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Fried Okra: Delicious and Nutritious

A perfect summer treat straight from the South! This crispy fried okra, with its crunchy coating, will amaze your taste buds! Perfect as a side dish to your main dish or a simple snack to munch on.

Do you plant okra in your garden? As a born and raised Southern girl (NC to TN), okra is one of my favorite garden-fresh veggies. Each plant can produce pounds and pounds of green vegetables, so finding creative ways to use it was always necessary.

If you’re on the hunt for some healthy, simple, yet appetizing meal to make for yourself or your family, look no further because I am going to be sharing with you an effortless way to incorporate this delicious fried okra into your family’s food intake.

Okra is often overlooked and is not seen as scrumptious as other veggies, but I’m here to change your mind about that! Did you know that you can deep fry this, add some coating to the okra, and you’ll end up with a nutritious meal?

Eating healthy is so important, and to spice things up for the picky eaters at home, then you need to try this fried okra recipe now!

Okra has loads of vitamin C and is thought to help with digestion.

What are some of the benefits of okra?

  • May help manage high blood sugar. One study proved that okra seeds prevent the intestinal breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose by inhibiting the enzyme alpha-glucosidase.
  •  It may help with faster bone healing. The most abundant vitamin in okra is vitamin K.12 This vitamin helps strengthen bones and promotes the clotting of blood. Okra, thus, may help prevent osteoporosis, fractures, and excessive bleeding (due to injury or bleeding disorders)
  • May help control hunger. Loaded with soluble fibers, which keep you feeling full longer, okra may just help you reach your diet or weight loss goals.

fried okra on wooden background

How do you cook okra?

Okra is used in many applications. You can enjoy it in smoothies, soups, stir fry, and more. One of my favorite ways to enjoy okra is this southern fried dish. My mom also makes a delicious recipe using okra, tomatoes and that reminds me…she needs to share it here on the blog soon!

How do you choose the best okra in the garden or the grocery store?

Whether you are picking it fresh, buying from a farmer’s market or grocery store, try and choose smaller pods. Less than 3 inches long preferably. When they get bigger than that, they tend to get “woody” and harder to chew. The longer ones are great for freezing and using in smoothies, but they aren’t as palatable fried or in soups.

Other things to consider when cooking with okra:

  • Keep in mind that when working with fresh okra, it can tend to be slimy. There’s no way around that, but when you coat it in the batter and make this fried okra, the sliminess will go away.
  • Okra is fried in batches, and not all at once. This keeps the oil moving freely, and the okra from forming one large clump.
  • You’ll have to adjust the heat when frying.  You may want to turn the heat down just a little when the Okra is almost done, and as you’re removing it.

cutting and breading okra

Other recipes you are sure to love:

Oven Baked Bacon Wrapped Fried Pickles

Dill Pickle Dip

BBQ Chicken Legs

battering okra in silver bowls

Are you ready for the best Southern fried okra?

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 pounds of fresh okra
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking powder

Instructions:

  1. Wash the okra pods in cool water in a colander, and trim off both ends.
  2. Cut the Okra in half-inch to one-inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss with hands.
  3. In another bowl,  mix the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder, until blended.
  4. Sprinkle the Okra with the flour/cornmeal mixture, and toss until well coated. (Okra should be completely coated, if it isn’t, add a little more flour and cornmeal).   Place the Okra on a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer, and freeze for about 1 hour.
  5. In a large fryer or a large roaster, fill the fryer to the suggested line, or, fill the roaster about 1/2 way full with cooking oil.
  6. Heat oil, until hot, about 375 degrees.
  7.   Remove the Okra from the freezer, and place one piece of Okra in a frying tool, or a large slotted spoon, and lower it into the hot oil.  When the Okra floats and sizzles in the hot oil, the oil is ready.
  8. Lower the Okra into the hot oil with a frying tool, or a large slotted spoon, a few pieces at a time, until you have the fryer or roaster not quite full – you want the Okra to have enough room to fry without being crowded in the fryer.  Don’t overload your fryer or roaster.
  9. Fry the Okra until it’s golden brown, and remove to paper towels to drain.  (Frying times will vary depending on what you’re frying the Okra in, (Fryer – Roaster, cast iron skillet, etc) so just watch the color of the Okra, and when it is a golden color, remove it from the hot oil).
  10. Cool a little on paper towels, and serve.  Enjoy!

I love how this is a perfect addition to some fried chicken as well. Or in whatever choice of protein, you’ll be serving! It’s a perfect snack too! So versatile. Hope you enjoy this healthy fried okra recipe.

What is your favorite garden vegetable? Will you try this southern fried okra?

fried okray on a white plate on a white wooden table
5 from 1 vote
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Southern Fried Okra

Fast, delicious and crispy, this okra's flavor will amaze your tastebuds!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds fresh okra
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Wash the okra in cool water in a colander, and trim off both ends.

  2. Cut the Okra in half inch to one inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, and toss with hands.

  3. In another bowl,  mix the flour, cornmeal and baking powder, until blended.

  4. Sprinkle the Okra with the flour/cornmeal mixture, and toss until well coated. (Okra should be completely coated, if it isn't, add a little more flour and cornmeal).   Place the Okra on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer, and freeze for about 1 hour.

  5. In a large fryer, or a large roaster, fill the fryer to the suggested line, or, fill the roaster about 1/2 way full with cooking oil. 

  6. Heat oil, until hot, about 375 degrees. 

  7. Remove the Okra from the freezer, and place one piece of Okra in a frying tool, or a large slotted spoon, and lower it into the hot oil.  When the Okra floats, and sizzles in the hot oil, the oil is ready. 

  8. Lower the Okra into the hot oil with a frying tool, or a large slotted spoon, a few pieces at a time, until you have the fryer or roaster not quite full - you want the Okra to have enough room to fry without being crowded in the fryer.  Don't overload your fryer, or roaster.   

  9. Fry the Okra until it's golden brown, and remove to paper towels to drain.  (Frying times will vary depending on what you're frying the Okra in, (Fryer - Roaster, etc) so just watch the color of the Okra, and when it is a golden color, remove from the hot oil). 

  10. Cool a little on paper towels, and serve.  Enjoy!

fried okra

white plate full of fried okra on wooden background

  1. Thanakosai, Wannisa, and Preecha Phuwapraisirisan. “First identification of α-glucosidase inhibitors from okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) seeds.” Natural product communications 8, no. 8 (2013): 1085-1088.
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