Growing up, I hated okra. As I kid, I thought it was slimy and terrible. My ﬁrst taste of okra fries didn't do much to dispel my childhood aversion. But I kept thinking, "How can I make okra fries good? You never get crispy okra fries." The key here was using cornstarch and rice ﬂour. Cutting the okra in half from top to bottom, the seeds cling to the rice ﬂour and cornstarch so the batter isn't going anywhere. Mariah Carey sampled these okra fries and said they were the best she'd ever had.
The secret to this dish is letting the halved okra pods soak in eggs. Whatever you do, don't skip that part.
Pour a few inches of vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably cast iron. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, put the okra in a large bowl and toss with the beaten egg. Let the okra stand for 5 minutes to absorb the egg.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the rice flour, cornstarch, paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the okra from the large bowl, allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl, then transfer the okra to the flour mixture. Toss the okra to dredge evenly. Lift from the flour and shake off the excess.
Cook the okra in batches in the hot oil until golden and crunchy, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt immediately. Repeat with the remaining okra.