Air Fryer Okra

published May 2, 2022
Air Fryer Okra Recipe

This crispy snack is best served alongside remoulade sauce for dunking.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 31 minutes

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small pieces of cut up Okra made in and fryer with a pink dipping sauce on the side.
Credit: Laura Manzano

With the use of your air fryer, okra is fully transformed into the crispiest, most pop-able and irresistible little bites. A mixture of panko and cornmeal lends some essential crunch, but be sure to toast the mixture in some oil first. This might feel like a step you’d want to skip, but the key to a beautiful hue is coating the breading evenly in oil and giving it a head-start on its way to golden-brown town.

Why Is Cornmeal Used in the Dredge?

To honor okra’s Southern roots, cornmeal — another staple in the South — is mixed with panko and spices for a flavorful dredge that’s beyond crispy. Be sure to buy medium-grain cornmeal for this recipe. Coarse-grain is too coarse, and will have an unpleasant grittiness in this application — although it’s perfect for cornbread and other baked goods!

How Do You Make Okra Crispy?

Okra pods are known as mucilaginous, a reference to their signature slime. Use it to your advantage in stews as a thickener, but for fried okra, cutting them into small rounds and breading them gives them a higher breading-to-okra ratio, which means maximum crunchiness! 

Air Fryer Okra Recipe

This crispy snack is best served alongside remoulade sauce for dunking.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 31 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the okra:

  • 1 pound

    fresh okra

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup

    medium grind cornmeal

  • 2 tablespoons

    canola or vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1 teaspoon

    celery salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

For the rémoulade (optional):

  • 1/4 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup

    sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • Pinch

    cayenne pepper

  • A few dashes

    hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat an air fryer to 350°F.

  2. Trim and cut 1 pound fresh okra crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place 2 large eggs in a shallow bowl or pie plate and whisk until broken up.

  3. Place 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup medium grind cornmeal, and 2 tablespoons canola oil in a medium skillet. Stir well with a fork to combine and crush the panko into a slightly finer mixture with the fork. Toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden-brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a second shllow bowl or pie plate. Add 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir well with the fork to combine.

  4. Working in batches to fit in a single layer in the air fryer, coat the okra slices in the egg. Let the excess drip off, then transfer to the panko mixture and press them carefully in so the mixture adheres all over. Place in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry until the okra is deeply golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes total. Meanwhile, make the rémoulade if desired.

  5. Place 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce in a small bowl and stir until combined.

  6. Sprinkle the fried okra lightly with kosher salt and serve with the rémoulade.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The rémoulade can be made a day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350ºF air fryer until hot and crisp, about 5 minutes.