Southern Fried Okra Recipe

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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5 from 11 votes
Fried Okra
Fried Okra
Fresh summer okra, sliced and coated with flour and then fried until golden.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 6
Calories: 224 kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
  • 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
  1. In a pie plate or paper lunch bag, mix together flour, salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
  3. Working in several batches, place okra in egg mixture and coat well.
  4. Transfer to pie plate or paper bag and coat with flour.
  5. Pour about 1 inch Vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Heat oil until about 375 degrees.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Add more oil to the pan and fry remaining okra. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Fried Okra
Amount Per Serving
Calories 224
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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48 thoughts on “Southern Fried Okra Recipe

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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,,

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. 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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