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Southern Fried Okra
Fresh Okra, Tomatoes and Corn
The Way I Like My Fried Okra
I don't think any two people fry Okra alike. Not even in the South.
We try to stay away from too many fried foods but I think it must be a rule that we have Fried Okra every week or so through the summer months. We haven't been able to have a garden in the last several years so fortunately we have friends who are willing to share their produce.
My mom could really fry okra and I remember she would have to hide it when she was finished because we would run through the kitchen and grab a handful just like peanuts or "Southern Popcorn" as a friend calls it. If she didn't hide it, there would be none left to put on the table.
A special aunt told me that in order to fry good okra, you had to turn each little piece individually and talk to it as you were turning. You only want to turn it once and drain it on a paper towel or coffee filter so it won't be too greasy. I like my okra crispy without a lot of batter and will share my recipe below.
There is nothing better than a supper of Corn on the Cob, Fried Okra, Sliced Tomatoes and of course a pone of my husband's delicious cornbread. Of course, some slices of cantaloupe and a couple of stem onions would have made it even more delicious - maybe next time!
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Choose The Right Size Okra
Large okra pods are not good for frying. You want young tender pods. Cut off both ends but be careful not to cut off too much of the goodie. Then you cut into the size circles that you want to fry trying to get them all about the same size so they will fry out evenly. A 1/2 inch is probably a good general size.
Snip The Tip and End of Each Okra Pod
Mix Your Batter To Fry Okra
Some people soak their okra pieces in buttermilk or water with egg but I don't. I like a very light batter so just put the pieces in a mixture of 1/2 cornmeal mix and 1/2 flour. I shake off any excess mixture, too, so actually they have very little batter. You might want to add some seasonings at this point but I don't do that either. I don't want much of anything disguising the true okra taste and flavor. It is a matter of personal taste so do whatever taste the best to you. Actually, I don't think I have ever had Fresh Fried Okra that I didn't like but do like mine the best.
Heat Your Oil
Also, I don't use much oil. Some people like to deep fry theirs but that is not what I do. Cover the bottom of the fry pan with oil but not enough to cover the okra pieces. Heat to about 375 degrees and when it is hot enough, drop each piece of okra into the oil individually. Now you are frying Okra and you have to be patient.
If your oil is not hot enough, you will not see the okra sizzling so be sure it is the right temperature. If it is too hot, you will scorch them. If it is not hot enough, they will soak up too much grease.
I have used some Olive Oil with the Vegetable Oil. I have heard of people who bake it in the over with Olive Oil and I am going to try that, too.
Hint: I put one piece at a time in the fry pan and work from the middle out. I usually have to pull a stool up to the stove for more ease when frying. Once the ones in the middle are ready to turn, I flip each one individually with a fork. When they are ready to take up, I use a spatula with drain holes and remove the ones in the middle and then move the outside ones to the middle.
Heat Your Oil
Be Patient When Frying Okra
Drain Your Fried Okra
When removing the okra pieces from the hot grease use a spatula with holes and try to drain as much as you can before placing a paper towels or coffee filters. Once it looks like it has drained, blot the top with another paper towel to get even more grease off.
Drain Your Okra
Health Benefits of Okra
Do You Like Fried Okra?
How Do You Like Your Fried Okra?
Learn How To Grow Your Own Okra
- HGIC 1313 Okra : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina
Clemson University Cooperative Extension shares information on how to grow Okra in our area.
Okra Growing In The Field
Nutritional Information of Okra
|Serving size: 225 grams|
|Calories from Fat||9|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 1 g||2%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 15 g||5%|
|Sugar 7 g|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 5 g||10%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 8 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Is Okra Good For You?
Okra is very good for us and is known to prevent Diabetes, promote healthy pregnancy, good for the digestive system and skin as well as other benefits. I found this link to be very helpful in determining the value of Okra:
I know it is healthier to eat it boiled, stewed or baked but it sure is good to eat it fried. By not using a heavy batter and frying in Vegetable Oil, you can really cut down on the calories. According to the article below, 1/2 cup of Okra contains 25 calories and is filled with lots of vitamins:
I know we like it and will continue to enjoy it. In fact, another friend just dropped off some of his fresh Okra and Tomatoes so I know what we will have for supper again tonight.
Add A Pone of Cornbread to Your Vegetable Meal
We enjoy having a Fresh Vegetable Meal with no meat but we do have to have a pone of cornbread and my husband makes the best. He makes it with just adding water and milk to the cornmeal. That's right: No egg, just water and milk and a little oil in the skillet. We like it thin and crunchy. Some people like their cornbread to be bready but not us.