Not everyone likes okra, but I’d be willing to bet that most people will like this recipe. It’s very different from the restaurant style fried okra you may be familiar with (if you are familiar with fried okra at all), where each piece is individually battered and deep fried. Instead, with this method, the okra clumps together a little and the shallow pan frying brings out more flavor.
One of my favorite quick and cheap meals, this is the recipe my mother made when I was a child. I serve it in a bowl on top of jasmine rice with a glass of wine or beer.
You start by combining 1 pound okra cut into 1/2 inch rounds (fresh or pre-cut frozen) with 1/4 cup of all purpose flour, 1/4 cup of ground corn meal (yellow or white – and if you don’t have corn meal, just use more flour), 1 tsp. of salt, 1/2 tsp. of ground pepper and, if you’re feeling adventurous, 1 tsp. of chili or curry powder in a large bowl. The chili or curry powder is terribly non-traditional, but it’s a fun twist on the flavor.
Stir the mixture around with a fork to lightly coat the okra. Most of the flour and seasonings will migrate to the bottom of the bowl.
Then add two eggs and stir to combine. If there are still dry spots, add another egg and stir it in. It’s better to use too many eggs than too few.
In a 12-inch non-stick pan (or cast iron skillet), add enough oil to coat the bottom and heat it over medium-high heat (I usually use close to 1/2 a cup). When the oil starts to ripple on the surface, add the okra mixture and spread it out into a single layer.
Put a lid on the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. Use a spatula to check the bottom of the okra every now and then. When it’s golden brown, remove the lid and flip the okra. NOTE: At this point, the okra mixture will have stuck together to make a single sheet in the pan. Don’t try to flip this whole sheet, just break up into smaller pieces and flip them individually.
Cook for another 10 – 20 minutes, stirring and flipping the okra every 5 minutes or so, until the okra is well done – dark brown and even black in spots.
Season with extra salt to taste and serve immediately or transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Here’s a summary of the ingredients (you can also download the recipe)
- 1 lb. okra cut into ½ inch sections (fresh or pre-cut frozen)
- ¼ cup. all purpose flour
- ¼ cup. ground corn meal (white or yellow)
- 1 tsp. salt
- (optional 1 tsp. chili powder or curry powder)
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2-3 eggs
- about ½ cup oil