Classic Southern Fried Okra


Confession time: I had never eaten okra until I moved to the south. How has such a staple Southern side like fried okra not made it’s way out to California by now? Who knows the answer to that question, but I do know that fried okra is good, so good that I decided to grow it in my garden. Nobody warned me how big these plants get! I planted them from seeds and now the stalks are at least 8 feet high! This makes for a lot of okra. I have sauteed it, roasted it, pickled it, and even thrown it in stir-frys, but my family likes fried okra best. 

Start with 12-14 okra that have been washed and cut the ends off.

Dice the okra into small, bite-sized pieces. This plant can get pretty slimy once you cut it, so be prepared to fry it right away. In my experience, I have found that the longer it sits, the slimier it gets.

Crack one egg into a small bowl and whisk it until smooth. Soak the okra pieces in the egg for about 5-10 minutes.

While the okra is soaking, prepare the batter. You’ll need 2/3 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon each of Kosher salt and ground pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Mix the spices well.

When the okra is done soaking in the egg, dredge them into the cornmeal and coat all the sides.

fried okra

In a medium saute pan, heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Let it heat up for a couple of minutes before pouring in the okra. You want the oil hot enough that you hear that nice crackle when you put the okra in. Layer the okra flat on the pan so that no okra is on top of each other. Let it cook for a minute or two and then flip it to the other side. Let it cook on the other side until the okra is golden brown.

fried okra

Remove the okra as soon as they are golden to a paper towel. Use another paper towel to pat the tops and remove any excess oil.

fried okra

These are ready to eat! I usually have to make a double or triple batch of these puppies because there are so many hands sneaking them!

Fried okra is a great side dish for almost any star piece of meat. Pictured here are my Crockpot Baby-Back Ribs with Homemade Rub and Vegetable Salad with Italian Basil Dressing. Fried okra also makes a great snack served with a classic Remoulade Sauce like the one from Simply Recipes. Have you ever eaten okra? Are you a lover or a hater? Leave a comment and let me know! Happy cooking y’all!

Please save this image on Pinterest or share it on Facebook!

Fried Okra

Heidi Davison
This simple but classic recipe for fried okra will give you a taste of the South no matter what part of the country you're from.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 6


  • 12-14 stalks okra chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • Wash and chop okra into bite-sized pieces.
  • Whisk the egg in a small bowl.
  • Soak the okra in the egg for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a saute pan until hot.
  • Layer the pan with the okra so that all okra is touching the pan.
  • Fry for 2 minutes and then turn the okra to the other side.
  • Cook 1-2 more minutes or until the okra is golden brown.
  • Remove the okra to a paper towel and use another paper towel to pat the tops dry.
  • Serve warm with remoulade sauce.


Related in Category

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

Side Dishes

  • Marilyn B Kurian says:

    5 stars
    I love fried okra! grew up in the south! I usually mixed some flour with the cornmeal! Will try it with justcornmeal next time! Never thought about putting spices in either ! Sounds yummy!

    • Hi Marilyn! I’m glad to meet another okra lover! I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe. The spices do make a nice addition to the breading. My kids like to dip theirs in ranch or BBQ sauce. Let me know what you think when you try them out!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}