Fried Okra

Fried Okra
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fresh fried okra
Yum! Fried okra!

As you saw last week, we’ve started to get okra in our CSA share. Yum! We just happen to love okra, and our favorite way to have it is fried. Hence, the first share of okra (and probably the majority of the shares) ends up in the hot skillet. We mentioned previously that some people don’t like okra because of its slimy texture, but, as you’ll see when you make up this fried okra, no slime.

The batter we use is one that we made up through trial and error. We started with mostly cornmeal, but that was always too gritty, so we tried flour. Nope, that turns out too gummy. We finally found that equal amounts of flour and cornmeal are just right for pan frying. Yep, we don’t really deep fry the okra, we pan fry it. Less oil, and less trouble, which means we’ll fry more okra.

Fried Okra

Fried Okra


  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground red chili peppers
  • 1/4 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 pound okra, sliced
  • oil for frying

Abbreviated Instructions

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.

Add egg and buttermilk and stir until blended.

Heat 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet on medium until it shimmers.

Add okra to batter, stir to coat, then, using a fork, pick out okra pieces and drop into skillet.

Fry about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Remove with slotted spoon and serve immediately.

Ingredient discussion:

In the photos below, we used whole wheat flour. All-purpose will work, too. Of course, we made the buttermilk, and the red chili powder, too. Both really easy and well worth the effort (almost none). You know how we feel about eggs, so let’s skip that one this time.

Procedure in detail:

dry ingredients
We kept the dry ingredient separate for the photo, but you’ll want to mix them together.

Combine dry ingredients. We use a shallow bowl for this since we’ll be scooping out the okra slices later. It makes it a bit easier. So, in your shallow bowl, measure out flour, salt, cornmeal, pepper, red pepper, and celery seeds. Or estimate the amounts if you feel comfortable doing so. Then stir everything together.

adding egg and buttermilk
Add the egg and buttermilk. Simple, huh?

Add liquid ingredients. Now, crack an egg into the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk, and stir it all together until you have a thick batter. Set aside.

okra batter
Your batter is ready; it can sit for a few minutes while you heat the oil.


Heat oil. Pour oil into a large heavy skillet (cast iron works great) until it’s about 1/4 inch deep. Then, place the skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers.

coating okra
We always just dump all the okra slices into the batter. For the amount we make, it works well.

Batter okra. Put the okra into the batter and stir around until coated.

battered okra
Now the okra is ready to hit the pan.



frying okra
Try to keep the okra pieces separate at first. Once the batter fries a bit, it won’t stick together and you can shake the okra closer together to add more.

Fry. Using a fork (and you fingers, if needed), remove pieces of okra one by one and place in the hot oil, making sure that they don’t touch at first. After they fry for a minute or so, you can shake them to one side of the pan and add more. After the okra has fried for a few minutes, turn with a slotted spoon and allow the other side to fry. Altogether, it should take 5 to 7 minutes for the okra to become a crisp golden brown.

fresh fried okra
Yum! Fresh fried okra. What could be better?

Serve. Remove the fried okra with a slotted spoon and serve immediately. See, no slime.

Fried okra is probably one of our favorite summertime treats, and, making it this way is relatively quick and easy. We can go from raw okra right from the fridge to fried okra in the bowl in about 30 minutes, and, by using a cast iron pan, clean-up is minimal. What’s not to like? And, while we have a couple of other batter recipes that we might like to try, this one is so easy and tasty, we pretty much use it every time. Five stars, without a doubt.

Worth the trouble?

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