Fried Okra

¾ cup fine cornmeal

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

¾ pound fresh okra, cut into ¾-inch pieces

1/3 cup buttermilk

 

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, granulated garlic, cayenne, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large, shallow dish. Add enough oil to a large, heavy frying pan to come to a depth of ¾ inch. Heat over medium-high heat until a pinch of the cornmeal mixture sizzles immediately when added. Meanwhile, add the okra to the buttermilk, and stir to coat. Transfer the okra to the cornmeal mixture and toss to coat, separating any pieces that stick together. Shaking off any excess cornmeal mixture, add about half of the okra to the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a skimmer, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season to taste with salt. Fry the remaining okra in the same manner. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.   

 

Serves 4 to 6. Fried okra is extremely popular in the South, and for good reason—it’s downright addictive! Summer is okra season. Select small okra pods, no larger than your pinkie finger, since large pods can be tough and stringy. Although fresh okra is best, you can substitute the fresh okra with a 16-ounce bag of frozen whole okra with good results. Thaw the frozen okra pods about half way for this recipe. Serve with ketchup or ranch dressing for dipping.

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