An okra recipe might be healthy, but many people don’t really care for okra because they’ve never had it cooked well. In this recipe, the cornmeal eliminates the slimy feel of the vegetable and gives it a little crunch.
This is going to be the first in a series on Fried Southern food – all gluten free. I had hoped to start this with my recipe for Fried Onion Rings, but I need to perfect the dipping sauce tonight. After that will be Fried Green Tomatoes, and my Grandmother Somerville’s Fried Chicken Bits.
In the Deep South, there are two ways to eat okra: fried and in gumbo. Having grown up in Alabama rather than Louisiana I am more familiar with fried okra. In fact, the recipe that follows does not have precise measurements because I learned how to fry okra by watching my mom.
A lot of people dislike okra because it can be very slimy. I am in perfect agreement with this, having never found the courage to try boiled okra. However, when okra is fried it’s just a little bundle of salty, crunchy goodness.
Most recipes call for the okra to be breaded in a mixture of cornmeal and flour. I have found that cornmeal does a great job all by itself and yields a crunchier end product. A word of warning if you’re not accustomed to buying cornmeal – stores usually carry cornmeal and cornmeal mix. The cornmeal mix includes wheat flour, backing powder, and baking soda so that it’s easier to make cornbread. The packaging is very similar so be sure to read the packaging and the labels very carefully.