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Easy Fried Okra Recipe

My latest culinary obsession is fried okra! I know some of you might be skeptical about this Southern classic, but trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

Fresh okra is sliced into perfect little rounds. It’s coated in a light, crispy batter, and fried until golden brown. The result is crunchy, savory bites of pure joy!

Coated fried okra on a white bowl.
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I recently whipped up a batch at home, and my kitchen smelled like heaven.


The best part about fried okra is its versatility. It pairs perfectly with any Southern-inspired meal, from gumbo to barbecue. Of course, I could easily devour an entire plate as a meal.

So, get that oil nice and hot, and whip up this amazing fried okra!

Ingredients for Fried Okra 

If you have fresh okra ready, you’re almost in business! All you need to do is gather a few pantry staples and raid the spice rack. Here’s everything you need for this fried okra recipe:

  • Fresh okra – The key to tasty okra is freshness. The fresher it is, the better it tastes. Fresh okra is bright green and firm. Start with fresh okra that’s trimmed and remove those stem ends. 
  • Buttermilk – This is a Southern recipe, so you better believe there’s buttermilk! It adds a wonderful pop of tang that goes great with the earthy notes of okra. 
  • Eggs – Room-temperature eggs help the cornmeal get into all those nooks and crannies. 
  • All-purpose flour – Adding flour to your cornmeal mixture yields a finer consistency for better frying. 
  • Yellow cornmeal – Yellow cornmeal works two jobs in this recipe. It delivers a subtle sweetness and gives the okra its fantastic crunch. It’s just not the same without it. 
  • Spices – For this spice blend, you’ll need paprika, garlic, pepper, and salt. If you’re feeling a little spicy, you can also add some cayenne pepper for a kick of heat.
  • Vegetable oil – Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, which makes it perfect for fried veggies. You can also opt for other high smoke point oils like peanut, canola, or avocado oil. 
Bunch of fried okra coated with cornmeal batte ron a white bowl.

How to Make Fried Okra 

There are a few steps to this recipe, but it’s so easy! Here’s what to do:

1. Prepare the okra. Thoroughly wash it, and then trim and cut it into 1/2-inch rounds. Set aside. 

2. Soak. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and eggs. Then, add the okra rounds and soak them for about 10 minutes. 

3. Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, garlic, paprika, black pepper, salt, and optional cayenne pepper. Stir to combine, and set aside. 

4. Get the oil ready. Heat a deep skillet with oil and bring it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Coat the okra. Remove each piece of okra from the milk bath, and dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Repeat with the remaining okra. 

6. Get frying! Very carefully, place each okra round into the hot oil, ensuring you don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until it’s golden brown. 

7. Drain and serve. Carefully remove the cooked okra from oil, and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little salt, serve, and enjoy!

Fried okra in a white bowl, towel on the side.

Tips for Success

One batch of slimy okra, and it’s game over. So, I’ve collected a few handy tips and tricks to ensure it’s crispy, crunchy, and a new family favorite. 

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  • Get out the frying thermometer. The temperature of the oil is so very important! Too hot, and your okra will taste bitter, but too cool and it will be mushy. Use a frying thermometer to achieve that perfect temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Just keep stirring! Stirring the okra in the oil prevents the pieces from sticking together. It also helps ensure each piece cooks evenly. 
  • Don’t crowd it! Adding too much too quickly will lower the temperature of the oil. When the temperature drops, the batter soaks up all that oil and will make it soggy. Work in batches if you need to. 
  • Skim it with a slotted spoon. When removing okra from the hot oil, use a slotted spoon or a spider skimmer. This will help remove a lot of the oil before drying the okra on a paper towel. 
Fried okra in a white bowl top view beside a white towel,.

How to Store 

Have leftover okra? No worries! These nuggets of perfection store well in the fridge. Here’s everything you need to know about storing fried okra. 

  • To Store: Place cooled fried okra in an air-tight container, and store in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days. 
  • To Freeze: You can freeze this recipe, but only before frying. Prepare the recipe up until the point it hits the oil. Place dredged okra on a baking sheet to flash freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag. It’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months. 
  • To Reheat: Pop it in the oven for a few minutes until heated through. You can reheat it in the microwave, but they won’t be as crispy. 
Coated fried okra in a white bowl.

What to Serve with Southern Fried Okra

Fried Chicken

Hush Puppies

Copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese Recipe

Outback Ranch Dressing

Oven Fried Pork Chops

Easy Fried Okra

Course: SidesCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Total time

35

minutes

This easy Southern-style fried okra is such a treat! It’s crispy, crunchy, and downright delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh okra, trimmed and stem ends removed

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Wash and dry the okra thoroughly. Trim the stem ends and cut them into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  • In one bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add the okra to the mixture and let it soak for about 10 minutes.
  • While the okra soaks, add the flour, cornmeal, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne, and salt to a second bowl. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven to 350°Fahrenheit (175°Celsius).
  • Remove each piece of okra from the buttermilk mixture, letting any excess drip off. Then, add them to the bowl of flour and seasonings. Coat them evenly in the dry mixture.
  • Carefully add the okra to the hot oil in batches, avoiding overcrowding. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked okra to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  • Sprinkle the okra with a little extra salt (optional) and eat while hot and crispy. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For extra crispy okra, double dip them in the buttermilk and dry mixture before frying.
  • Don’t crowd the pan while frying, as this will lower the oil temperature and make the okra soggy.
  • Use a deep-fry thermometer to ensure the oil stays at the correct temperature.
Fried Okra

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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