Pat okra dry with paper towels. Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, seasoning blend and pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk, then roll in cornmeal mixture.
In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat 1 in. oil to 375°. Fry okra, a few pieces at a time, for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Southern Fried Okra Tips
Is it better to use fresh or frozen okra when making fried okra?
For the best texture and flavor, use fresh okra. If you must use frozen, thaw the okra first, and thoroughly drain and pat dry. It will be a softer texture than fresh. For some okra recipes, like those that are stewed, frozen okra works just fine.
Should you wash okra before frying?
Yes, you should wash the okra right before use. Make sure to dry it thoroughly, because additional moisture will cause the okra to become slimy. Check out more tips on how to cook okra.
How can you prevent okra from being slimy?
Cooking okra quickly and over high heat tends to help prevent the okra from becoming too slimy. When you're preparing the okra, slice it into bigger chunks instead of thin slices. The smaller you slice, the slimier the okra will get.
How can you make sure your fried okra is crispy?
For the crispiest version of fried okra, pat the okra dry before frying. It's also important with any fried food to make sure that the temperature of the oil is high enough, and has enough time to get back to temperature between batches. In this case, the frying oil should be 375° F.
How should you store leftover fried okra?
Like most deep fryer recipes, fried okra really does taste best eaten fresh and not reheated. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a single layer in an air fryer at 350° until heated through and lightly crisp.
—Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Associate Food Stylist and Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor