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Under 30 Minutes

Fried Okra

This Southern favorite tastes delicious fried.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Fried Okra


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 pound okra, trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together egg whites and 2 tablespoons cold water. Add okra, and toss to coat completely.

  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, cayenne,
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon
    ground pepper; divide between two
    shallow bowls. Lift half the okra
    from egg mixture, letting excess drain
    off; add to cornmeal mixture in one
    bowl, and toss to coat evenly. Repeat
    with remaining okra, adding it to
    second bowl.

  3. In a deep 12-inch cast-iron skillet,
    heat oil to 375 degrees on a deep-fry
    thermometer. Carefully place half
    the okra in oil. Gently stir pieces
    (without disturbing coating). Cook
    until golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes;
    adjust heat as needed to keep
    oil temperature between 300 and
    350 degrees. With a slotted spoon, transfer
    okra to a paper-towel-lined baking
    sheet to drain.

  4. Return oil to 375 degrees; repeat with remaining okra. Season with salt, and serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Cook's Note

Using egg whites instead of whole eggs results in a lighter, crispier coating. A cast-iron skillet works best, but any heavy skillet will do. Look for cornmeal in the baking section of your supermarket. Be sure not to buy a mix, which may contain flour and other ingredients.

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