I love okra raw, fried, stewed with tomatoes, in curry or in gumbo but will not eat boil okra. Lets just say slime is not for me, enough said. Growing up in South East Arkansas I was able to eat a lot of fired okra. Whats not to like about something fried until golden brown, crunchy and delicious. It is a very simple dish to cook but is best with fresh okra.
Today at the farmers market they had fresh cut okra, so todays recipe is fried okra.
First we need one pound of fresh okra. You want them about the size of your finger. If you use ones bigger than that you risk them being tough. When I worked in Pakistan they called okra ladies fingers.
Of course they need to be washed. After washing and drying it is time to cut them. First I cut off the stem end (throw that away), then cut them into half inch rounds. They can be a bit bigger or smaller thats not a problem.
The round get added to a bowl, to that we need to add two Tablespoons of milk. This can be any kind of milk that you like. If you use a plant based milk then then recipe will be vegan but coconut milk might taste a bit odd in this recipe.
After adding the milk give the okra a good mix. This will allow lots of corn meal to stick to the okra. For this I use 1/4 cup of stone ground corn meal. It gives extra crunch, if that is to much for you use regular corn meal. Or a mix of flour and corn meal. We will also add our seasonings at this time. Today I am going simple, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic. Then give it a good mix and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help keep it from falling off the okra.
In a wide bottom pan heat up 1/2 cup of neutral flavored oil (I used vegetable oil). And add the okra.
One note the picture above is for explanation only. Pour food into hot oil away from you.
Spread the okra out and cook on medium high heat. Cook a little then turn over, continue to do this while cooking. This will ensure even cooking. Cook until you get lots of nice brown color.
One thing that I do after the okra is cooked is I prop the pan up on one side to drain the leftover oil. This is not a healthy dish but I do drain off as much of the oil as possible.
Notice the spoon rest under the pan.