Fried Okra (2 Ways)

published Aug 12, 2023
summer
Fried Okra Recipe

This recipe for crispy, beer-battered fried okra features two equally delicious ways to prepare the pods.

Serves6 to 8

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 25 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Last summer I developed a recipe for oven-roasted okra, which was my way of celebrating one of my favorite vegetables. I love its slipperiness, crisp exterior, and simple, earthy flavor. Fresh okra is one of the joys of summertime for me, but I know its texture can be controversial to some, and enough to keep others away all together. I may be biased, but I think those people are missing out. 

If you’re not familiar with something, or you’re still on the fence about it, I think frying it is always a good way to go (as long as it’s something that can actually be fried). This summer, I wanted to celebrate okra with another preparation: beer-battered and fried. No matter where you fall along the scale, from okra avoidant to okra enthusiast, this fried okra recipe will make you sing the green pods’ praises.

Do You Fry Okra Whole or Sliced?

This recipe shows you how to fry them both ways. You get to choose whether you prefer them sliced into rounds or kept whole — or you can do a mix of both! They’re delicious no matter what. Large okra pods can be tough and a bit fibrous, so make sure to use small- to medium-size pods for this recipe.

What Kind of Batter Does the Recipe Use?

I wanted the fried okra to be crispy but not weighed down with coating, so I decided to fry them tempura-style using a beer batter, which produces such an airy, irresistible coating. The addition of cornmeal really ups the textural component and makes the coating extra crispy.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

What Do I Eat Fried Okra With?

Remoulade, all the way. This tangy sauce is the perfect complement to the earthiness of the okra. You can use store-bought remoulade or you can whip up your own using our remoulade recipe. Either way, don’t skip it!

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Fried Okra Recipe

This recipe for crispy, beer-battered fried okra features two equally delicious ways to prepare the pods.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups

    vegetable oil

  • 1 pound

    small to medium fresh okra (about 35 to 40)

  • 12 ounces

    cold light-colored beer, seltzer, or club soda

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup

    fine or medium grind yellow cornmeal

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

  • Remoulade, for serving

Instructions

  1. Fill a large heavy-bottomed, high-sided skillet with 1/2-inch vegetable oil (2 1/2 to 3 cups) and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350°F. Meanwhile, fit a wire rack onto a baking sheet. Prepare the okra and batter.

  2. Pat 1 pound fresh okra dry with paper towels. You can leave them whole for frying, or you can trim the stem ends and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds instead.

  3. Place 12 ounces cold light-colored beer, seltzer, or club soda, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup fine or medium yellow cornmeal, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder; 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Option 1: For whole okra

  1. Fry in batches of 7 or 8 okra: Add to the batter and toss with a fork until they are fully coated. Using the fork, pick up the okra one at a time, tap off any excess batter from the fork, and add to the oil. Fry, flipping once, until golden-brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the rack. Squeeze immediately with lemon wedges and remoulade.

Option 2: For okra rounds

  1. Place half of the okra rounds into the batter and use a fork to toss them until they are fully coated. Using a slotted spoon, pick up a few rounds, shake off any excess batter back into the bowl. Use the fork to transfer the battered okra one at a time into the hot oil. Repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded (about 30). Fry, flipping often, until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes total. Use a clean slotted spoon to transfer to the wire rack or plate. Repeat until all the okra is fried.Serve immediately with lemon wedges and remoulade.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The remoulade can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.