When I was a kid, I loved a lot of veggies that other kids despised — brussels sprouts, asparagus, okra. In fact, I’d rather (then, and now) eat a plate full of veggies instead of meat. (The complete opposite of most Americans, right?) Fried okra has always been one of my favorites. Okra isn’t exactly something we think of making all the time, but every time we do make it I wonder why we don’t buy it more often. Okra is deliciously crunchy on it’s own, but adding a breading of corn meal to it makes it even crunchier — and quite tasty!

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 2
– 12 (or so) okra pods, cut into slices
– 1 egg
– 1 cup cornmeal
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl, beat the egg and toss the okra to coat. Let the okra pieces soak in the egg for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside. Also, heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Remove the okra pieces from the egg bath and dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Test the oil with one piece of okra — if it sizzles when you drop it in, the oil is ready. Carefully place all the okra into the hot oil. Make sure to keep the pieces moving otherwise one side will burn. Once the coating begins to brown, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until all pieces are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.

Fried Okra

This was some of the best fried okra I’ve ever had. We had never used cornmeal as the dredging vehicle before, but it worked out much better than flour (it stuck a lot better and stayed on while it was frying up). The texture from the cornmeal gave the okra a whole new dimension and added a nice crispy layer. Inside, the okra was nice and tender and burst in your mouth. Considering the only seasonings that we used were salt and pepper, the crust (and the okra itself) had a great flavor (I loved the extra salt that was added after it came out of the oil). I personally really like the texture of cornmeal, but if the grittiness is too much, you can probably mix in some flour. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the cornmeal all together though, because it really makes this version of fried okra what it is.