Fried okra is a popular dish here in the South and makes a wonderful accompaniment to fried catfish or chicken. That’s the way we eat it, anyway. Fried okra is good on its own, if you ask me–or my son. It’s his favorite. Lacy’s, too. If you don’t know who she is, she’s a character in my Ladd Springs series who makes her debut in Book #2, Ladd Fortune. It’s a novel filled with family feuds and cozy mystery, plus a dash of romance (PG-13) and features Fran’s Diner, the place in town for old-fashioned home-cooking. 😉 BTW, recipes can be found in the back of each and every one of my novels.
This dish is easy to make using fresh-picked okra or frozen. The “batter” and method of cooking can also be applied to catfish or chicken. Get crazy, if you want, but do try it. Your taste buds will thank you!
1 lb. fresh okra (frozen and thawed or fresh-picked from the garden)
2 cups yellow cornmeal (optional to divide between 1 cup flour & 1 cup cornmeal)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 inch vegetable oil in pan (bacon fat can be used for added flavor)
Trim okra by snipping off ends and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. In large bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg or simply fill with buttermilk. Toss okra in buttermilk and allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Mix cornmeal, salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat oil in cast iron skillet on medium to medium-high heat, depending on your stove. When hot, dredge okra in cornmeal, coating well, then cook okra until golden brown, careful not to crowd okra in pan. Cover a plate with paper towels and use to drain oil from cooked okra. Serve warm. Warning: You’ll probably have to swat a few hands from snatching these beauties before suppertime!
***Oil will be ready when test piece bubbles immediately.