Who doesn’t love fried okra? Seriously, in nearly five years of food blogging I can’t believe I haven’t shared a fried okra story. I guess it’s because I assumed everyone has a favorite way to fry okra. I don’t have a recipe written down, but my version historically involved flour, buttermilk, cornmeal and oil for frying. When the first few pods of okra showed up in our Tecolote Farms basket this week, I knew I had to come up with a marginally healthy way to fry ’em up. I pared it down to the essentials and guess what? Either our palates have changed significantly since our last fried okra fest, or we truly didn’t miss the flour and dairy. All I can say is no matter how you fry okra it’s just plain YUM.
Try this simple version. It’s light on ingredients and the distinct flavor of the okra is allowed to star the show. I keep the pods whole with just the spiky ends trimmed. It keeps the notorious okra slime in check and you get a fuller bite.
Note: We only had a small amount of okra this week. Probably two handfuls. The quantities I’ve listed below are not hard fast. If you need another egg add it, likewise with cornmeal and oil.
Cornmeal Fried Okra
okra, washed and ends trimmed
1 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free)
coarse sea salt
Wash and trim the okra. Pat dry.
In a frying pan, cast iron is best, add enough oil to float the okra. Heat over medium-high flame.
In a small shallow bowl whisk the egg until lightly beaten. Add the okra and toss to coat. Pour cornmeal into a shallow dish. Dredge the okra in the cornmeal until each piece is generously covered.
Gently place okra into hot oil with a spatula. Fry until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove okra with a slotted spatula to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
For another delicious way to enjoy okra, read Martha Washington’s recipe.