Fried Okra Recipe

Fried okra is one of my favorite foods in all the land – if it’s done right.

Fried Okra Recipe from
And by done right, I mean cooked with the perfect amount of crispy coating on the outside while being smooth and tender on the inside. You’d think that would be easy enough, but when I was first married I managed to have more burnt crisps of okra because I couldn’t figure out the perfect balance of how to make it just right.

Fried Okra Recipe from

Finally, like every good Southern girl, I called my Mama. She knew just what I was doing wrong and set me straight in my fried okra making ways.

All this time, I was trying to get the perfect fried okra on the stove top alone. The secret was the combination of the stove top AND the oven! It’s how her Mama taught her and her Mama before her.

Hallelujah! It was if I could hear the angels singing when she said that!

My fried okra making days have been just fine since that day nearly 18 years ago.

And I’m ever so thankful!

The world just wouldn’t be the same without good fried okra.


Fried Okra Recipe from


Here’s my family’s Fried Okra recipe. It’s a tradition.

4.5 from 23 reviews
Fried Okra Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fried Okra is a Southern staple. So simple to make, fried okra makes the perfect side dish. Get this heirloom family fried okra recipe that you'll love.
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds okra, sliced
  • ¾ cup corn meal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Canola or vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Mix together okra, corn meal, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl, making sure well-coated.
  3. In the meantime, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add okra to skillet once oil has reached the point where if a drop of water is added it will sizzle.
  5. Allow okra to brown on one side, about 3 minutes, before gently stirring. Once both sides of okra have browned, about 3 more minutes, place into preheated oven. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
When slicing okra for cooking, make sure to discard the stem end and the tip. These are too tough, in my opinion, for frying.


Robyn xo


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  1. 65

    Peggy Wampler says

    I’ m a born & raised Yankee who never ate ocra until I moved to VA and married into a family from TN . My mother-in-law taught me how and ever since I have been the one to make the ocra for family dinners. Like others , I only use the stove top method. I also use corn oil and only self-rising cornmeal, salt and pepper. I cut up stewed tomatoes, cover them with the cornmeal and fry them in with the ocra. I start with enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet and add more as I need it. I just clear a spot, pour in the oil, and let it heat before moving the ocra to that spot again. Make sure to use lots of salt & pepper. I guess the cornmeal soaks up the slime, cause I’ve never had a problem with it after it’s done.

    • 66

      susieQ says

      Sounds great, but you know in the long time I have been doing this….I was always taught to add an egg before the cornmeal now they say put in the oven?

      • 67

        Janice says

        I’m a Georgia girl….been eating okra all of my life and I’ve never heard of putting an egg in it! Wondering how do you cook it with the egg…do you mix the egg with the cornmeal? We always put it in the oven for a few minutes to cook it through and give it a crisp, oh and we don’t use canola, we use vegetable oil….I like Wesson.

        • 68

          Pamelah says

          You beat the egg well and pour it over the okra before you coat it with the cornmeal. It just makes the cornmeal stick to the okra better for a better crunch. I have tried it with egg or buttermilk. Results are about the same.

        • 69

          Carol says

          My grandmothER and mother and now I crack an egg in a small bowl, whisk it with a fork and pour it out over orca that’s done and stir it around until it’s done. That’s the only way I cook ocra. Try it!!

        • 72

          carol ann says

          You put it FIRST in beaten egg, then flour, THEN cornmeal. Then it is fried in oil with a touch of bacon drippings. THEN it is topped with homemade tomato relish made with tomatoes, lots on onion, sweet peppers, vinegar and sugar. THAT”s the way it is done. YUM.

        • 73

          Nana's girl says

          I was taught to cook okra with corn meal, salt, and then fry on top of stove until done. (Crispy).
          If you put it in the oven, do you put it in the pan tbat you were frying it in on the stove, and for how long?

    • 75

      Shirley says

      Slice the Okra, soak the Okra in Buttermilk, drain, coat the Okra thourghly with Zatarain’s, New Orleans Style, Crispy Southern, Fish Fri seafood breading mix. Fry in Fry Daddy, drain on paper towels, season with sea salt to taste. Turns out great every time.

      • 76

        gail hobelman says

        Make mine this way except I coat (and sometimes double coat) with self rising flour.(you MUST use SR) makes the coating puff out when deep fried and makes a delicious crunchy coating that turns out great every time. When I take to gatherings it is sometimes literally fought over and I have had numerous people who tell me they do not like okra but after eating mine they can’t get enough.

      • 77

        Phyllis johnston says

        Cut up okra put in egg then roll around then put in flour and corn meal and fry. It is,battered and batter will stick to it better.

