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The vegetable side dish of the summer! Dredged in cornmeal and fried on the stovetop until golden brown, this crispy Fried Okra recipe is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh produce this season!

Close up overhead shot of crispy fried okra in a blue and white serving dish

If you’ve never tasted fried okra, then you’re seriously missing out! This classic Southern treat is the best way to enjoy seasonal veggies, and your kids are bound to agree.

With just a touch of Cajun seasoning, the mild green vegetable tastes a bit like eggplant. And forget about any rumored “slimy” texture — you won’t find any of that here!

Close up front shot of fried okra in a blue and white pan

Is fried okra good for you?

Okra is a podded green vegetable that came to America from Africa during the slave trade. While frying vegetables is not the optimal way to prepare them for health, the okra in this dish does offer a variety of nutritional benefits.

It is rich in soluble fiber, which promotes healthy cholesterol levels, and insoluble fiber, which promotes a healthy digestive tract. Okra is also high in folic acid and vitamin B-6, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and iron. One half-cup of okra contains 25 calories, 2 g of fiber and 1.52 g of protein (source).

How to Make Fried Okra:

First, cut the tips and stems off of the okra and slice the okra into 1/2-inch long pieces.

Cut fresh okra in a stainless steel bowl

Pour milk over the okra and let stand for about 10 minutes. There’s no egg necessary for this recipe!

Soaking okra in milk

In a separate bowl, whisk together self-rising cornmeal, self-rising flour, salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.

Cornmeal coating for fried okra with a whisk

Drain milk from the bowl of okra, and then place small batches of the okra into the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat.

Small pieces of okra dredged in cornmeal

Working in small batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan, fry the breaded okra in hot oil until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).

Process shot of frying okra in a Dutch oven

Use a slotted spoon to remove the okra from the oil. Place the okra on paper towels to drain, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Fried okra on paper towels

What goes with fried okra?

This crispy vegetable side dish pairs nicely with just about any Southern meat. Try serving it alongside:

Dipping Sauce

Kids love to dip the okra in ketchup, but it’s also great with a rémoulade sauce or a creamy lemon-herb sauce (like the one in this post).

Front shot of okra in a pan with fresh vegetables in the background

How to Reheat Fried Okra:

The leftover okra holds up surprisingly well in the refrigerator! To reheat the okra, place it on a baking sheet and place it in a 350-degree F oven for about 8-10 minutes (or until crispy and warm again).

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • To avoid any “slimy” texture, cut the okra just before you’re ready to soak and dredge it. Don’t let it sit out for too long. The quick cooking method (frying) also helps to prevent any gooey feel.
  • If you want to prepare this recipe using frozen okra, simply thaw the okra before soaking and breading.
  • The cornmeal dredge is a classic coating for okra; however, you could probably create a tasty fried okra with bread crumbs, too. Let me know if you give it a try!
  • Season the fried okra with salt and pepper, to taste, while the okra is still warm!
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half. The cooking instructions remain the same!
Overhead shot of fried okra in a serving dish with tongs

More easy recipes that take advantage of summer vegetables:

Close up overhead shot of crispy fried okra in a blue and white serving dish

Fried Okra

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 206 kcal
Dredged in cornmeal and fried on the stovetop until golden brown, this crispy Fried Okra recipe is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh produce this season!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. fresh okra
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ½ cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  • Cut the tips and stems off of the okra, and slice okra into ½-inch long pieces. Place cut okra in a large bowl.
  • Pour milk over okra and let stand for at least 10 minutes, but not more than 30 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
  • Drain milk from the bowl of okra. Place small batches of okra into the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat.
  • Pour oil into a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven to about 1 inch deep. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Place breaded okra into the hot oil, working in small batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry the okra until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove okra from the oil; place on paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, while the okra is still warm.

Notes

It’s practically impossible to calculate the exact nutrition information for this recipe, since the nutrition facts will vary greatly depending on how much oil your okra absorbs and how much breading actually sticks to each bite of okra. The nutrition facts provided are just an estimate.
  • To avoid any “slimy” texture, cut the okra just before you’re ready to soak and dredge it. Don’t let it sit out for too long. The quick cooking method (frying) also helps to prevent any gooey feel.
  • If you want to prepare this recipe using frozen okra, simply thaw the okra before soaking and breading.
  • The cornmeal dredge is a classic coating for okra; however, you could probably create a tasty fried okra with bread crumbs, too. Let me know if you give it a try!
  • Season the fried okra with salt and pepper, to taste, while the okra is still warm!
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half. The cooking instructions remain the same!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 6gFat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 888mgPotassium: 487mgFiber: 7gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 835IUVitamin C: 26.1mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 1.9mg
Keyword: crispy fried okra, fried okra, okra recipe
Course: Side
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the way my mom always made delicious crispy fried okra. We only use maybe half an inch of oil. Be sure not to crowd the skillet. We also finely chop sweet onion and tomatoes and serve the hot okra on top. So good!!

    1. So good, right?! I love the idea of serving the hot okra over sweet onion and tomatoes. YUM! 🙂