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frying Southern
 Fried Okra Recipe-13624

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Prepared well, fried okra embodies the flavors of a primal southern garden. The problem is that most commercial establishments go too heavy on the breading and cook way too much at a time, which keeps the okra from getting crisp on the outside and tender inside. But at home, with a big cast-iron skillet, and no more than six to eight hungry mouths to feed, you’ll be able to cook up a perfect batch. Although larger okra is sold “for frying,” I prefer the flavor and texture of the smaller pods.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish


  • 2 pounds small okra, stem ends trimmed, sliced into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil or lard, or as needed


Place the okra in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes to crisp; drain and pat dry.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan. Transfer the okra to a large bowl and toss with the buttermilk. Lift the okra out with a slotted spoon and place in the pan of cornmeal, tossing it around to lightly coat. Transfer the okra to a rack set over a baking sheet.

In a large deep cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat ¾ cup of the oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add just enough okra to cover the bottom of the skillet in a single layer, without crowding, lower the heat to medium, and cook until golden and crusty on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Turn and cook, tossing the okra once or twice, until well colored and crisp on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in a low oven while you continue to cook the okra in batches, adding the remaining oil as needed. Dig in while the okra is warm!

© 2004 Frank Stitt

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 8.

251kcal (13%)
111mg (11%)
24mg (40%)
23mcg RAE (1%)
1mg (0%)
317mg (13%)
1g (6%)
15g (24%)
2mg (9%)

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