Traditional Southern-fried okra
pound fresh okra
Tabasco or some other Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 1/2 cups
cayenne pepper, optional
Oil for frying, enough to cover the bottom of your skillet by about 1/3″
Slice the okra pods into circles, 3/8-1/2″ wide.
Mix the buttermilk with the Tabasco and add the okra. Stir to coat.
Combine the cornmeal and seasonings on a platter.
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.
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.)
Heat your oil over high heat until a bit of cornmeal flicked into the skillet sizzles.
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.
Remove and drain on a paper bag or a cooling rack.
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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