Southern Fried Okra Recipe

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No summer is complete without a few batches of homemade fried okra, dredged in flour and fried until golden. These fried nuggets with hints of green peeping through are so delicious, there’s no need to add anything to them except a light dusting of salt.

Fried Okra

I love okra in every shape and form whether its grilled, roasted, in gumbo, or smothered with tomatoes. I recently discovered a new okra dish, Okra Parmigiana, and it has quickly become a favorite.

Fried Okra

But nothing beats straight up fried okra. It is simple and delicious and you can’t stop popping one piece after another into your mouth, hence its nickname “southern popcorn”. The fact that I hate to fry and do it only a few times a year makes fried okra feel extra special.

Fried Okra

Typically southerners fry their okra in cornmeal or a mixture of cornmeal and flour, but I like just a light coating of flour. Sometimes the flavor of the okra gets hidden beneath a heavy cornmeal coating.

I use a large cast iron skillet for frying, but any type of skillet will work, or even a Dutch oven.

Fried Okra

When selecting okra, always choose smaller pods that are uniformly green. They develop black specks when they are not fresh. Larger okra pods (more than about 3 to 4 inches in length), get a little fibrous and tough.

Using a paper bag makes the process of coating the okra quick and easy.

Okra can go from lightly browned to black and burnt very quickly, especially if you are using a cast iron skillet which really conducts heat well. You’ll have to flip them over as fast as you can. Not an easy task to do without splashing hot oil on your hands. Just keep telling yourself it’s worth it.

Fried Okra

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Fried Okra

Fried Okra

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 6
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Fresh summer okra, sliced and coated with flour and then fried until golden.
Print Recipe


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds okra, caps cut off and sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil


  • In a pie plate or paper lunch bag, mix together flour, salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
  • Working in several batches, place okra in egg mixture and coat well.
  • Transfer to pie plate or paper bag and coat with flour.
  • Pour about 1 inch Vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil until about 375 degrees.
  • Place a single layer of okra in the oil. Cook until golden brown on bottom and use a spoon to flip over. Try to flip over a few at a time or it will take a long time to work your way through all of them and a few pieces may burn by the time you get to them.
  • Once golden brown on both sides, use a slotted spoon to remove okra to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle okra with some salt as soon as you remove it from the oil.
  • Add more oil to the pan and fry remaining okra. Serve warm.


Calories: 224kcal

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68 thoughts on “Southern Fried Okra Recipe

  1. Hi there!
    I’m about to make this, but wondered if Ziploc bags wouldn’t work as well as a paper bag.
    Anyone? 🙂

  2. If you have a round bottom Chinese style wok, try using it to fry okra. You’ll like it. The okra will naturally collect at the bottom of the wok due to gravity, and be evenly covered by the hot oil.
    The round bottom also makes it easy to turn the okra with a spatula, ensuring even browning without breaking off the crust.
    I didn’t happen to have any milk on hand at the time, so I only used the egg wash. Turned out fine. The good thing about fried okra is that it solves the problem with a slimy texture.

  3. These turned out perfect! Crunchy, light crusty bits, and so easy! This is my first time making fried okra. I normally purchased the pre-breaded frozen okra, but since I moved to Orlando, FL from Tennesee, I haven’t found any, anywhere. The truth is, this recipe is better anyway! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Growing up, my mom had a lidded container which sat at the back of the stove, into which she collected all the bacon grease. I’m telling you, you just haven’t lived until you’ve tasted fried okra cooked in bacon grease, instead of some type of oil.

  5. I have had a cold salad of fried oakra, chopped green onions, good cooked in corn meal, chop finely tomatoes. I don’t eat tomat os, so I leave them out. But it’s a good mix. Don’t th I k I’d use flour in this.

  6. I tried this and my family loved it. The way I usually make fried okra is a family tradition. We mix okra, yellow squash and potatoes and onion and green chili together all chopped same size put into buttermilk then flour and cornmeal then fry all together in large cast iron skillet. Salt and pepper while still hot. This is very good to in our family this is served only with a salad

  7. Delicious! I added cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to my mix. They were amazing and took me back to childhood. I’m not a big fan of cornmeal, so these are definitely a winner and will make again next season with my fresh okra!

    1. That is the way I love them too… cajun seasoning or even calabrian chilies… just a pop of hot to the mix and you have scored big time!!!

  8. I am non celiac gluten sensitive and made your recipe for my husband. It’s the first time I made fried okra with flour only and no corn meal. He LOVED it and said I could make it again anytime. Thank you!

  9. I followed the recipe with the exception of adding 1 tablespoon of Jalapeno Garlic seasoning to the flour mixture.
    The flour coating stayed on the okra. They were absolutely delicious. A must keep recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. We like to dice up potatoes small (50-50 mixture), use a 50-50 cornmeal flower mixture and fry it in a few tablespoons of bacon grease. A little salt and pepper and… Mmmmm.. Mmmmm good! We may have to try it with onion as Susie below says.

  11. Didn’t have access to cornmeal, therefore was happy to see that it was okay to use just flour. Result was great. Just like the photos posted above!

  12. Living in Texas we ate okra all the time in the past. We use to use a corn meal base so not to mask the great okra flavor. Have you ever added cornmeal to your fried okra?

  13. I loved just the flour coating. So light tasting and crispy. Tasted so much better than what I tried last week with the flour and cornmeal. My guest said it was the best fried okra she’s had. I did add some garlic powder to it as I love garlic.

  14. We can okra, then when winter demands soup, in goes the okra- helps to thicken the soup and flavour! Fried sounds delicious too, thanks!

  15. I loved this recipe!! the okra is so addictive🤭 and yummy. so much better than what I’ve gotten in restaurants.

    1. I tried this and my family loved it. The way I usually make fried okra is a family tradition. We mix okra, yellow squash and potatoes and onion and green chili together all chopped same size put into buttermilk then flour and cornmeal then fry all together in large cast iron skillet. Salt and pepper while still hot. This is very good to in our family this is served only with a salad

  16. I love fried okra but find slicing and frying up the slices a little tedious. I like to slice the pods in half lengthwise, bread and fry. Thanks for your recipe. I have not used regular flour before so looking forward to giving it a go!

    1. I’m with you, Judy! I slice the okra lengthwise, too! I prefer the “chip” style rather than the “popcorn” style…

  17. In many parts of the South, we dice onions & potatoes and fry with the sliced okra. It’s wonderful and addictive!

  18. I live in Cambodia and cannot get corn meal so I tried this recipe and it was awesome! I added Cajun seasoning to the flour and about 1 teaspoon of trappy’s Louisiana hot sauce to the egg mixture. This recipe is a keeper!

  19. Just picked fresh Okra from our Garden. Going to do the egg batter deal on it. Probably adding a little crushed red peppers to batter. I’ll let you all know how great it is.

  20. My husband raved about this. I was given some fresh okra and found your recipe. I use okra in gumbo but the only fried I’ve tried was with cornmeal in a restaurant. I was not a fan, and hadn’t tried it fried again until now. Awesomeness! I can’t wait to make it again! Thank you!

  21. Floured okra was the only way I had it growing up…except mom added chopped onion and chopped tomatoes to the flour….ohh so good.

  22. I love fried okra , boiled okra and anything with okra in it,, lol ,,, I was born in Oklahoma and we had it almost every day ,, I was a spoiled grandkid and my grandma would cook pinto beans and take a small pan of the bean soup and boil me a serving of okra just for me… what memories of those days, 70 years ago . most everywhere at restaurants it is always served fried in cornmeal,, which I will eat but love it in flour more,,

    1. My momma used to fry it up with flour and corn meal and I miss hers so much. Thought hers was the best only flour recipe was really great.I’d say it tied with mommas. Thanks.😊

  23. The first time I had Fried Okra, I was a young boy. My friends mother, from NY, served it to us in Tulsa. I fell in love with it, and I will make this, with a bit of minced Jalapeno in the batter! Thanks so much.

  24. I once cooked fried okra for a supper at the church. It went over so well that I was sent home for the crumbs from where I drained it.

  25. I like to dice up a jalapeno and mix in the with the dry stuff. It gives the Okra a little bite. Try it you may like it

  26. Christin – I cut fresh okra today, and am going to fry using your recipe. Tell me this – some people say to wash the okra, let it sit for an hour or so, then cook or prepare or fry – any special “pre cooking” advice?
    What do you do to prep the okra?

    1. You definitely want it to be dry before you cook it. It will be less slimy. You can either wash it and pat it dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel or let it air dry. Sorry if I responded to your comment too late and hope you enjoy it!

  27. Oh my gosh, this okra looks SO poppable. Like dangerously addicting. In the best possible way of course. Okra has been on my must-make list this summer and now I’m thinking it just got bumped to the top! 😉 Gorgeous photos, Christin!

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