This easy recipe for fried okra is made without buttermilk, and without cornmeal. Fried in coconut oil, it's a healthy option for this classic Southern recipe! Learn how to make the best fried okra today!
In the South, fried okra is a standard side dish for most meals. Especially in the summer when the okra is growing like crazy! This recipe has been passed down in my family for four generations.
You can make this fried okra fresh, or you can bread and freeze it for later. Have fried okra any time you want!
The Best Easy Southern Fried Okra
Growing up in Texas, fried okra was an absolute staple in every home and every restaurant we ever visited during my childhood.
My mom would make fried okra from scratch to go alongside chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Mmmm, the good ol' days.
When my grandfather moved in with us 30 years ago and started a garden, he grew so much okra we could barely pick it fast enough!
And of course, when we started our own garden 4 years ago, I knew that okra was going to be one of the first things we would plant.
While we eat a ton of it fresh, we also freeze it by the gallon for enjoying later in the year! Here are the steps for making the perfect crispy, Southern fried okra!
Rinse and chop all the okra. You can leave the ends, but not the tops where they were connected to the plant.
Large okra is not usually a problem, but if you cut into the okra and it sounds like you are cutting celery, toss it. That okra will be too tough to enjoy.
You want a nice soft sound when cutting. Many large okra are still fine, so don't toss them out just due to size. Try cutting them and toss based on sound.
Beat 1 egg and place 2 cups of flour in separate bowls. You'll also have your cut okra in a separate bowl.
Take your cut okra and pour the egg over the pieces. Mix well until all the okra is coated in the beaten egg.
Next, gently remove coated okra from the bowl (avoiding excess egg mix) and place a few handfuls a time into the flour bowl.
Mix the okra around until each piece is thoroughly coated and you can no longer see the green of the okra.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat whatever oil you like to fry with to 350°. We like to use coconut oil, but you can use whatever you like.
Separate out the breaded okra from the excess flour, careful not to fry straight flour! Drop a handful or two of breaded okra into the oil and fry until golden brown.
Remove okra from oil and drain on a paper towel covered plan or tray.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Freeze Fried Okra
If you're like us and you have WAY too much okra to eat fresh, you can also freeze it for later!
Just stop after step two, after breading and before frying, and place the okra on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
Place the tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Then transfer okra to a gallon freezer bag and store until needed.
To fry frozen okra: place frozen okra directly in hot oil and fry until golden brown. Season to taste and enjoy!
The Best Southern Fried Okra
- 2 lbs fresh okra
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cups flour (we use einkorn)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups oil for frying (we use coconut oil)
- Cut okra and discard the tops, place cut okra in medium bowl.
- Beat egg in a small bowl, then pour over cut okra. Mix well, until all pieces are coated in egg.
- Remove okra from bowl and place 2 handfuls at a time in the flour mixture. Mix well to coat each piece completely in flour.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pain to 350°. Remove okra from flour bowl and drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown.
- Drain fried okra on a paper towel lined plate or tray. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
Oh, Victoria! You are bringing back some memories. Anyone who gardens in Texas longs to have an overabundance of okra to put up and to foist off on all their friends! haha
Fried okra, chicken fried steak, and mashed potatoes! Yum! I remember as a girl eating this meal on Sunday when the preacher would come to eat. Some special memories.
Thanks for reminding me…
You’re so welcome Norma! We have so much okra right now, it’s crazy. With just 6 plants, we are still harvesting 1-2 gallons A DAY! Ha! Glad I could bring back some sweet memories <3
Faith Adams says
Surprised that there is no cornmeal!
Will try this soon!
Yep! Just the way mama makes it! We stopped using cornmeal in about 1998 when we found out I was allergic to corn. I actually MUCH prefer this recipe! <3
Ashley W says
How long do you blanch the okra?
Hey Ashley! No blanching in this recipe :-)
So you just wash, cut, coat, and fry! Enjoy!
Ashley W says
Awesome thank you so much!! :-)
Ashley W says
How long will the breaded okra last in the freezer before I have to cook and eat it?
we just ate the last bag of breaded okra from 2 years ago (found it when I cleaned out the freezer) and it was slightly freezer burned, but tasted perfect otherwise!