Southern Fried Okra


  • 1 lb. fresh okra pods
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper, optional


  1. Trim the stems and thin tips from the fresh okra pods. Cut the okra crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt. Add the okra and mix well to coat with the egg. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat ¾-inch of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375˚.
  4. Meanwhile, in a gallon-sized zip-top bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and cayenne (if using). Seal the bag and toss to combine.
  5. Once the oil is ready, remove the okra from the egg mixture with a slotted spoon, draining off as much egg as possible, and add to the bag with the breading. Seal the bag, trapping some air inside, and toss well to coat the okra. Working in two batches, add the okra to the skillet and fry until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the okra to a paper towel-lined plate. Finish with a sprinkle of kosher salt, if desired.

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