My fried okra is golden and crispy, with a bit of a spicy kick, and dredged in a deliciously seasoned combination of cornmeal and panko for added crunchy texture. A terrific cajun-inspired snack or appetizer, this scrumptious fried okra recipe comes with a creole mustard remoulade for zesty dipping!
Fried Okra, a Crispy Cajun-Inspired Treat
There seems to be no two ways about it when it comes to okra, that green pod-like piece of produce with a bit of an infamously sticky-slimy texture—you either love it, or you don't.
I happen to firmly be in camp “love it”, its stickiness never bothering me.
In fact, I very much enjoy it stewed with tomatoes and garlic, all nice and saucy-spicy, as well as in my Gumbo-laya recipe, which is my own hybrid of jambalaya and gumbo.
I recently realized that it had actually been quite a while since I last enjoyed some tasty okra, and figured it would be a bit of a treat to try it fried, which was a way that I had never enjoyed it before.
The idea of a golden, crispy-crunchy outer crust, seasoned liberally with smoky cajun-style spices, sounded super enticing.
And because it's delicious to serve a nice, cool dipping sauce alongside of a fried treat, a tangy-spicy creole mustard remoulade seemed like the perfect accompaniment to these little fried okra pods.
This recipe is just the thing to prepare when something savory, spicy, and a bit unique is what you crave in a snack or appetizer, especially if you're already a fan of okra, like I am.
And if you haven't ventured into trying okra for yourself as of yet, then this recipe is a terrific place to start! It's full of flavor, lots of crispy texture, a good amount of kick, and a delicious creamy and zesty sauce for dipping.
I mean, what isn't absolutely scrumptious when fried? 😉
How to Make Fried Okra with Creole Mustard Remoulade
While many recipes for fried okra call for slicing the okra into relatively small pieces, I actually prefer to keep the okra pods whole.
I simply cut off the tougher little top part where the stem was, and leave the pods as they are, which makes for easier dredging and frying.
Being able to serve and enjoy fried okra pods as I would thick-cut fries or chicken strips, is part of the fun for me. So I like to serve them on either a parchment paper-lined plate or shallow bowl with the sauce on the side.
While a common method for preparing fried okra is to simply soak it in buttermilk and then add it straight into some seasoned cornmeal (or cornmeal mixed with flour), I prefer to use a bit of a "hybrid" method to coat my okra pods.
What I like to do is to soak my whole pods in buttermilk for a few minutes, thoroughly drain them, then use a more traditional breading method to help the coating to better adhere and not fall off during the frying process.
So after soaking the okra pods in the buttermilk, I then toss them in flour, then dip them into whisked eggs, then into their seasoned coating.
And to create that crunchy outer texture, I love an equal ratio of cornmeal and panko breadcrumbs, with some smoky spices added in as well.
For the dipping sauce, I've got a simple remoulade here, which is basically a cold, mayonnaise-based sauce. I also add a kiss of mustard (I'm using creole mustard here), a clove of garlic, some herbs (I like chives), some finely minced cornichons (tiny pickles), a squeeze of lemon, and some spices.
The sauce is such a tasty partner to the crispy fried okra!
Here's a sneak peek at my fried okra recipe with creole mustard remoulade: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get things started, I whisk up my simple creole mustard remoulade to have on hand and ready, and keep that nice and cold in the fridge.
- Then, I soak my okra for a few minutes in buttermilk to help provide extra flavor and some moisture for the flour to better adhere.
- Once the okra has soaked, I drain it very well, allowing any excess buttermilk to drip off; then, I add the okra to my flour to coat, into my egg wash next, and finally into my seasoned mixture of cornmeal and panko to create the crispy outer coating.
- Next, I heat my oil in my cast iron skillet, or other heavy-bottom pan or medium-size pot.
- Once the oil is hot, I fry my okra in batches for about 4 minutes each batch, or until deeply golden-brown and crispy; then, I drain the fried okra on paper towels for a moment.
- To serve the fried okra, I plate them up, garnish with some chives and serve with my creole mustard remoulade and perhaps a few lemon wedges on the side.
Fried Okra with Creole Mustard Remoulade
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 431 calories (per 5 okra pods, plus 2 tablespoons remoulade)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes
Fried Okra Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound okra pods, trimmed of tougher stem
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 to 3 pinches salt
- 2 to 3 pinches black pepper
- 1 teaspoon creole/cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Oil, for frying (peanut, or other high high variety)
- Lemon wedges, optional garnish
- Minced chives, optional garnish
Creole Mustard Remoulade Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons creole mustard
- 2 cornichons (tiny pickles), finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon creole/cajun seasoning
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- To begin, whisk together the ingredients for the creole mustard remoulade in a small dish, and keep cold in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To prepare the okra, gently wash it and pat it dry with paper towels; add it to a bowl, and pour the buttermilk over top, mixing the okra with the buttermilk to coat all the pods; marinate like this for 5 minutes.
- While the okra marinates, prepare your breading station: add your flour to a bowl along with a good pinch of salt and pepper, have your whisked eggs ready in another bowl, and combine the cornmeal with the panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl along with a couple of pinches of salt, black pepper, the creole/cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, granulated onion and garlic, and the cayenne (if using).
- Drain the okra completely from the buttermilk (I like to shake my sieve or strainer to get as much off as possible), then add a batch of the okra to the flour and toss to coat.
- Dip the flour-coated okra into the egg wash and then into the cornmeal/panko mixture, pressing it into the okra gently to help this crispy coating adhere well; place the coated okra onto a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet to hold as your finish coating the rest of the okra.
- To fry, heat enough oil in a large cast iron skillet or shallow pot so that it comes a couple of inches up the skillet (I use about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of oil), and heat it until the oil is 365°, or you see it begin to shimmer. (To test the oil, you can drop a small amount of panko into it and if it sizzles, it's hot enough for frying.)
- Once the oil is hot, add a batch of about 4 to 6 okra pods into the oil and allow the pods to fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning them occasionally for even browning, until they are deeply golden-brown; remove from oil and allow the fried okra to drain for a minute on paper towel-lined wire rack; repeat with the rest of the okra.
- To serve the fried okra, place onto a serving platter, sprinkle with minced chives and perhaps a small sprinkle of cayenne or smoked paprika, and serve with the chilled creole mustard remoulade for dipping and perhaps a wedge or two of lemon.
Tips & Tidbits for my Fried Okra with Creole Mustard Remoulade:
- Smaller okra pods for a more delicate texture: If you happen to be able to choose between smaller okra pods and larger ones, opt for the smaller. They're a bit more delicate in texture and easier to bite through once fried, and even a little more elegant.
- Trim off the top “stem” part of the okra: While you should leave the slender, pointy bottom end of the okra pod as is, do trim off a little bit of that small stem part at the top of each pod. It's a bit too tough to enjoy.
- Buttermilk to help coating adhere: Buttermilk helps to provide not only some tenderizing moisture to the okra, but also some additional flavor. I also find that it helps the flour to adhere a little bit better to that small amount of leftover buttermilk that coats the pods.
- Creole mustard remoulade: I like to use slightly spicy creole-style mustard for this cool and tangy remoulade sauce, but if you can't find that, feel free to substitute whole-grain mustard or spicy brown mustard. You can even add some cayenne pepper to achieve your desired level of “kick”.
- Peanut oil for crunch, or other high-heat oil: When it comes to frying foods, I'm a huge fan of using peanut oil. It's a bit more expensive, but the quality is great, and it gives the food (okra in this case) a nice flavor, coupled with a terrific crunch, because it's specifically useful for high-heat cooking.