Thursday, June 11, 2009

Foodie Friday - Okra

For Foodie Friday today, I thought I would post one of my summertime favorites - Okra. Not deep fried like you get at most restaurants, but real homecooked, southern fried, okra.

Start by washing and cutting off the ends of your okra. Then slice your okra into good bite sized pieces, remembering that they will shrink a little while cooking.

Coat in just a few spoonfulls of flour with salt and pepper to taste. You don't need much flour, just enough to keep the okra from sticking together. Start with a couple tablespoons and stir and then add more one tablespoon at a time until you have enough.

In a small, non-stick skillet, add about 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, more if you're frying more. But remember, you're not deep frying it, you really are steaming the okra.
You want to choose the size of your skillet based on how much you're cooking. The okra should be stacked on top of each other, not spread out in a large skillet. It's better to have a little too muck in the skillet than not enough.

Add the okra to the mildly hot oil, it doesn't have to been hot enough to start frying it. Stir the okra around the oil so that the flour nearly disappers. There really shouldn't be any excess oil at the bottom of the pan. Cover with lid and cook on med-high heat. (On my dial of 1-9, I cook mine on around 6-7).

Remove the lid about every 5 minutes and stir. You want the okra to cook even and not get too crisp on just the bottom. You will notice the okra becoming softer as it cooks.

When all the okra is soft, you can remove the lid and fry a little longer for some of the pieces to crispin up. But becareful because it doesn't take long for it to go from crisp to burnt. The secret is to cook it slow and long. If you rush it by turning up the heat to much or adding to much oil, you'll just get burnt little pieces of okra. Remove from the heat and put in a serving dish when it's ready. It will continue to cook a little after you remove it, so don't over cook it.
I can't wait for the okra to start coming into the farmer's market in the next couple weeks! We'll be eating lots of okra the next couple months!


  1. Sounds wonderful. Okra is something I hardly cook with, but I want to try this.

  2. Being a yankee, I'm not familiar with Okra, but you make it sound like it's worth trying. I'll have to look for it in our grocery store. ~ Robyn

  3. This looks so good. My parents were from Texas & Mom made the best fried okra. She used corn meal though. Unfortunately for me, I never perfected the art of cooking it... :0(

  4. Thanks for showing folks how we fry okra in the South! I use a combination of flour and cornmeal, but the technique is the same and it's not deep-fried!

  5. Being a true blood Texan, I use cornmeal instead of flour. I do cook it in much the same way, crisping it up at the end.
    We also love it boiled...
    Happy Friday !!

  6. Okra is not an item I have ever cooked before. I live in the south and have only eaten it at Cracker Barrel sorry to say. Your recipe looks much more appealing then Cracker Barrels:)

  7. I have never made okra. Now I have no reason not to. Your instructions and photos are pitch perfect. Thanks for sharing you recipe and tips with an old, but appreciative "Yankee." Have a wonderful day.

  8. I have never made okra... because no one else would eat it here..but I may make some for myself! Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

  9. I love fryed okra. We planted about 15 plants this year. This looks really good. And I know it will taste really good.
    Nice pictures

  10. I'm going to try this if I come across some fresh okra. I'll keep an eye out at the frarmer's market, too. Thanks for the recipe. Happy Foodie Friday!

  11. I have never tried okra but that looks good. Enjoy.

  12. Oh and I love your bathroom below!

  13. I can't imagine living without okra. Being a Texan, it is a staple for us. But, I don't like it deep fried. My Mom always fried it like you explained by used cornmeal. My MIL used flour. I often switch back and forth, but truly love it exactly the way you explained it.

    This is the major benefit of the hot, Texas heat!

    We love it whole, steamed. I used to boil it, but it tends to get slimy that way.

    I had an aunt who used to pan fry okra with sliced potatoes. It was a wonderful concoction.

    I also put okra in homemade soup in the winter. I usually leave it out until the second day because it is not one of those veggies that holds over.

  14. Fried okra is another thing I haven't made in a while. Your pictures are making me crave this. I used to sit on the counter watching my grandmother fry okra. She called it Southern Popcorn.
    XX 00

  15. sounds great....I enjoyed reading your blog tonight....Love it when I have time to do blog hopping...I always enjoy finding new blogs!
    This month I am posting on our Disney trip.


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