Oooo wee! WE LOVE FRIED OKRA!!! I'm not talking about those frozen bags you find in the grocery store. I mean, FRESH FRIED OKRA. Crispy, corny, salty outside. Soft, green, sweet inside. I'm drooling just looking at the picture. Aren't you?
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My Memaw used to painstakingly turn over individual okra pieces in her frying pan until she had them crispy all the way around. I can't do that. That just hurts. I use a quicker, less tedious method that has worked beautifully for years.
HERE'S WHAT I LIKE TO DO
- 3 large handfuls of fresh okra, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, enough to make the batter wet & sticky, but not runny
Cast iron skillets are perfect for this type of frying. Heat it up over medium high heat with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
Now you see how there's clumps of okra? I just spooned out the battered okra into the hot pan. Then I fry them long enough to get golden brown on each side, maybe 4 minutes on each side. Cast iron cooking keeps the heat constant so it doesn't take long. I wouldn't walk away from the pan. The pan can get pretty hot by the time I've flipped the okra, so I turn the heat down to medium.
Move the golden brown okra to a plate lined with a paper towel. Continue to fry the remaining okra. Try not to crowd the okra, you need space in the pan to flip your vegetables.