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