Enjoy a 10% discount on all orders over $60

Crispy Southern Fried Okra Recipe: A Taste of the South in Every Bite

Fried Okra is a delightful culinary experience of Southern comfort food, with its crispy exterior and tender interior.

June 17, 2023
vegetarian food icon
Crispy Southern Fried OkraPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 15 mins
Total 35 mins



  1. Wash the okra pods thoroughly and pat them dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Trim the ends and slice the pods into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  2. Place the sliced okra in a bowl, and pour the buttermilk over it. Stir until all the okra pieces are coated in buttermilk. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Take the okra pieces out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, making sure each piece is fully coated.
  6. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the okra to the pan in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  7. Fry the okra until it's golden brown and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the okra from the oil and drain it on paper towels.
  9. Repeat the process with the remaining okra.
  10. Serve the fried okra warm as a side dish or snack.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Crispy Southern Fried Okra
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 3 g6%
Total Fat 10 g12.8%
Total Fat 10 g12.8%
Sodium 595 mg25.9%
Potassium 552 mg11.7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use fresh okra. Look for young, tender okra pods that are bright green and free from blemishes. Avoid selecting okra that is overly large or tough.
  • Wash the okra thoroughly and pat it dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Make sure to dry the okra well after washing to prevent splattering when frying.
  • After coating the okra in the seasoned mixture, let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the coating to adhere better to the okra, resulting in a crispier texture.
  • Heat the oil properly. Use a deep skillet or Dutch oven with enough oil to fully submerge the okra slices. Heat the oil to around 350-375 °F (175-190 °C).
  • Don't overcrowd the pan when frying the okra. This can lower the temperature of the oil and result in soggy okra.
  • Drain the excess oil. Once the okra is fried to a crisp, remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon or tongs. Place the fried okra on a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack to drain off any excess oil.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes.
  • For an extra kick, you can add a bit of cayenne pepper to the cornmeal mixture.
Rate This Recipe

Fried Okra is a Southern dish known for its unique texture and savory flavor. This recipe transforms the humble okra pod into a delicious, golden-brown treat that's perfect as a side dish or a snack. Whether you're a long-time fan of okra or trying it for the first time, this fried okra recipe is sure to impress.

Discover how to make crispy, flavorful fried okra, a beloved Southern dish. Follow our step-by-step guide to create this delicious side dish at home.

What Is Fried Okra?

A Southern Classic

Fried okra is a dish that's deeply rooted in Southern U.S. cuisine. The use of okra as a food staple in the South can be traced back to the African diaspora during the era of the Atlantic slave trade. Okra, or "okro" as it is known in many West African languages, was brought to the Americas along with the enslaved people who used it in their traditional dishes. Over time, it became a key ingredient in many Southern recipes, with fried okra being one of the most popular.

The Art of Frying Okra

Frying okra transforms this often overlooked vegetable into a delicious treat. The process of frying creates a crispy, golden exterior that contrasts beautifully with the soft, slightly gooey interior of the okra. The breading, often a simple mixture of cornmeal, flour, and spices, adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. While the dish is simple to prepare, the key to perfect fried okra lies in the details - from slicing the okra to the right thickness, to achieving the perfect frying temperature.

Enjoying Fried Okra

Fried okra can be enjoyed in many ways. It's a fantastic side dish, pairing well with other Southern classics like fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread. It's also a great appetizer, served with a dipping sauce like ranch dressing or spicy remoulade. But the beauty of fried okra is that it's also delicious on its own, enjoyed as a simple, satisfying snack. Whether you're a long-time fan of okra or a curious newcomer, fried okra is a dish that's sure to delight.

What Is Fried Okra Made Of?

Fried okra is typically made of fresh okra pods that are coated in a batter or breading mixture and then deep-fried until they are crispy and golden brown. The breading often includes flour, cornmeal, and various seasonings, while some recipes may also use buttermilk or eggs to help the breading adhere to the okra.

Is Fried Okra Good Or Bad For You?

Like many foods, fried okra can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. Okra itself is a nutritious vegetable that is high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. However, frying okra does increase its calorie and fat content, especially if it's deep-fried. For a healthier version, you can try baking or air frying okra instead.

Can I Use Frozen Okra To Fry?

Yes, you can use frozen okra for frying. It's a convenient option when fresh okra is not in season or readily available. Before frying, it's recommended to thaw the frozen okra and pat it dry to remove excess moisture.

How Thick Is The Slice Okra For Frying?

The thickness of the okra slices can depend on personal preference, but a common recommendation is to slice the okra into 1/2 inch pieces. This size is large enough to provide a good bite but small enough to ensure the okra cooks evenly.

What To Serve with Southern Fried Okra?

Enjoy this Southern classic at home with our easy and delicious Fried Okra recipe. It's the perfect way to bring a taste of the South to your table.

Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Fried Okra:

How To Store Fried Okra?

Fried okra is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

To store crispy Fried Okra, allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Place the cooled fried okra into an airtight container. If you're storing multiple layers of fried okra, place a sheet of parchment paper or additional paper towels between the layers to prevent them from sticking together. Store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

When you're ready to enjoy the leftover fried okra, reheat it in the oven on a baking sheet at a low temperature 300 °F (150 °C) for about 10-15 minutes. This will help restore some of the crispness without making the okra overly greasy.

Can Fried Okra Be Frozen?

Yes, fried okra can be frozen for longer-term storage. To freeze fried okra, allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Place the cooled fried okra in a single layer on a baking sheet or a tray lined with parchment paper. Put the baking sheet with it in the freezer and let it freeze for about 1-2 hours or until the okra pieces are firm. Place them in a freezer-safe container or airtight freezer bag. Store it for 2 months in the freezer.

To reheat the frozen fried okra, preheat the oven to around 375 °F (190 °C). Spread the frozen okra in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through and crispy. Avoid reheating fried okra in the microwave, as it can make the coating soggy.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @PETITEGOURMETS using the hashtag #PGRECIPES and share on Instagram. We'll feature you on our site.

Shop on Petite Gourmets