Friday, September 01, 2006

Fried Okra

You might ask *why* you should fry okra, but that is the wrong question. The real question is *how* to do it. I am here to spread the fried okra gospel. This is so good!

1. Wash all your okra in the colander, then gather three or four together to start cutting. First slice off the top and discard. Next, slice into rounds about a third of an inch thick. More refined people will also discard the tail end of the okra, but I don't see why. It's not too tough to eat, and throwing it out means you have Less Fried Okra, which is not a good thing.

Now, don't be alarmed when you see a bunch of seeds, and the sap seeps out a little. Sticky sap is good because it's going to hold your salty, crispy cornmeal in place later.

Occasionally you are going to hit a pod that is simply too tough too slice. Big pods tend to be tough. Don't buy these. But even an occasional little one is as hard as a rock. Just throw it in the compost.

A beautiful sight, sliced and ready to proceed:

2. Now, I usually work with two pounds of okra at a time--that's two bags from farmer's market. Over my bowl of sliced okra I break two eggs. Then I get a broad spoon or spatula and lift and drop and lift and turn my okra until it seems evenly covered by egg. Then I get out my cornmeal and pour on about a cup, and add maybe a teaspoon of salt. Then lift and drop and turn over and over until everything is evenly coated in cornmeal as well. The more cornmeal you can get to adhere, the better.

3. Pour about 1/4 inch of canola oil into a heavy skillet--I like to use an electric skillet. Heat it to medium high, and when the okra will sizzle going in, place it all gently in. It should be no more than two slices deep. Put the lid partway on. Do not stir, let fry for about eight minutes. Then gently, without stirring, turn it over with a spatula, disturbing it as little as possible. Fry for about another eight minutes, removing the lid towards the end of cooking. You want your okra brown and crispy.

4. Serve hot to your family, with another sprinkling of salt. There will never, ever be enough.


My name is Michelle. said...

This is never enough. I totally agree. Thanks for sharing your recipe. And the pictures.

Kelli said...

Now that looks yummy!!! Love the picture of Daisy!

Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

Fried okra - the ambrosia of the South. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Well, okra is a bit thin on the ground in Wales, but that's a very sweet picture of your baby.

Anonymous said...

The very first time I tried okra was when our family lived in Georgia. A family friend came to visit and asked if we had ever tried it. When she found out we hadn't, we proceeded to purchase, prepare, and fry some. They were very delicious prepared just the way you described!

Anonymous said...

My mother always used the frozen already breaded kind, and so do I, but I remember it was in everybody's garden. And, I hated being sent out to cut the okra off the plant. It bit back. But, I sure do love fried okra, sliced tomatoes, green onions, and black eyed pea salad...and iced tea. Lynn

Emily said...

Yum! I love fried okra, but only when my mother made it. I tried and tried as a new wife to fix fried fresh okra, but I could never get the cornmeal to stick. (I always thought I didn't have the oil hot enough.) Never thought about trying the eggs on it! I'm going to try that soon. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I've only had fried okra once, but I loved it. It's cheap here now, so I think I'll buy some and try your recipe!! It makes we wish we had some in the garden.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

That is so funny. One of the farmers at the farmers market was selling okra today. I stared at it awhile and then had to tell him it wasn't worth me buying family won't eat it.

I guess my Southern genes were not strong enough to overcome their father's Nordic heritage so there is no appreciation for okra or catfish. They do like fried chicken.

Thanks for the instructions, though. I may just have to buy some for me next week. :)

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen!! Just like my mama makes it!!

Chrissy said...

Yum indeed! It really is the ambrosia of the south. Just thinking of it brings back many happy childhood memories.

Anonymous said...

Oh my!!

A freind just sent me to your blog to take a look at this. She knows I can't abide okra, but thought this write up might encourage me to try it again. My very first post on my blog is about okra. I didn't make it look as good as you have.

You make it look almost palatable!

Almost. LOL

I tried okra for the first time (and last, I'm afraid) when I visited Oklahoma when I was 18. It was boiled. And that's all.

Now my choice of threat is, "If you continue in this line, I will serve boiled okra for dinner!"

My children and husband have never had okra, so they assume my threat must be a terrible one. What an interesting thing if one of my children were to marry someone from the south. :)

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