    • 78

      TabithaStalnaker says

      I too am a stove top plra cooker.
      O ise bacon grease in stead of oil.
      Old family recipe.
      Okra and corn meal.
      Add salt of needed after cooking.
      Bacon greasealways has enough
      salt to make added salt is not needed!
      Always use an iron skellit for the best results.

      • 79

        Grame Kelly says

        I agree with you Tabitha Stalnaker as an Okie transplanted in Arkie. I thought no one was ever going to mention two most important things and those are bacon fat and iron skillet. These are the musts! If you have to use oil add Oscar Mayer real bacon bits. Oven is ok but a high temp very frequent stirring on stovetop to brown and then cover and lower heat to warm for 20 min does same thing. Oh yeah, one more thing, one pound at a time in an ordinary 9-10 in. skillet. Two pounds cooked at once requires the huge campfire iron skillet.

    • 81

      Cab says

      Thanks for all the suggestions of how to cook the Okra. I think I will try Peggy Wamplers style with the added stewed tomatoes and batter it the way Shirley suggests with the Zatarain’s, New Orleans Style, Crispy Southern, Fish Fri seafood breading mix. That just sounds like a yummy twist to and old time favorite. Gumbo style.

      • 87

        Madeline Teague says

        I add onion slivers, green tomato, jalapeno and red bell pepper to my fried okra. It is great. I usually use fresh okra but have used frozen.

        • 88

          Sandy Cromer says

          I like to add a green tomato and a pod of hot pepper (sliced/chopped). I’ve never tried using the oven. I brown mine like the recipe and then put a lid on and simmer on low. Don’t think I’ve ever added flour either – just corn meal. Will definitely try this recipe though.

        • 90

          Catherine says

          Cover the bottom and then some extra. Pan fried, not deep frying. But some cooks here DO deep fry.

  2. 93

    Becky says

    Sounds easy enough….this may seem like a blonde question, but do you mean you put the whole pan of oil and frying okra in the oven? Or do you transfer it to a cookie sheet or something?

    • 94


      I just place the skillet into the oven straight from the stovetop – no transferring of ingredients needed. Hope you enjoy it!

      • 95

        Mike says

        You might want to remind everybody that you are talking about cooking it in an iron skillet otherwise you will melt the handles on your skillets. I also soak my cut up okra in milk or half &half prior to dredging it in the cornmeal to help the cornmeal stick to the okra better. Thanks for sharing

    • 99


      There usually is not enough oil left after browning on the stove to drain off before placing in the oven, but if for some reasons yours does have a good bit of oil remaining, I would drain it.

  3. 100

    Beth Smith says

    The picture looks just like my Mom and Grandmother made.I made it for my kids and started adding potatoes in it .Cut them about the size of okra and mix them with okra .dip the potatoes and okra in your mixture.Every time I made this ,it went fast could never make enough.

    • 101

      Carol Joy says

      A friend at work told me of adding the potatoes to the okra but she also included chopped onion to the skillet. It is wonderful and I have been doing it ever since. I’ve never put mine in the oven but will try it next time. I also always coat my okra with an egg before adding the flour mixture. Nothing better!!

      • 102


        I use potatoes,onions,squash,peppers,green tomatoes and okra and roll all of this in cornmeal. You cook this the way I have it laid out. Potatoes are harder to cook so they go in skillet first. you may have to experiment with this. But this is a meal.

  4. 103

    Sue Beard says

    Looks like my okra when I do it right. I usually add a little sliced onion to my recipe and it’s really good. I’ve never finished it in the oven though. Neither did my mother.

  5. 104

    Christy says

    I’m southern through and through, this is exactly how I cook my okra, except I add a pinch of sugar as well.

  6. 107

    Carole Peloquin says

    My okra is wet from washing it, so I roll it in jiffy mix and fry it til crisp. but will try the other way to see if I like it. thanks.

  7. 108

    betty says

    I use organic coconut oil for frying, sautéing everything; it fries thing crispy and any oil you consume is good for you…Just research the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil.

  8. 110

    Sonja says

    I have fried OKRA for 60 years years never needed an oven, brown it lower the heat and it fries right up. Delicious

  9. 112

    Joyce Guy says

    A great addition which I have used when available, for 60 years, is firm green tomatoes chopped into smaller pieces than the okra, then mixed with the okra, cornmeal, salt and pepper and fry together until brown and crisp. I do not have to put it in the oven, but cook it carefully until crisp and brown in the grease. I drain it over a pan in a tea strainer. I have never had anyone who did not like it that way. The green tomatoes pieces add a special, lightly tart flavor.

    • 113

      Jenni says

      My mamaw also adds green tomatoes to hers :) She is 83 and still gardening and gives me fresh okra every year. Love her to pieces.

  10. 114

    Terry Purcell says

    My Grandmother taught me a slightly different version which I have used go 45 years. I cut up the okra and soak in buttermilk for 3-5 hours and then put flour and corn meal in plastic container as well as all okra and shake well. Use thin coating of Wesson oil and the fat from three pieces of fried bacon. Put okra in oil and fry till done.

    • 115

      Linda Webber says

      I soak mine in buttermilk then drain it. My mother taught me how to cook vegetables from our garden. Fried okra is not okra with tomatoes, onion, etc. That’s Stewed Okra and very good but not the same dish as fried. I have never heard of an egg in okra but I guess if you want to batter it (like chicken or chops) it’s up to the individual but in the South (MS), we use the recipe here – with meal, flour, salt and hot grease and drain on paper towels.

  11. 117

    larkin mcallister says

    all these stories have made me hungry and there is no okra yet. I will save all this and try it real soon. Thanks

  12. 118

    Carson says

    my Mama used corn meal only. She brought the okra to perfection, using stove top only. A few blackened (or burned) pieces add to the flavour. Friends across the border in SC FRY OKRA WITH NO BREADING. Cook just short of burning, drain on paper towels, and serve HOT!

  13. 119

    Vee says

    I’m a Londoner! Only ever cooked Okra in a casserole.
    Saw your recipe, managed to buy a couple of pounds.
    Fried them in the corn flour and plain flour, s/p, sprinkle of chillies.
    Popped in oven exactly as suggested.
    I have to say absolutely delicious.
    I was only browsing when I found your page. Really happy.
    Soooo yummy!
    Thank you.

  14. 121

    Sharon says

    I always add chunks of green tomatoes that have been battered in the corn meal and flour with the okra and sometimes chopped potato to the okra mixture and fry it…delicious!

  15. 122

    Diane says

    Interesting. My Alabama grandmothers taught me to deep fry it, and it always comes out crispy and tender. I will try it this way to compare the difference.

  16. 123

    Mimi says

    Hi Robyn,
    I just found your blog and am a brand new follower. You are my kind of cook. A lot of the old southern recipes I grew up with and many I fix for my family now. I was just wondering if you have ever used peanut oil to fry any of your foods in? It is not all bad for you and it doesn’t smoke at high temperatures. Also makes the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.

    • 124


      Hi Mimi,
      Welcome! It’s so great to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you more! We love peanut oil around my house and you are absolutely right – fried chicken couldn’t be better! xo

  17. 125

    Susan says

    I was never able to replicate my fathers’ family recipe for fried okra. I can’t wait to try it. As I remember, a visit to Texas included fried okra and chicken fried steak. It didn’t seem like the procedure was labor intensive. Thanks

  18. 127

    chanenna davis says

    Same here; I add potatoes chopped into cubes, diced green peppers, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, green & red tomatoes. All fried together with the ocra mixed with cornmeal.I also add a sprinkle of black pepper. It is so good! Just a recipe I made up. Good with pinto beans & bacon!! Country eating!!

  19. 128

    Kim says

    For a low-carb option, you can use grated parmesan cheese instead of cornmeal and flour. The taste is very similar and it still gives us low-carbers our fried okra!

  20. 129

    Jan says

    If you are really southern, you use only bacon grease (maybe not healthy but sometimes you just have to live a little – the taste is SO much better) Brown on med/high heat for 5 min., stir, turn heat to low, cover, cook 5 min., stir & re-cover, cook 5 min., stir, increase heat to med/high, cook 5 more min. or til crispy. Any skillet will do. I use non-stick. I keep a jar of 1 part flour to 2 parts cornmeal in my pantry so I’m ready. A little salt & pepper & you’re ready to go. I use the same cooking method for potatoes. Slice like for french fries, carefully add to hot grease, salt & pepper to taste, cook like the okra. That’s southern/german!

  21. 130

    Renee says

    I am in Alabama. We pick it, wash it, slice it, salt and pepper and then toss in corn meal. There is enough “slime” from fresh okra to hold the corn meal. Heat up the cast iron skillet on medium high heat with about an inch of oil and when oil is hot, dump in okra and brown until perfectly golden! Most of it does not make it to the supper table because my family eats it like popcorn! Every time they walk through, they grab a handful!

  22. 132

    Sharon Shurley says

    This okra looks just like my Mom’s okra. I never asked how she made it so I guessed at it. It never turned out like Mom’s, and now I know why. I didn’t use an egg or milk to help the flour stick. Also I didn’t use any corn meal, just flour, salt and pepper. I fried it in a small amount of Crisco using a Teflon skillet. As terrible as it sounds, it really wasn’t all that bad. Probably because I love okra. I even like it cooked whole in boiling water. I can’t wait to try this recipe though. I already know it’s going to taste fantastic.

