Deep-Fried Okra

Deep-Fried Okra Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fried okra is a tasty treat. Just coat okra with beaten egg and then seasoned corn meal, corn flour, or semolina to give it an extra crunch.

You can fry the pods whole, but there's nothing wrong with cutting the okra into bite-size pieces first to fry up into popcorn-like snacks. In either case, serve them plain, or offer a spiced aioli for dipping.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound okra
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal (or corn flour or semolina)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling, if you like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Trim the stem ends off the okra pods. Cut the pods into bite-size pieces, if you like. Set aside.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Beat them well so the mixture is of a uniform, watery consistency. Set aside.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. In a second large bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Set aside.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. In a large heavy pot, heat at least half an inch of oil to 350 F to 375 F. Measure the temperature with a thermometer. Or, test it by dipping a piece of bread or the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil—it should sizzle immediately and steadily. If it doesn't sizzle, it's not hot enough. If it bubbles up violently, it is too hot.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. While the oil heats, put the okra in the egg and toss it to thoroughly coat the pods. Lift the okra out, letting as much excess egg drip off as possible (you can also simply strain it in a colander​ if you prefer).

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Working in batches of 4 or 5 pods, use one hand to put the egg-coated okra in the cornmeal and the other hand to toss it to coat it completely with the cornmeal mixture. Note that you're using one hand to touch the wet okra and one hand to touch the dry cornmeal.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Put the coated okra on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat with remaining okra pods.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Fry the coated okra in batches. The pods should be in a single layer and they shouldn't touch. Fry each batch until the coating turns brown and crispy (and the okra is tender inside).

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  10. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked okra to a layer of paper towels to drain.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  11. Repeat with the remaining okra.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. Serve fried okra hot, sprinkled with additional salt, if you like.

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce
  13. Enjoy!

    Deep-Fried Okra Recipe
     The Spruce

Tip

  • Okra is in season from July through September. It grows in hot, humid climates such as the Southern states, so you may not find local okra if you live in some parts of the U.S. You will want to use okra when it is fresh, preferably within a day or two of purchase. It will begin to get brown around the stem end after it is picked, and the amount of brown will indicate how fresh it is.