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Fried Okra


For those who love the taste of okra, these two recipes offer variation and a great taste

The taste of fried okra is a wonderful comfort sensation for many. It is a taste treat that some love and others hate. Indeed, okra is slimy in its natural and hairy in its natural state, which causes a few interesting responses. It has always been a staple on Southern tables and just a few years ago was a rarity in the north.

Everyone has a favorite fried okra recipe; it can be fried coated in a wet or dry mix and both are equally wonderful. Buttermilk is the preferred liquid, but regular or low-fat milk will yield a perfectly fine result. Do not try these with frozen okra - it's really not the same.

Here are two recipes - one wet, one dry - that will keep your tastebuds wishing for more fried okra.

Fried Okra #1 (dry mix)

1 lb. fresh okra
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to be used after frying and while still hot
Oil (Canola has a high smoking point), enough to fill a deep skillet to two-inch depth.

Rinse okra and remove both ends from each piece. Slice into one-half inch rounds. Place in bowl with cornmeal and mix well. The cornmeal and okra can also be placed in a clean paper sack: shake and pour out into bowl. Heat oil (high or at least 375 degrees) and add okra in enough of a batch to leave plenty of room for rotation. Stir occasionally until lightly browned. Turn out on paper towels and add salt to taste.

Fried Okra #2 (wet mix)

1 lb. fresh okra
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 ½ cups buttermilk (or milk)
Oil for frying

Rinse okra and allow to dry on paper towels. Slice off and discard both ends from each piece. Slice into one-half inch rounds. Place in buttermilk or milk and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain and add to a bowl filled with cornmeal. Coat thoroughly. Heat oil and add okra in batches. Turn occasionally until browned. Turn out on paper towels and add salt to taste.

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