Fried Okra?

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emmymom
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2003/09/19 01:17:19 (permalink)

Fried Okra?

Got some cute lil' okra from my local (VERY local - about half a mile down the road) farm stand, and I want to fry it with a cornmeal coating, but I'm not quite sure how to proceed. Leave it whole or slice it? Flour it first? Egg, then cornmeal? Any seasonings? Fry it in vegetable oil, or can I use some of that bacon grease I saved? Calling all southern cooks!
#1

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    scbuzz
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 07:54:06 (permalink)
    The way I do it is to first put a cast iron skillet on the burner, cut the okra in wheels, then put in bag (a ziplock bag will do) with cornmeal with some salt and pepper added, then shake well. When skillet is hot, put in cooking oil (I just use a few table spoons worth, you can add more later if needed), pour okra into the hot oil and fry until crispy. My personal preference is to fry the okra until it is almost burnt ! (but thats just me) !
    #2
    Bushie
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 09:06:20 (permalink)
    I second scbuzz's method. That's exactly how I do it, except I don't cook until "almost burnt". Most restaurants seem to batter it, but I do NOT like it that way.

    BTW, Monument Cafe in Georgetown, TX, cooks it the right way, and it's wonderfully delicious. In fact, I think I'll drive up there for lunch today...

    Edited to say; by all means, use that bacon grease!
    #3
    Rusty246
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 09:42:15 (permalink)
    Triple the vote as above. Okra is slimy enough that you don't need the egg. I prefer mine a little less than burnt but I'll eat it just about anyway....fried, okra and tomatoes over rice, ANYWAY. One other possible tip. I "cut" my corn meal with a little flour. Dredge the okra and let it stand on a wire rack for about 15 minute before frying. That seems to let the cornmeal/flour adhere a little better in my opinion. Bacon grease wins my vote, I ALWAYS save my bacon grease, especially for when it comes to corn bread time! Have fun with it and enjoy, you can't go wrong. Sounds like a good lunch idea to me as well!
    #4
    Lone Star
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 10:02:42 (permalink)
    I also agreed with the above method. One of my co-workers told me that she has always made her fried okra the way her grandmother taught her, which was to add potatoes and tomatoes to the breading mix and fry along with the okra. I have never tried this, but it does sound interesting.
    #5
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 11:02:01 (permalink)
    O.k., Iknow this is wrong, but.....you should try them (small ones) in a basic tempura batter. Just tip them (both ends) and dip in regular tempura stuff. They are incredible.

    I like them the regular way too and I agree with everyone who says no egg wash, the stuff is sticky enough alone. Just cut into wheels and dip in a fifty fifty mixture of yellow corn meal and white self rising flour. Fry until a little past golden brown and drain on paper towels.
    #6
    scbuzz
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 13:27:11 (permalink)
    I prefer the bacon grease too !! But I never seem to have any around !!

    I guess I just don't eat enough Bacon .... must add that to my TO DO list !!
    #7
    Rusty246
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 15:04:35 (permalink)
    I use alot for beans, peas(acres, fields), cornbread, so I'm often short on it myself. Also, it doesn't help when my husband pours the hot grease into a cold jar. Isn't it neat how the bottom of jar falls right off!? What's he doin' in my kitchen anyway?????
    #8
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 15:08:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty246

    I use alot for beans, peas(acres, fields), cornbread, so I'm often short on it myself. Also, it doesn't help when my husband pours the hot grease into a cold jar. Isn't it neat how the bottom of jar falls right off!? What's he doin' in my kitchen anyway?????


    Mason Jars don't break. You can bake in em if you want to. In fact, there is a company (Cora's) that seels cakes baked right in the jars.
    #9
    Rusty246
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 16:04:24 (permalink)
    I own one mason jar.....I use it for my sweet tea. My sister in law cans, I'll have to hit her up for a couple, but then again, my glassware seems to be walking off again and a case of mason jars is cheaper than glassware these days.
    #10
    emmymom
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 16:22:53 (permalink)
    Had my okra for lunch today, and a fine lunch it was, too, with yellow-tomato salad on the side and a slice of homemade apple pie for dessert. Thank you, Hurricane Isabel - I didn't have to work today, so I had time to cook!

    I cut off the tips and ends, then sliced it about 1/2 inch thick. I shook it in a bag of about 2/3 cornmeal, 1/3 flour, dried it on a rack for 15 minutes, then fried it up in bacon grease. Most of the coating fell off in the pan, but enough remained to make a nice crackle on the outside. I had seasoned the cornmeal with just salt and pepper, which was nice, but next time I think I'll add a little cayenne...just my own preference.

    As you can see, I incorporated various people's suggestions. Thanks to all for your help! The okra was yummy.

    We have bacon about once a week, on the weekend, so I've been saving the fat, starting recently. It makes real good fried potatoes, too.
    #11
    Bushie
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/19 16:44:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by emmymom

    Had my okra for lunch today, and a fine lunch it was, too, with yellow-tomato salad on the side and a slice of homemade apple pie for dessert...

    Sounds yummy, emmymom! Thanks for "reporting back". You've also inspired me to add some cayenne to the next batch I make! (I feel stupid that I've never done that before!)

