Thursday, October 9, 2014

Best Southern Fried Okra #recipe @LucyBurdette

photo by Doug Berryhill
Lucy Burdette: I spent four years of my 20s in Tennessee, and found that the Southern food and lifestyle really fit me. And that's saying something

from a New Jersey born and bred girl! 

One of the things I learned to love was fried okra. In fact I love it so much that John and I always grow it in our Connecticut summer garden. (We may be the only okra north of the Mason-Dixon line LOL.) 

I think most people believe they loathe okra because it can be slimy if not handled properly. Here's a dish that we eat as often as we have enough okra to harvest. Not a bit of slime in it!


8 to 10 pods of okra (cut them before they get too large or they will become woody)
One medium onion red or white, chopped
One large green pepper, chopped
One egg, whipped
Half a cup cornmeal or more as needed
Olive oil for frying

To make the okra, slice the pods into pieces approximately three quarters of an inch across. If when you start to slice, you notice pods that are difficult to saw through, discard those immediately. Chop the onion and the pepper.

In a frying pan, sauté the onions and peppers in a little olive oil and scrape this onto a plate. Add more oil and heat this over medium flame. 

Meanwhile, add the egg to the okra slices and stir this thoroughly. Pour in the cornmeal and mix well.

Dump the okra into the hot olive oil and sauté until almost brown. Just before finishing, add the onions and peppers back in and heat it all until crispy. 

Serve this with hot sauce on the side. Even your new England or western friends will love this recipe. 

 (Another delicious recipe using okra appeared in Death in Four Courses, called screw the roux stew.)

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December. There's a Goodreads giveaway running now!

  And you might enjoy an essay about how Key West was chosen as the setting for this series.

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  1. Okra is such a useful vegetable, and I just recently discovered how nutritious it is. (Hint: very.)

    Thank you for this recipe. My husband is one of those who swears he hates okra, but after years of complaining about all the okra in the freezer, which I use all winter in soups, he finally told me that he does "love" fried okra. Geez.

    I've also been slicing it very thin, and adding it to a summer vegetable medley, with onions, peppers, eggplant, tomato, and basil. Garlic, too, if you want, all sauteed in olive oil. So good. A friend from Louisiana says the acid in the tomatoes cuts the slime in the okra.

  2. Sadly, even with "southern" on both sides of my family, I was never served okra I liked.
    This treatment might be the solution.

    1. Let me know Libby! Kim Severson had a really tasty-looking recipe in the NY times a couple of weeks ago too--try googling that one!

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  4. We love friend orca. Maybe because my mother was born and raised in Tennessee, and we adore all southern foods. Will try with additional ingredients!! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

  5. Time to give okra another try...

    Liked the (TBT) pic!

  6. This is a Keeper of a recipe. Great tips for a classic Southern vegetable, Lucy/Roberta, thanks for sharing. And I especially love the photo you shared with us, as well. (I had a beloved pair of "farmer's jeans", too!)

    ~ Cleo

    1. thanks Cleo--I wore them everywhere, even to graduate school.:)

  7. I never knew what to do with okra! Thank you, Lucy/Roberta.

    I too love the photo as well as the recipe. Looking forward to the new book!



  8. PS _ I loved your advice series. So glad it's back! XO MJ

  9. Okra was never on the menu when I was growing up, either. In fact, I've found that a lot of Southerners don't like it. I'll have to try your recipe. It sounds great!