Fried Okra

Total Time:
55 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds okra (about 26 pieces)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving, optional
Directions
  • Add the tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 5 ounces of water to a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant and just starting to boil, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

  • Combine the cornmeal, flour, dried basil, garlic powder, dried mustard, cayenne pepper and dried thyme in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

  • Add 2 cups water to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Place a 10-inch bamboo steamer over the pot. Working in batches, add the okra, cover and steam until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a medium, heavy-bottomed pot to reach 3 inches deep. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 365 degrees F.

  • Dip each piece of okra into the tomato paste mixture and then roll in the cornmeal mixture. Working in batches, fry the okra until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Season the fried okra with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place on a serving platter with lemon wedges if using.

  • Special equipment: a 10-inch bamboo steamer; a deep-fry thermometer


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