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Cornmeal-Crusted Okra

1 cup cornmeal                         Coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper                 Lemon wedges

1 lb small okra (pref 3 inches or less) stems removed

About 1 cup peanut oil for frying

1. Place the cornmeal and salt and pepper to taste in a small brown paper or plastic bag.  Cut the okra crosswise into ½ pieces.  Drop the okra into the bag with the cornmeal and shake to coat.  Dump the okra into a large strainer and shake gently over the sink or a bowl to remove the excess cornmeal.

2.  Heat ¼ inch of oil in an 11- or 12- inch skillet over high heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add half the okra and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the okra to a platter lined with paper towels.  Repeat the process with the remaining okra.  Sprinkle the fried okra with salt to taste and serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

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