Prepare to be hooked from your first bite of this Firecracker Fried Okra. Tender garden fresh sliced and dusted with flour then dipped in spicy buttermilk. Dredged in seasoned cornmeal-flour mixture they're fried until crispy and golden. Serve with your favorite dipping or fry sauce and serve as an appetizer or a side dish.
Easy Firecracker Fried Okra Recipe
What is okra? It's a warm weather summer tradition. Okra is a flowering plant that sprouts green seed pods that are edible. These pods are sometimes also referred to as ladies fingers. The pod, or what we call okra, can be prepared in various ways, either stewed, sautéed or as an addition to cornbread. It's also a classic addition to Gumbo, too. I dare say that okra that's been breaded and fried, is at the top of the list of beloved Southern side dishes everyone should learn how to make. So, grab some fresh okra and enjoy these crispy golden poppers at any meal.
How to Make the Best Firecracker Fried Okra Recipe
Even though oven frying or air frying is a simpler way to go for other deep fried favorites, when it comes to this recipe for fried okra, deep frying is the only way to go. It gives okra that crispy crunch that makes it so delectable.
- Ingredients you'll need to make Southern Fried Okra recipe: 1 ¼ pound of fresh okra, cleaned with ends removed and sliced. You'll also need buttermilk, hot sauce, all purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, black pepper and vegetable oil for frying.
- How do I choose the best okra? To avoid tough okra, make sure you choose the freshest farm stand pickings to ensure it will cook-up tender, golden and crispy. It should have a smooth exterior free of brown spots and when gently bent, not feel rubbery. If the okra is tough it's just not fresh, it's that simple.
- For this recipe, the cut okra is dusted with a seasoned flour before dipping in buttermilk and then into the seasoned cornmeal-flour breading. This dredging technique ensures you'll achieve a crispy mouthwatering crunch.
- Serve immediately after frying with your favorite dipping sauces. I highly recommend Comeback Sauce.
- How to make vegetarian friendly Okra Po'Boys: I have two brothers and one of them is a vegetarian. I love cooking for them both but, admittedly being a family who loves meat, it can sometimes challenge me when it come to menu planning. I made a kicked up po'boy for him using this Firecracker Fried Okra. It was an instant hit and the rest of us loved them, too. I simply toasted the hoagie rolls then piled them high with fried okra, lettuce, sliced tomato and a little bit of pickled onion for the finish. You can either drizzle them with comeback sauce or slather the toasted rolls with mayonnaise and a little Dijon mustard.
More Southern Style Okra Recipes to Make
Are you looking for more ways to cook enjoy the short summer window when you can make fresh okra? Checkout these recipes using okra and make the most out of it this season:
- Cajun inspired Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is a filling one dish meal the whole family will love.
- A combination of cornbread with okra is featured in this scratch made Okra Cornbread recipe.
- You may also like to try Okra Rice Casserole from My Recipes.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Firecracker Fried Okra
- 1 ¼ lb fresh okra cleaned, ends removed and sliced
- 1 cup whole buttermilk
- 1-2 teaspoon hot sauce adjust to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus 2 Tbsp divided use
- ½ cup yellow self rising cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4-6 cups vegetable oil for frying
- Add sliced okra to a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoon all purpose flour and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper.
- In another shallow bowl, whisk hot sauce into buttermilk.
- Meanwhile, on a platter or shallow dish, use a whisk to sift together remaining 1 cup flour, yellow cornmeal, salt, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper.
- Dip the floured okra in buttermilk then into the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading. Shake off any excess.
- Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or deep heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 4 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F.
- Fry breaded okra in batches until golden, for about 3-4 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel lined baking pan to drain.
- Dust lightly with salt immediately after removing them from the hot oil.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Yummmmmm! One of the only ways I like okra. Delish!
Me too, Mary! Thanks so much!
Hi, do you think this can be made to freeze? We just have an abundance of okra and would love to just be able fry when needed.
Yes, you could.
Hi Sue, I like the same dipping sauce that I use for my fried pickles. Here's the link https://www.melissassouthernstylekitchen.com/2014/06/fried-pickles-with-creole-dipping-sauce.html
Do you have a recipe for the dipping sauce?
Hi Joy! I know exactly what a "mess" of okra is, and I love it too. ☺ Thank you ♥
Oh, Melissa, I LOVE okra, and there's nothing better than a "mess" of fried okra, as my grandmother used to say. 🙂 This sounds so delicious- from the okra to the buttermilk to the cayenne pepper.
Thanks Didi, I do as well, the fresher the better. ☺
Absolutely love this recipe and saved my friend. I adore okra!!
Hi Linda! Squash or zucchini is great, too. I must say, our grocery stores don't have the freshest okra, either. I only purchase it from local farmers or the famers market and cook it immediately. It makes a fantastic variation for a vegetarian po boy, too. ☺
Sometime we get fresh, not wilted or dry okra up north and it is great, especially cooked the way you do it Melissa. And sometimes we really don't see okra for quite a while. I love this cooking method, so what's your next favorite veggie to cook this way? Our markets are overflowing with produce rhis week and it's a bit overwhelming to try and decide what to try next, I just need a quick tutorial. Thanks M:)
Debra Ann Elliott
Oh my! What Southern cook doesn't love yummy in your tummy okra!
I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I was wondering could I use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil?
Of course, no problem.
I know, it's great isn't it? ☺