|Sliced okra is dipped in buttermilk and then dredged in a lightly seasoned mixture of cornmeal and flour, then deep fried to crispy perfection.|
Southern Deep Fried OkraI have been asked several times how I do my fried okra, so I've finally gotten around to picking some up and cookin' it. Oh the sacrifice.
We use okra a lot down here in the Deep South where gumbo is king, as a thickening agent. I believe that and boiled - yes, with that gooey, buttery, slime and all - are the only two ways that my Mama ever used okra when I was growin' up.
Me, I love okra cooked up just about any way you can think of - stewed down with fresh garden tomatoes and sweet onion, roasted crispy or pan fried, plain with a just bit of olive oil and seasonings, and yes, that steamed or boiled okra, tossed with butter and salt version, and most certainly, fried. It's hard to keep up with them coming out of the fryer because everybody wants to just grab them up!
Fried okra is another one of those fried foods that I prefer to deep fry over pan frying. Deep fried foods absorb much less oil and produces that crispy end product that I love. Despite the fact that we do fry a lot of things in the south, I just do not do greasy. I also don't care as much for the classic version of skillet fried okra simply passed through cornmeal, so I run them through a bit of buttermilk tinged with a bit of hot sauce first.
Okra not in season? Grab a bag of precut okra from the freezer section! Excellent as a side dish, alone as a snack, and really good as a salad topper, or try it dipped in some yummy Comeback Sauce.
Here's how I make my deep fried okra. Enjoy!
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Recipe: Southern Deep Fried Okra©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1 pound of okra
- 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons of hot sauce, optional
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups of self rising flour
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
- Deep fryer and fresh vegetable or canola oil
Preheat the fryer to 375 degrees F, or if using a skillet heat the oil.
Cut the okra either into 1/2 inch slices or lengthwise; set aside. Whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce and egg; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal with the flour, salt and Cajun seasoning.
Dip the okra into the buttermilk, let excess buttermilk drip off and then dredge in the flour mixture. Fry in batches for 3 or 4 minutes, or just until golden brown; don't overcrowd! Sprinkle with additional salt if desired; serve hot.
Cook's Notes: Substitute 2 sleeves of saltine crackers, crushed fine to a meal, for the cornmeal. You can also eliminate the flour and just use cornmeal alone if you prefer. Don't keep buttermilk on hand? Easy. Just check out this tip.
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