Periodically, I jump back to old recipes and update them with new photos and sometimes add a few extra tips for perfecting the dish. This post brought back such sweet memories of taking Jack to his first day at a new preschool. It’s hard to believe he’s about to start the 6th grade now! Get ready for a blast from the past. ~queue time warp sound effect~
Those of you who have been following Southern Bite for a little while know what a big ol’ softie I am – especially when it comes to my little boy. Well, last week he started a new preschool and to say the least, it was traumatic. But things are getting better and today was the first day that they got to go swimming at the new place.
We decked him out in his Elmo swimming trunks and swim shirt this morning (they go swimming first thing in the morning) and we be-bopped our way to school. As we’re walking in, there wasn’t the usual “Daddy, I want to hold you.” He just walked right in without any thought, walked into his classroom, turned to me and said, “Bye, Dad!” Y’all I just about lost it. Bye, Dad!???!?!?! I quickly turned and walked out.
Part of me wanted to snatch that little thing up and firmly instruct him that my name was not “Dad” but “Daddy.” I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for this.
This weekend he was taking his first trip down a slip n’ slide and eating his first homemade grape popsicle, next thing he’ll be wanting to borrow the car. I keep telling myself that he’s only two, but he seems to be growing up so fast. Everyday brings a new word, a new sentence, a new question. Some afternoons he even looks different from when I dropped him off that morning. The way time is flying, I’m afraid I’ll blink and he’ll be graduating from high school.
I’ll make it. Y’all will just have to have patience with me while I whine. Just get comfortable, I’m sure there’s more whining to come.
When folks talk about Fried Okra here in the South, there are really two ways of preparing it.
One is the method where each piece of okra is individually coated in a seasoned flour/cornmeal mixture and deep fried to golden perfection. This is the version you see most often in restaurants. The other method is the skillet method where the okra is stir fried and you end up with more of a hash-like texture. This is probably the version you remember from your mom or grandma’s kitchen. And it’s the one we’re making today.
A few things to keep in mind…
When choosing fresh okra, opt for smaller pods that are bright green without tons of dark spots. The smaller pods are more tender. The bigger they get, the more tough and fibrous they become. Dark spots appear on okra that’s older, so avoid that if you can.
Yes, you can use frozen, thawed cut okra for this as well. It’s not my favorite, but it works just fine during the winter months when you can’t get fresh.
Cast iron holds heat well and it can be easy to burn this okra so be sure to adjust the heat as necessary.
There’s no real need to do this, but I often mash mine up a bit as it finishes cooking to produce more of a hash-like texture. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
Old School Skillet Fried Okra
- 1 lb okra (about 4 cups, cut)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Wash and cut okra in about half inch pieces, discarding the tip and stem ends. Then rinse cut okra under cool water.
- In a large bowl, add salt, pepper, and corn meal to damp okra. Toss lightly to coat.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
- Once oil is heated, carefully add okra including meal remaining in the bottom of the bowl. Stir frequently until the okra is browned and cooked through (about 20 minutes) - being cautious not to burn it. I also like to mash mine up a bit to get that hash-like consistency.
Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
I like to add onion to mine.
Sounds good to me!
I recently tried to make your recipe for this okra, but I couldn’t find the end of the recipe on your website.
Oh I’m so sorry! Were you looking at the actual recipe card? What was the last part that you could see?
Stacy, no problem. The last step was to put the okra in a hot skillet to brown.
Thanks so much, were looking into it!
Loved it. I needed a recipe and found this. one. It was easy simple and really tasted delicious.
Thank you so much Patti!
I can’t read the recipe, popup’s keep blocking me from seeing the recipe. So frustrating!
Once you click the “x”, they should not pop-up anymore.
I think no matter what part of the south we’re all from, we can all relate. I am from South Texas and grew up eating okra any way it could be made. we grew up with a large garden, and we canned and froze a lot of stuff. We shared our bounty also. Still to this day, I could sit there and eat the whole pan full. It’s almost the same as frying bacon, soon as you take a strip out from the skillet you cannot wait to eat it! Even today, it’s hard for okra to even make it inside the house, because as soon as those pods are big enough to pick, I’m eating them raw, like I said okra is good anyway you can get it! Y’all enjoy your weekend and make sure you have some good okra to go along with it!
You’re the second person the mention eating it raw and I’ve honestly never heard of that! I’ve GOT to try it!
Yes it’s just amazing! Definitely go far the smaller ones because they are more tender, even though I’ve picked some larger ones that were on the verge and ate them anyway. ☺️
I’ve got to try it! 🙂
Love your recipe!
About 70 or so years ago, my beloved aunt grew a wonderful garden every summer, which meant she had plenty of great vegetables and okra. The 6 cousins would get together and when lunch time came, my aunt had prepared a wonderful recipe of onions, tomatoes, okra and one pound of hamburger. She simmered it on the stove top and served it over a bowl of hot rice. I had always had fried okra, so her recipe served over hot rice was quite different for me. At first, I picked out all of the okra and put it to the side to eat separately, but then I saw the other cousins eating theirs over the rice and eating it with a spoon, so I joined in. I was hooked on my aunt’s recipe.
Stacey, recently I heard on a TV cooking show that you can marinate slices of okra in buttermilk, then batter and fry it. Have you heard about that or tried it?
That sounds absolutely amazing! Now my mouth is watering! Yes, I’ve got another recipe for okra coming up next week that is close to what you’ve mentioned here.
See all of these posts are 3 years or older… I just stumbled onto your site and “shore nuff” love the OKRA comments. My mom always pre-boiled her full stemmed okra, battered with cornmeal-flour mix and fried in deep grease (preferred bacon grease, if on hand). She recently passed without writing anything down so imagine a full bag of fresh okra and 4 adult gals unsure of how MOM did it! (I’ll try your directions but with whole okra…not bites.
I love whole fried okra too!
My great granny would make it the same way like that. She would take the smaller pods and lightly batter and fry them in bacon grease as well. Those were the good all days!
I cannot wait to make this!!! I have just stumbled across your site and I love it!!!!!
I just made some fried okra! I make mine like Winnie Mom makes hers. No breading just some grease to fry it in and some salt and peppe! YUMMY!
No matter how you do it, It’s just good! 🙂
We like Okra in our house. My husband likes some put in with his peas while they are cooking.
He likes me to cook like his Momma did–a little olive oil and butter (she used bacon grease) in the pan then put the cut up Okra in and keep turning until lightly browned and not slimy adding salt & pepper to taste. That’s it. No flour or cornmeal.
Sounds delish! I love it in peas and beans, too! I even put some in greens as well.
If you are running short on your okra supply, you can also throw in some cut green onions to the mix!
Take my word for you do blink and they are grown – My baby of 6 just turned 16 yesterday. (Although she thinks she is 26) and the baby boy will be 18 Oct 27th. Trust me in warning you some where around 15 to 23 they loose their mind – think we know nothing and have never lived. They come back to reality about 23 to 25. LOL Ours range from 33 to 16. Good luck and hold on tight to eevery memory you can – lots of pictures and diarys help. You will think you will never forget a certain event and years later you will say to yourself – what exacly was that – how was is he/she said that etc….
Thanks, Cheryl! It’s tough watching them grow up, but it’s such a joy too!
I love to hear the stories you tell of your little boy. What memories you bring back to me of my own son at that age and he is now 46. Yes, time flies by so quickly, so enjoy this journey with him and don’t take for granted not even one moment of his precious little life while you are raising him. One day all of this will be a precious memory to you as you are seeing him grow up. They are so preicous the love they give, the things they say and do. But you are so lucky he is little right now and you can watch him grow every year for it will be something different and you will see he will make you proud to be his father year after year. Back to the okra, before I started reminisding, I tried the first recipe and loved it and can’t wait to try this one. I love okra, any way it is fixed.
Hi – I have never heard of putting green tomatoes with okra. My Mom used to fry potatoes with it to stretch it when there wasn’t quite enough. I love fried green tomatoes, so I’m gonna’ try doing it that way! My husband had never had okra until he joined my family, he loves it too. Fried okra and fresh tomatoes can’t be beat. I’m waiting for summer!
Bless his heart. Even though he was late to the party, I’m glad he joined us!
This is the way I love to eat fried okra, just the way my Mama and Granny made it.
And I know exactly what you mean…my “baby” is 17 and I just don’t know how that happened.
I love this blog entry for two reasons: 1. I love your stories about your little boy so much, ’cause I have two sons who aren’t little anymore. You always remind me of happy memories with them. 2. This is my favorite way to have okra! (Or as the old folks back in Alabama say, “Okrie.”) Sometimes when we’d cut the okra and there wasn’t enough to make a whole panful, Mama would dice up some green tomatoes so they were about the same size as a piece of okra and add them to the mix to fry. Now, I do it on purpose because I love the taste of them together so much.
Thanks, Sarah! You’re so sweet. I LOVE okra and green tomatoes too! It’s soo good. Funny you mentioned that, I’ve got a fried green tomatoes recipes coming soon!
Cook mine just like you do, but like to add a chopped green tomato or two and a couple of chopped jalpeno’s to mine. Especially if your mess of okra is not quite enough. delish
Ohlawd….. Now i want fried Okra so bad!
This is the only way to eat it…..
Honestly, I’m craving it again too!
That should be HE will be an adult. Hopefully hubby and I are adults by now lol.
We have a 2 year old too so I know what you mean. New words come out of his mouth everyday. Words that we have never actually taught him just ones that we have heard us say. Its amazing. We will be an adult before I have time to blink.
It’s really scary how quickly time flies! Enjoy every minute of him!
I just want to add 1 thing…This is almost..the same recipe I grew up eating in south Georgia except…we added 3 Tablespoons of flour to help hold it together a little better…We put the meal and flour in a brown paperbag and dropped the Okry in and shook it up and then dipped it out with a Large slotted spoon..
I know..you spell it Okra..but you say it Okry…LOL
One time I was in line at Morrison’s in Florida and I asked for a serving of Okry..the lady corrected me and said ” It’s Okra ” !! I asked her if she had ever grown it..she said No.. Well then , I said.. Give me some Okry… I grow it…cut it…and cook it…She laughed and served me… ; )
We also would let it brown real good and then use a spautla to turn it over like an omelette..and then put it in a hot over for about 10 more mins..Love Okra cooked this way…Especially with Fresh cut off the cob Corn and Field Peas and Sliced Maters out of the garden…
Boy, I’m hungry now!
I have a question. My mom fried okra and I loved it! I could do it and then stopped for awhile and now I can’t get it right. Please help!
I know she used a skillet, sometimes the okra was frozen in a clump and she covered it with a lid while it thawed-while cooking. It was soft but had crunchy pieces too. My is just soggy. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Lea! Are you cooking it the entire time with the lid on? That can keep it from crisping up.
“We also would let it brown real good and then use a spautla to turn it over like an omelette..and then put it in a hot over for about 10 more mins..Love Okra cooked this way…Especially with Fresh cut off the cob Corn and Field Peas and Sliced Maters out of the garden…”
OMG, make me homesick why don’t ya? I haven’t had field peas in years and apartment living makes it hard to grow my own fresh veggies. Try asking a Nebraska person at the farmer’s market for okra, field peas and peanuts, they look at you like you are speaking a foreign language. Guess I am, I speak Southern.
Be proud of those Southern roots! Hey, why don’t you let me ship ya some okra!?!?
MMMMMmmm I wish I had some frech Okra.. oh and a green mater to cut up in it 🙂
You are making my mouth water talking about that menu. Just add a fresh cut onion! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……
Yes Melba, I grew up here in NC and my mother and father both fried okry fresh from the garden. Today I cook frozen okra from the super market and make a special coating with corn meal a little flour and several seasonings. My daughter just loves it
and we never have any left over.
Oh my gawd…I am soooo hungry now! What time is supper ;P
I could eat fried okra like popcorn! Sitting on a couch, big bowl of okra, and just PIG OUT!!!
And, time does fly…seems like yesterday Savannah had the blankie with the satin trim and would suck her thumb and rub that satin while she slept. In 13 days she will turn 13!!!!
Glad y’all had a good holiday! 😉