Fried Okra

I am sad, y’all. These apocalyptic wildfires that are eating up my sweet home state are making me sad. This week I’m moving things out of my grandma’s house, just in case. Just in case a huge massive blaze of oxidation should sweep a few miles westward or northward, or from any direction really, and scoop up her house and all it contains.

It’s scary as hell. And very, very sad.

I hate that our whole city is a giant tinder box. I hate watching Texas turn into a desert before mine eyes. I hate that Austin has just now implemented stage two water restrictions. And good grief, I hate Rick “I cut volunteer fire department funding by 75%” Perry. What a shithead, through and through.

Ah, but you are not here for gloom-and-doom or politics. You are here because I titled this post “Fried Okra”! So here you go. Take a load off, honey. Easy fried okra.

(Correction: Okra so easy a drunk person can make it. I know because I did the other night and we ate it all for dinner and then had okra hangovers the next day but no regrets because it was so delicious. Next time I’ll just make sure to have more people there to share an entire pound of fried okra with me.)


Fried Okra

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Traditional Southern-fried okra

  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco or some other Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • Oil for frying, enough to cover the bottom of your skillet by about 1/3″


  1. Slice the okra pods into circles, 3/8-1/2″ wide.
  2. Mix the buttermilk with the Tabasco and add the okra. Stir to coat.
  3. Combine the cornmeal and seasonings on a platter.
  4. Scoop some okra out of the milk with a slotted spoon and drop it into the cornmeal. Toss spoonfuls around with a fork or your hands to coat each piece in cornmeal.
  5. Set the coated okra aside while you coat the rest. (Leaving it to sit a while helps the breading to stay on through the frying process.)
  6. Heat your oil over high heat until a bit of cornmeal flicked into the skillet sizzles.
  7. Fry the okra in batches, just one layer in the skillet at a time. Turn once or twice until they’re all golden brown. Total cooking time will be under 8 minutes.
  8. Remove and drain on a paper bag or a cooling rack.
  9. Sprinkle with more salt if it needs it. I usually just sprinkle it with more Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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*Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use half yogurt and half milk or add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of regular milk or any non-dairy milk of your choice.

Sorry I didn’t get a shot of the finished okra! We were HUNGRY.


  1. Christopher on September 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Okra hangovers are nothing to joke around about!

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 9:50 am

      Who’s jokin’??? 😉

  2. anne almirall on September 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I was always taught that “ONLY I COULD PREVENT FOREST FIRES.” And while I am glad that is not true (far too much pressure, especially for a kid), I sure wish I could prevent the goddamn wildfires ……I have family and friends in Texas….very sad indeed. Hope you and yours stay safe.

    And the fried okra looks good.

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Thanks, Anne. So far we are okay. You are right, that is a lot of pressure on a kid, especially when coming from the mouth of a carton bear.

  3. Bev Weidner on September 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

    a) I’m sad for you. That’s totally scary.

    b) I’ll take an okra hangover any ole day.

    c) I’ll start now.

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Bev, the only thing you can do is fry some okra in solidarity.

  4. Great Stone Face on September 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Take care. My son lives near the Texas Capitol and I’d think that would make the neighborhoods near there more protected from fire. Then, I remember that the Governor’s mansion burned down and I’m not so sure.

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Yeah, but that was probably arson. Not that that makes me feel any better.


  5. Andrew on September 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    “you are not here for gloom-and-doom or politics”

    Yes! Please let this be my one non-political refuge on the web-0-net.

    Hooray Okra!

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Ha! You got it, Andrew. I’m already tired of the debates.

  6. Diane on September 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Can I come over and trash Rick Perry and eat fried okra? I’ll bring the wine. Lots of it.

    • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

      You can come over and eat wine and drink okra, but I refuse to say the “RP” word in my house!!!

      But, yes, please come over and have okra with us some time!

      • Great Stone Face on September 8, 2011 at 9:39 am

        By coincidence, there are two Texas RP’s.

        • Hilah on September 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

          Oh no! I didn’t think about the doctor. How about we refer them as “RP and the Doctor”? Could be the setup for an exciting political/medical drama.

          • Rangler on September 27, 2011 at 1:57 am

            Thanks for spending time on the comutper (writing) so others don’t have to.

          • Hilah on September 27, 2011 at 7:57 am

            Hi Rangler! You are welcome! And thank YOU for reading. 🙂

  7. Margie on September 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I love fried okra, I also live in Texas and it is so dry, we have a burn ban and water rationing. The grass is no more in our yard, but we still have our home. We just had a big fire here tonight on a ranch. Take care.

    • Hilah on September 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Margie!
      Yes, my yard is dry as hay. It is terrible. I’m glad you all are doing okay so far. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope for rain.

  8. 1Michelle on September 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I hear you Hilah…I live in Dallas and think that Rick Perry sux big donkey balls!

    And we need RAIN ….PLEASE!! My grass is gone and can only water 2 days a week. It is crazy…and I call BS!

    Anywho, I love fried okra and will be making soon!! Thanks

    • Hilah on September 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Michelle! I’m glad we agree!
      Thanks for writing and please let me know how your okra turns out. I hope y’all stay not-on-fire up there!

  9. Topper on September 17, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Lot’s of cursing in this post. Me likey. Me likey fried okra too!

    • Hilah on September 19, 2011 at 7:51 am

      Ha! Good! Let me know if you try the okra. 🙂

  10. Tom 'The Winegeek' on September 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm


    Maybe you send some okra to this girl. ‘Cause she sure could use the kitchen help.
    “My Drunk Kitchen” on Youtube

    She would definitely eat the okra, which is mighty tasty. Come out to San Francisco for a while. We have had some much rain this year we feel like Seattle South.

    • Hilah on September 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Ha! 🙂

      I’d love to come to SF! I’m not sure my skin would recognize the feeling of raindrops anymore, though.

  11. Ben on September 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    But didn’t Rick hold a prayer rally rain dance thingy in April and again in August? No worries now.

    • Hilah on September 23, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Yeah, Ricky took care of it alright. Sheesh.

  12. Lynda on May 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Hilah. I have a bag of frozen okra that I want to fry up. Do you have any tips to prevent it from exploding? Last time I made fried okra, the oil exploded everywhere and it was really scary. Still came out delicious but was traumatizing.

    • Hilah on May 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Lynda! It’s generally pretty dangerous to drop any frozen thing into a deep fryer. The ice crystals explode and that’s why you had so much popping. You could try thawing it first and then breading it. Not sure how that would affect the texture.
      If it’s already breaded okra slices, then just use a deep pot, put only a couple inches of oil or less, have a splatter screen ready, and add the breaded frozen okra just a little at a time, no more than a cupful.
      Hope that helps!

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