NPR

Even the most okra-averse can't resist these fried nuggets. Enjoy them plain or splash them with hot sauce for a bit of heat. Do not substitute frozen okra, which will be too watery.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 pound fresh okra

1 cup cornmeal, medium or coarse grind

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Wash okra and pat dry. Remove tips and ends, and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg. Add okra, tossing well until coated. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain okra.

In a small bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper. Dredge okra in cornmeal mixture until completely coated.

Fill a small, deep, heavy-bottomed pan with 2 inches of canola oil. Heat to 350 degrees (if using a thermometer). Otherwise, test the oil by dropping a bit of cornmeal in it. If it sizzles and rises quickly to the top, then the oil is ready.

Fry a few pieces of okra at a time. Fry until just golden brown and floating to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place okra on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Serve immediately.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit