We’re Nutty About Fried Okra (Here’s Why)

August 23, 2012 | By | Comments (5)
Nutty Okra

Nutty Okra Recipe, Photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Okra connoisseurs are like pound cake lovers – everyone has their favorite recipe. Around the Southern Living offices, it’s this Nutty Okra recipe, which gets added crunch from pulse-chopped peanuts. So what is this little green veggie and how do Southerners eat it? Our Test Kitchen has the answers.

  • Okra – slender, green, fuzzy, fingerlike pods containing numerous small, edible seeds.
  • It’s available fresh all year long in the South, but for the rest of the country, it’s at its peak during the summer months. You can always get okra canned or frozen, although they yield entirely different results.
  • When choosing okra, our Test Kitchen experts recommend the smaller ones – they’re more tender.
  • Okra has a mild flavor, but when cooked in liquid, it gives off a viscous substance that thickens the liquid. That’s why it’s such a key ingredient in gumbo.
  • You can also fry it, steam it, or grill it as a vegetable.
  • To coat okra for frying, our Test Kitchen recommends getting the vegetable “slimy” first. There are two ways to do this: You can pour boiling water over sliced okra in a colander or cut it, salt it, and let it stand for 20 minutes. The okra will get sticky and  it’ll be much easier to coat it. The sliminess also means you don’t have to use an egg wash (which leads to thicker, breadier coating) and your final product will be more crispy!
  • For this nutty recipe or any time you coat with nuts, remember that they burn quickly, so watch the okra as you fry it to prevent it from turning to a crisp.
  • In general, avoid overcooking okra. They’re done in 5 to 10 minutes, so if you’re preparing a long-simmering dish, add it toward the end of the cooking time.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you love boiled peanuts in the summer, you’ll love this nutty okra recipe. Grab an RC Cola and enjoy this snack in true Southern style.

What’s your go-to okra recipe?

Ham-Stuffed Biscuits With Mustard Butter

Photo by Tina Cornett

Can’t get enough of our Southern Staples? Get all the recipes you need in our 100 Ways to Cook Southern slideshow.

COMMENTS

  1. Diane Huey

    Hmmm! Sounds so good :)

    August 23, 2012 at 11:26 am
  2. Kay Horton

    I love just emptying a bag of frozen cut okra in the toaster oven (set to 400 degrees for 20 -30 minutes) that has been sprayed with olive oil and then spraying the top of the okra and salting with sea salt. I eat it as a snack! Wonderful low calorie snack!

    August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm
  3. Nancy K. Reed

    My favorite go-to recipe for okra is: Okra Patties, simply make up your favorite cornbread recipe or make up a packaged bag/box of the same and add cut up fresh okra, maybe 1 1/2 c. of okra or however much your recipe will tolerate. Drop a dollop into a heated skillet with a T. of olive oil
    and continue to drop spoonfuls and let brown and turn over. Place on platter and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Make another round and finish up, Enjoy with your meal. This works well just out of the freezer-just cut up the pieces as they defrost a little, then add to cornbread.

    Nancy Reed

    August 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm
  4. glenda

    Why not just batter it with cornmeal fry it in hot canola oil and sea salt. nom nom delicious.

    August 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm
  5. Southern Cuisine | joeccombs2nd

    [...] We’re Nutty About Fried Okra (Here’s Why) (thedailysouth.southernliving.com) [...]

    September 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm