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Fried Okra


This Southern favorite tastes delicious fried.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4


  • 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 Notes

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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