- 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)
- In a large shallow bowl, whisk together egg whites and 2 tablespoons cold water. Add okra, and toss to coat completely.
- 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
- 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.
- Return oil to 375 degrees; repeat with remaining okra. Season with salt, and serve with hot sauce, if desired.
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.