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Crispy Fried Okra

Paper cone with crispy fried okra bites spilling out on top a wooden board
Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Prep 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Appetizer
Southern
6 servings

Equipment

  • Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups peanut or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh okra sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 7 cups)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste (optional)

Directions 

  • Preheat the oven to 225°F (104°C).
  • Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or a 3-quart enameled cast-iron casserole until the temperature on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer reads 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well combined, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl, sift the cornmeal, flour, salt, and black pepper together twice. Add the okra to the egg mixture and toss until it is evenly coated. Scatter half the dredge over the okra and toss to coat. Scatter the remaining dredge over the okra and toss again.
  • Transfer about 1/3 of the okra to the oil with a slotted spoon and fry in batches, turning as necessary with the spoon, until the slices are golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per batch.
  • Using the slotted spoon, transfer the fried okra to a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels. When it has drained, transfer to a ceramic serving dish that holds heat well and place in the oven until ready to serve.
  • Dust the fried okra with the red pepper flakes and sea salt, if desired.