I love fried okra. I first tasted it when I was a kid growing up and my mother cooked it for us. Then when we moved out of the city to a house where we had a quarter of an acre of land, we planted a garden and planted rows of okra, yum! Did you know that okra can really cause you to itch when you are harvesting it? It has little itchy hairs all over each okra pod and the plant too. Egad, it certainly does itch so when you are harvesting your own okra, make sure to wear long pants, boots, long sleeves and gloves to keep it away from your skin.
OR, you can do it the easy way and buy it at the grocery store in the freezer section like I do! It's already cleaned and cut, ready to toss in a skillet and enjoy in about half an hour from start to finish.
This is the recipe for fried okra that I use all the time because I don't like my okra to be covered in heavy breading. I find that heavy breading masks the flavor of the okra or any vegetable that it is covering.
Easy Fried Okra
1 bag of frozen cut okra
approximately 1/4 cup of corn meal
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or to taste)
cooking spray (for example Pam)
oil for frying
Place a large skillet on the stove and pour in your cooking oil, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. I used vegetable oil but you can use any type of oil.
Take your bag of frozen okra, open it and dump the entire bag into the skillet. I find it best to do this before the skillet heats up because you don't want the oil to sizzle and pop and burn you. Turn the stove burner to medium - medium high.
Take your cooking spray (I used a store brand instead of the name brand) and spray the top of the okra in the skillet. Now sprinkle the cornmeal lightly all over the top of the okra. Next, sprinkle your garlic salt lightly all over the top of the okra.
Keep an eye on your skillet but don't touch the okra until it has started to brown on the bottom. Depending on the temperature you have your burner set at, this may take around ten minutes. Once you can see the edges of your okra beginning to brown, take your spatula and flip your okra over so it can brown on the other side.
After you have nicely browned okra, remove it from the skillet and place your okra on paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
This fried okra tastes great and you can actually taste the flavor of the okra instead of the flavor being lost in tons of breading as with most fried okra recipes. It makes a great side dish to go along with any meat such as tri tip, steak, hamburger patties, chicken or salmon.