It’s been stirred into various stews, and it’s been tossed into gumbos. But undoubtedly everyone’s favorite way to eat okra? Fried, of course. And the fall months are the perfect time to rekindle your love for okra — which, by the way, is actually a fruit — because what many might not realize is fried okra can be used in a variety of popular dishes.
A southern favorite, fried okra is incredibly easy to make. It’s simply dredged in seasoned cornmeal and then fried until golden brown. But there are many other ways to eat fried snack or side. Want to sprinkle atop a flatbread alongside other seasonal veggies? Do it. How about stuffing the okra with pepper jack cheese? Worth it. The options are seemingly endless, but we’ve pared it down to the 13 fried okra recipes we’re most excited to whip up this fall.
Okra hush puppies
Crunchy on the outside and soft inside, hush puppies are downright sinful. Add okra to the mix, and you have yourself the perfect, comfort food snack.
Fried okra stuffed with pepper jack cheese
This isn’t your average fried okra appetizer; this one oozes and gushes with pepper jack cheese. The trick is to scoop out the seedy center to make room for the cheese.
Cornmeal fried okra
Okra is typically fried with an egg and flour batter. A Sweet Pea Chef’s recipe, however, uses a simple cornmeal mixture. Or, for gluten-free folks, you can sub the flour with chickpea flour, instead.
Vegan fried okra
For vegans, this fried okra recipe is simple: Chop the okra, dip in buttermilk, dredge in a cornmeal-flour mixture, and fry until golden-brown — in and out in 15 minutes.
Fried okra cakes
For an appetizer with a bit more substance, opt for fried okra cakes. American Lifestyle’s recipe calls for cornmeal, garlic powder, chopped onion, bacon dripping and more.
If you’re anything like us, when you think of beignets, you immediately think of the light and fluffy beignets found in New Orleans (Cafe Du Monde, anyone?). But these okra beignets have a bit more weight to ’em. Loaded with okra, onions and green bell peppers, and flavored with Tabasco sauce, you’ll wish you made two servings once you’ve deep-fried your first batch.
Fried okra salad
Unlike the tomato salad, Karyl’s Kulinary Krusade’s recipe leans more on using fresh veggies, like cherry tomatoes, onions, and green, red and yellow bell peppers. Toss the fried okra salad with some balsamic vinegar, top with spring onions, and lunch is served.
Okra jalapeño fritters
These okra jalapeño fritters are stuffed a combination of okra, sweet onions and jalapeño peppers and fried to perfection. But the dish wouldn’t be complete without a savory dipping sauce, and Syrup & Biscuits has just the sauce for it: Comeback Sauce, a mayonnaise, ketchup and chili sauce.
‘Neo funk’ fried okra
Food Fidelity ditches cornmeal in favor of eggs and rice flour, leaving the okra lighter, flakier once deep-fried. The trick, Food Fidelity writes, is to allow the okra to soak in the beaten eggs for a bit.
Pilau rice explodes with flavor and is considered the perfect accompaniment for any Indian cuisine main dish. Spicy Southern Kitchen’s recipe puts, as one would guess, a Southern spin on the traditional dish, removing the tomatoes typically found in the dish and cooking the white rice with bacon, onion and sliced okra.
Crab, okra & gouda flatbread
Swap the sliced okra with fried okra to add a bit of necessary crunch and texture to this crab meat, sweet corn and Old Bay-seasoned flatbread that takes a mere 25 minutes to make.
Fried okra tomato salad
If you’ve never had a fried okra tomato salad, For the Love of the South has a recipe that’ll turn you into an instant fan. It’s simple to make, too: Stack juicy, sliced tomatoes, drizzle with chive dressing, top with bacon and fried okra, and garnish with herbs.
This chickpea batter okra recipe, which takes just 30 minutes to make and pairs perfectly with a scoop of basmati rice, was pulled from the pages of Sumayya Usmani’s cookbook Summers Under The Tamarind Tree.
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