Grits was good - now on to fried okra

In this thread I noted how I was recently hooked on grits and was about to try cooking them at home. I did, using stone ground long-cooking white grits, and I love the results. I like 'em the way you southerners say they should be eaten: with butter, salt and pepper. They were best with a side of sausage patty.

Well, now that I’m getting into southern cooking I must try my hand at some fried okra. This was prompted by my buying a pound or two of gorgeous fresh okra at the farmers’ market, so I must cook it up in the next day or two. Googling shows me numberless okra recipes, but I trust no one more than Dopers when I ask for cooking advice.

So, Dopers - fried okra? Have at me.

OK according to my mama…

Hope that’s understandable. Basically sift cornmeal and flour over clean, sliced okra and then saute until golden and crispy.

That sounds about right to me. I don’t like grits, but fried okra is mighty tasty.

Soon you’ll be moving up to turnip greens, baked apples, and chess pie!

I LOVE fried okra, but beware… it can get a bit slimy on the inside.

“A bit slimy?” Bit of an understatement.

Fried is the only way I eat okra outside of a tomato and rice-heavy gumbo. There wasn’t a week that went by in childhood (it seems) that I wasn’t forced to eat the stuff.

Fried is the only way I’ve ever eaten okra that wasn’t slimy.

And if you’re gonna introduce someone to okra, it’s a pretty darn good way… provided they’re not averse to fried foods.

When you’re cleaning and cutting up the okra …

Clean the okra, and then dry it very well (I use paper towels) before cutting.

If you try to slice wet okra, you end up with a gummy mess.

Fried green tomatoes.

Slice them thick, dredge them in cornmeal and salt and pepper, and fry those babies until golden brown.

You guys are making me hungry.

Have you tried shrimp and grits? That’s a Lowcountry delicacy. And don’t even get me started on she-crab soup…

I prefer the cornmeal coated okra fried in a skillet to the battered/deepfried variety.

I don’t care at all for fried okra – frying seems to change the taste in unhelpful ways – but I really like mild pickled okras. And they are not in any way slimy.

Avoid fried okra… it’s the Southern equivalent of Montezuma’s Revenge.

Gah, I hate that stuff.

I am not a big fan of Southern food and have until recently scorned okra (unless in gumbo where they are needed to thicken). I spent too many summers picking it. It has hairs like fibreglass that stick into and irritate your skin. And fire ants just love the blossoms – they protect the damned plant. That being said, I have discovered a wonderful way to cook the pods of the devil – you marinate them in olive oil, garlic, and vinegar and grill them. Really nice. They aren’t slimy and the fire burns off the cillia.

Blasphemy against fried okra! Why you all gotta be so hatin’?

Whenever I get to go back home, there are three things I insist on eating: 1) Varsity chili dogs and onion rings, 2) a Chick-fil-a, and 3) fried okra. (Not all at the same time, of course).

And I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, but I have seen people try to serve “fried okra” that was basically the whole pod/plant/whatever you call it, dipped in cornmeal. You’ve got to chop it up into little circles about the size of peppermints. Any larger than that, and you’re in danger of actually tasting the okra instead of just the sense of “something barely identifiable as vegetable, that’s been deep-fried.”

I’d only ever used okra experimentally in stir-frys before now. And I seemed to be the only person in the world who liked it. I’m intrigued by this frying concept, and will try it, as soon as I find any damn place that doesn’t have an ‘ethnic’ food section consisting of ginger and two chillis :rolleyes:

Do it tempura style!!

Oh HELL no. Do not under any circumstances batter okra. That is an unforgiveable sin. It almost completely masks the flavor.

DeVena’s mama knows the proper way to cook okra. Follow those directions.

Yep. Cut 'em into skinny little disks, roll 'em in corn meal, and fry 'em in hot oil. Dip them out onto paper towels to soak up surface oil. Don’t batter 'em.

They should be softer than a potato chip but not slimy.

True you have to cut em into skinny little disks and most folks like cornmeal. The oil must be hot.

swampbear’s version

two to three pounds of fried okra
1 small sweet onion finely chopped
1 medium sized green tomato finely chopped
1 or 2 pods of banana pepper, seeded and finely chopped
salt and pepper
flour to batter (about 3/4 cup)
enough oil (corn oil is best IMHO) to coat the bottom of the skillet (an electric skillet set to 325 degrees is good)

Cut up okra. Mix okra, onion, tomato and pepper together. Salt and pepper to taste. Place flour in a gallon sized baggie. Add the okra mixture. Shake it up. Add okra mixture to oil a little at a time and allow to brown. Do this in small batches. It may be necessary to add and heat some oil between batches but it’s worth it.

I gotta have some fried okra now!


[sorry for the hijack, pugluvr]
I’ve asked before, but does anyone have a recipe for Dirty Rice? It’s rice, eggplant, ground beef (or sausage, I ca’t remember) onions, and a bunch of other goodness. My grandmother used to make it all the time, and told me it was Cajun (I’m not sure I buy that… Southern maybe, Cajun, doesn’t seem to fit.)

Being an Italian grandmother, she never wrote any recipes down, and being 15 at the time, I didn’t pay attention when she taught me how to make it.

I’ve been craving Dirty Rice for quite some time, and none of the recipes I found on the web seem to come close.

I will second the recommendation of pickled okra.

I never tried okra pickles until adulthood. Nobody I knew in north Georgia made them. (Is there a region where these are standard fare?)

Anyhow, at the urging of a friend from Florida, I finally gave them a shot. Really yummy. Surprisingly crunchy, too. I think I will never go back to pickled cucumbers.