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dish buzz: fall’s best produce… fried okra

Posted Friday, October 8th, 2010 at 1:00 am by Lara in Social Bees. More in 10012

Lara also is founder and editor of Grits in the City

Have you ever had fried okra? A lot of people I’ve met here (AKA non-Southerners) have never had it. Many never have seen it. Some proof includes this display at a local grocer. Tomatillo? Not quite… but good try there. Sometimes you can find it frozen at the grocery store, but it’s just not the same as making it with fresh okra. I was very excited to find many of the vendors at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday. What a perfect surprise. So what, you ask, do you do with it? Well, I like it lightly breaded. In the South, sometimes you can even find it in the freezer section pre-breaded. Meh. Not a fan. Breading is too heavy. If it’s going to be breaded, I’m picky. So, here’s how you can do it. And it’s easy enough that even I can do it and do it quickly, with minimal mess in my matching minimal kitchen. I started with a little over 1/4 pound of okra (I wanted a large serving for one meal).

Wash the okra, and cut off the ends of each piece.

Cut the okra into slices of about 0.5? and put the pieces into a bag filled half with cornmeal and half with flour

Toss the pieces around until they are coated with a solid layer of the cornmeal/flour mixture.

Place a thin layer of oil (I used canola) in the bottom of a frying pan. Put the okra in the pan over medium/medium-high heat, flipping periodically.

The okra is done when it’s a light golden brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. I usually (liberally) apply freshly ground pepper. Best served hot. My absolute favorite. Pairs nicely with candy corn!

Anyone else have any okra recipe favorites? Next up, I’m trying a baked okra dish…

Check out my friend Sarah’s post on her okra cooking. Red okra? Color me intrigued!

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