Fried Okra

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Delightfully crispy and ready in 15 minutes, my easy Fried Okra recipe is like the poppable cousin of fried green tomatoes. Try this Cajun Fried Okra as an appetizer or side dish for Mardi Gras or anytime you’re craving the flavors of Louisiana.

A bowl of fried okra with remoulade sauce on the side.


 

From southeast Asia to Africa, okra was a staple for centuries before arriving in America by way of the West Indies in the 1800s. Known as a star of gumbo and other stews, Fried Okra first rose to popularity after the Civil War when fritters were very much en vogue.

My homemade Fried Okra recipe can be on your table in just 15 minutes, and you definitely don’t need a deep-fryer to make it! And if you prefer to skip frying all together, I’ll also teach you how to make baked okra with similar results.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for fried okra.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have (or can’t find) a carton, make your own buttermilk. Stir ½ cup whole or 2 % milk with ¾ teaspoon lemon juice. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • Okra: Once coated in cornmeal and fried, I promise they’re not slimy. Trim the stems and tips, then slice into 1/2-inch slices so each piece cooks at about the same rate.
  • Oil: I recommend a neutral cooking oil with a higher smoke point. Vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil are all great options.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with a wire baking rack. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add okra and allow to sit for 10 minutes. In a zip-top bag, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Shake well to combine.
Okra soaking in buttermilk next to a bag of crumb coating.
  1. Using a mesh strainer, drain okra. With a slotted spoon and working in small batches, add okra to cornmeal mixture. Shake gently to coat and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining okra.
Pieces of okra being breaded.
  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 3/4-inch oil and heat to 375 degrees. Add okra in batches, and cook until brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Okra being deep fried.
  1. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Fried okra on a paper towel lined wooden cutting board.
  1. Season to taste with salt and serve.
A bowl of fried okra with remoulade sauce on the side.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This quick and easy Fried Okra recipe creates seven 1/2-cup appetizer or side dish-sized servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating them in the oven or an air fryer for best results.
  • Get saucy: I adore homemade Fried Okra dunked in the same remoulade sauce I serve with fried green tomatoes. (Better yet, let’s enjoy both the tomatoes and okra with that same sauce!) You could also pair this with your favorite store-bought or homemade ranch recipe.
A bowl of fried okra with remoulade sauce on the side.

Recipe FAQs

How can I make Fried Okra if I don’t want to fry it?

We’ve tested Fried Okra as Baked Okra. While it takes a bit longer and doesn’t get quite as crunchy, oven-“frying” works great, too! To make Baked Okra, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Follow steps 1, 2, and 3 of this Fried Okra recipe, then place breaded okra on an oil-brushed baking sheet. Coat the okra with a spritz of cooking spray and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, use a spatula to flip the pieces, coat with one final dose of cooking spray, and bake, about 7 to 8 minutes more. Set the oven to broil, and broil with oven door cracked until the okra is golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

What goes well with Fried Okra to round out the meal?

For a classic bayou feast, whip up a pot of Red Beans and Rice, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, or Shrimp Creole as the entree. I love to add a side of Collard Greens as well. Then sweeten the deal with a batch of Beignets.

Blackened chicken, dirty rice and hush puppies on a gray plate.
Blackened chicken, fried okra, and dirty rice.

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

This traditional Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe has tomato slices soaked in buttermilk and fried in cornmeal, and they are absolutely delicious. Serve with a side of homemade remoulade sauce and meet your new favorite recipe!

30 minutes
View Recipe

More fried favorites

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Fried okra pieces in a white bowl.

Fried Okra

Delightfully crispy and ready in 15 minutes, my easy Fried Okra recipe is like the poppable cousin of fried green tomatoes. Try this Cajun Fried Okra as an appetizer or side dish for Mardi Gras or anytime you're craving the flavors of Louisiana.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 7 servings (½ cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 125
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk (see note 1)
  • 1 pound fresh okra stems and tips removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices (see note 2)
  • 2/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions 

  • Prepare a baking sheet with a wire baking rack. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add okra and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a zip-top bag, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Shake well to combine.
  • Using a mesh strainer, drain okra. With a slotted spoon and working in small batches, add okra to cornmeal mixture. Shake gently to coat and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining okra.
  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 3/4-inch oil and heat to 375 degrees. Add okra in batches, and cook until brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Notes

  1. Buttermilk: If you don’t have (or can’t find) a carton, make your own buttermilk. Stir ½ cup whole or 2 % milk with ¾ teaspoon lemon juice. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Okra: Once coated in cornmeal and fried, I promise they’re not slimy. Trim the stems and tips, then slice into 1/2-inch slices so each piece cooks at about the same rate.
  3. Yield: This quick and easy Fried Okra recipe creates seven 1/2-cup appetizer or side dish-sized servings.
  4. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating them in the oven or an air fryer for best results.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 254mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill

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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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