Spray pan with a nonstick butter spray, heat griddle to medium-high, so it gets hot.
Mix together the cornmeal, water, and salt, and allow mixture to sit for a few minutes. The batter should be very thin. Add sliced okra and stir together.
Reduce heat to no higher than medium. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and pour batter into center of griddle, allowing it to spread to sides. The "lace" will form a crispy edge.
*Cook's Note: Use the "inverted plate on top" technique to flip hoecake.
* When the edges are slightly brown, place a wet glass plate over the hoecake. With a dishcloth, grab the handle of the pan, flip the pan and hoecake onto the plate. Slide the hoecake off the plate back in the pan to cook the other side, until golden brown.
Stir the batter and add oil to the pan before making your next hoecake. Serve with butter.
Recipes courtesy Paula Deen, 2008