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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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Fried Okra

Fried Okra

Fresh summer okra, sliced and coated with flour and then fried until golden.


  • 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
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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91 thoughts on “Southern Fried Okra Recipe”

  1. Followed your instructions and used the pickles okra in the jar… perfect with the pickle flavoring 😋

  2. Debbie Goodman

    I was looking for a recipe that didn’t use corn meal since I didn’t have any on hand. I found this one and loved it! It was delicious!

  3. I didn’t use any milk I use the flower a little cornmeal and a little breadcrumbs it’s the egg that helps those ingredients stick to the okra and I did a pan sear with a little olive oil and butter and it worked perfectly I used a little cayenne a little salt and a little pepper as well I controlled the oil I didn’t want them to be greasy. Good picture of them when I was done and I wish you could see them I wish I could upload the photo they were beautiful and they taste amazing!

    1. That would be flower FLOUR I was talking the text and I didn’t proofread so that’s my bad.. I was trying to say that they were good and tasty and I took a photo.

    2. That would be flower FLOUR I was talking the text and I didn’t proofread so that’s my bad.. I was trying to say that they were good and tasty and I took a photo.

  4. My aunt Vi would let the okra sit 4 15 mins. before frying.
    Would u soak okra in milk 4 any .amount of time before putting in paper bag?

    1. Love the stuff. I found dredging the okra in flour first, then egg and milk wash, then your coating mix makes a nice coating . Can’t get enough. Goes great with Crappie.

  5. Larry Dudgeon

    With all the conversation on fried okra you’d think we were trying to go to mars. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

  6. I have only used cornmeal in the past but will try the egg mixture coating.
    I have fried the okra with green tomatoes just slice the green tomatoes dice them and coat them with the okra and Cook them up!.. delish

  7. It’s a good recipe and I came up with an easier method of coating the little okras. Cut up okra in 1 inch pieces and put in a large bowl, dump the egg and milk mixture in a stir around to coat. Pour this into a large colander in the sink and shake to get excess liquid off the okra. Using a large ziplock bag with your flour and spices(I added a bit of cornmeal) pour the okra in the bag and seal it and shake until coated. I fried in avocado oil and it took two cast iron frying pans. Before entirely cooked transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an oven set at 400. Finish baking until brown and crispy. No mess, no fuss!

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Darlene hooten

    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

  14. 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!!!

  15. 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!

  16. Teresa Madry

    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.

  17. 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.

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