    I drove up to the Monument Cafe for lunch as I intended, but today they weren't serving fried okra!! Oh well. I'm glad ONE of us got to enjoy some.
    #12
    EliseT
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/20 00:55:03 (permalink)
    While we're on the subject, just how long can I keep that jar of bacon grease for anyways?
    #13
    lleechef
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/20 03:08:19 (permalink)
    Elise, you can keep it a long, long time, the stuff never seems to go bad. I have a batch in the fridge that must be from late spring (in the summer we're having bacon on the boat or in the camper and the grease gets used to fry the eggs in ).
    #14
    Bushie
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/20 16:08:36 (permalink)
    Although my mother always just kept her crockery jar on the stove, I keep my Mason jar full of bacon grease in the fridge. I use it constantly, but we have bacon once every weekend or two, so I constantly replenish. Heaven only knows how old that stuff on the bottom is , but I agree with lleechef; I don't think it ever goes bad.
    #15
    MikeS.
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/21 07:08:51 (permalink)
    I love fried and boiled okra but I haven't been able to find any good quality fresh okra around DC. I did see some at Giant foods a couple weeks ago but it wasn't good quality or fresh.

    Anyone in the metro DC area know where I can get some?

    Even Picky Peggy will eat fried okra
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/21 07:46:07 (permalink)
    Our red Okra started out slow but is now bearing heavily. We are picking it ever other day and have the tasty veggie several times a week.

    The scientific reason we picked red over the green was we accidently bought the wrong type. Was not a bad mistake as I cannot tell the difference. Our first planting went wrong for some reason. All plants died. I have talked with several others who indicated the same problem. Our second planting worked much better.

    We also had problems with our bell peppers, but finally they are producing well.

    I planted about 100 onions, but next year I will double.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    EliseT
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/21 19:51:20 (permalink)
    Thanks! My mom always kept her bacon grease forever, but my boyfriend raised and eyebrow when I tried to use some from 3 months before, so I started wondering. My mom was raised on a farm in northern Alberta, and we often have exchanges like this:

    "We never put eggs in a refrigerator on the farm!"

    "Mom, you guys lived IN a refrigerator!"
    #18
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/23 19:29:15 (permalink)
    I used my okra in my beef stew and I gave me the solidity that I desired.

    In addition, it tasted good

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #19
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/23 23:44:12 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    There's no telling what his secret really was, but I ate some fried okra at Mama's Place on 42 Highway in Stockbridge, Georgia that was so light that they had to put a lid on the skillet to keep it from rising right up to the vent hood. To eat it, you had to take the service plate off the top, then quickly reach in and grab some on your fork before they all escaped.
    Okay, so I exaggerate a whet. But only a whet. It really was dangnear lighter-than-air.
    "My only two secrats are Crisco oil and timing," he remarked to me. He had as good a hand with chicken livers, too. "He's plumb got THE TOUCH," Mama informed me. She was right.
    Unfortunately, he died of a brain aneurism at age 42 (not related to heart: related to a car addident years before). Mama couldn't handle it, and although she and his widow tried to keep going, it broke Mama's heart. She died a year later, and the place is gone... it's now a travel trailer dealersbip.
    This is living proof that some of the best eateries hang by a fairly slender thread. Enjoy 'em while they're here, folks.
    Nostalgically, Ort. Carlton in Fried-Okra-Shy Athens, Georgia.
    P. S. My story is true... sad, but true.
    #20
    familydok
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/09/24 05:52:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by emmymom

    Got some cute lil' okra from my local (VERY local - about half a mile down the road) farm stand, and I want to fry it with a cornmeal coating, but I'm not quite sure how to proceed. Leave it whole or slice it? Flour it first? Egg, then cornmeal? Any seasonings? Fry it in vegetable oil, or can I use some of that bacon grease I saved? Calling all southern cooks!

    We have several rows of okra and have tried lots of methods of cooking. We like it best cut and then using Autry's seafood breader-it already has salt, etc. and then frying in our Fry Daddy or other deep fryer until golden-not long! It is also great boiled briefly on top of small fresh lima (butter) beans.
    #21
    jdg68
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/10/05 12:00:56 (permalink)
    My method is basically same as everyone else's. I use a cast iron frying pan or dutch oven with veg/sunflower oil (about 1/2 inch). I use a fish fry cornmeal mix to cover the okra. I just fry it and turn each piece over which is a little time consuming but worth it. It's best if eaten immediately. Also if you are frying a big batch it is a good idea to change the oil when the crumbs start to build up and make a sort of "sludge."

    I had frozen some okra but had to throw it out due to lack of power after the storm. We also got a light frost which nipped the tops of the plants but they seem to be okay (some plants are about 6').
    Added some to fried potatoes this am, still cooking...
    #22
    Hode
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/10/05 22:44:00 (permalink)
    I like to grow my own okra , they have a creamy yellow flower bloom at the start. And at harvest I do as most have suggested cooking wise, however I keep the applesauce close by if they are too hot.
    #23
    redtressed
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    RE: Fried Okra? 2003/10/07 23:51:06 (permalink)
    Besides bacon grease, another yummy grease to use is fried pork chop grease or fried brats grease...mmmmmmm
    #24
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