  23. 133

    Joel says

    I’m from Texas and this is completely wrong. First if your not going to do a milk wash or egg wash before you batter your okra at least do a last prewash in cold water allowing it to remain slightly wet so your flour coats it well but not wet enough to be gooey once you batter it. Put your flour in a 1 gallon size ziplock. Then add okra and shake till thoroughly battered. Next prep a calinder in the sink or on a plate/cutting board to catch the excess flour when you empty your ziplock of battered okra. Then freeze it for about 20 mins. This will help the batter stay coated when flash frying on the stove top. Finally when your ready to fry your pan should have about a 1/2 inch of oil heated on medium high heat. If your stove has a 1 through 10 setting with 10 being “high” you’ll want to have it set somewhere between 7 & 8. Try to not over fill your pan with to much okra so it doesn’t clump together. DO NOT STIR!!! Stirring freshly battered foods causes a lot of batter loss like in the picture here. Once your okra does start to brown then you want gently flip…”gently” being the key word here. Your okra should come out crisply battered unlike the photo this recipe shows. This is the correct way of frying okra. I’ve never heard of an oven step. To me it doesn’t make much sense to add an unneeded step to frying okra…unless you just like it cooked like the picture here. Hope I helped…enjoy!!!

    • 134

      Joel says

      Also, the only differences between deep frying and pan frying okra are that you use a lot less oil and you will gently flip it unlike gently stirring with deep frying. The reason people have made it like in the picture here is because of too much stirring and possibly too low of heat. So you may just like it the way your “Mom” made it…

    • 135

      Anne Coffman says

      Joel,your way is not the southern way to fry okra! The picture on this post looks perfect to me,looks just like my grandmothers and believe me her way was perfect southern!

  24. 136

    Pam says

    I must try your way. It looks like my grannies okra. I never have been able to get it right. Reading the comments has been interesting. The ones who tell you that you are doing it all wrong crack me up. I’m trying to figure out how someone can say anyones recipe is wrong. It may be different than yours but it doesn’t make yours wrong. Just my opinion.

  25. 137

    Connie says

    So glad I saw this. Have made it several times, however, no matter how I cook it, my batter falls off! I will try this. If it doesn’t work, I will just buy the frozen battered okra & make it!

    • 138

      Debbie says

      If you are using a batter then you should deep fry it. Otherwise, follow the recipe and you will have perfect okra.

      I’d like to add, I am an Alabama girl. I’ve eaten fried okra all of my life. I even put leftovers on a salad the next day as if they were croutons. (Okay, I actually put some aside and hide it so I can have it the next day! Never okra left over!). The additions, while fine if its your thing, are not Fried Okra. Not the real stuff, anyway. And the one who puts all kinds of vegetables in her “fried okra” isn’t making Fried Okra. hahahaha No offense but it is what it is.

  26. 139

    brenda says

    Everyone has different tastes and methods…so i suggest you try different recipes or experiment with it and make your own. Here’s mine…(Mamaw made okra like this)..
    2 lbs. Okra cut
    2 green tomatoes chopped
    1/2 cup s.r. cornmeal
    1/2 cup s.r. flour
    1/2 cup crisco or bacon grease
    1/2 cup wesson oil

    IRON SKILLET… high 7-8..put crisco/oil in skillet and heat…
    salt/pepper your okra/tomatoes mixture, salt makes it sweat and it’s easier to coat with meal/flour mixture….Mix okra mix with mesl mix…pour into hot oil mix and fry..turn as needed. If needed add extra oil by pushing okra to side and pouring on skillet bottom..let it heat up then toss the okra over it…it’s fried green tomatoes snd okra mixed..delish!! (This recipe is not one that has each piece of okra coated and deep fried. It is a different and tasty recipe for okra lovers everywhere. Try it, you might like it too.) Any ?’s gladly answered.

  27. 140

    Darlene says

    I never will forget the first time I fried okra for my husband. He did not eat many vegetables. He said “OMG they should bag this stuff and sell it for
    snack food!” He still gets excited when okra is in season. I will try your recipe.

  28. 141


    I pick the okra fresh right of the plant. No large okra. Just tinder small to med. I do not wash the okra because it makes ir stick to the pan.The ones i pick are perfectly clean anyway. Cut in half inch pieces and sterfry in a little olive oil until done. perfect..

  29. 142

    Lynn says

    I LOVE fried okra, squash, green tomatoes, well heck fire my family has been in NC & SC since the early 1700’s so I grew up learning to fry everything but water, lol! My great, great, great grandma’s trick, and it her day it was tough to do, but if you freeze your veggies for about an hour before hittin’ the grease, the breading will stay put and will brown just slow enough to get the vegetable good and done :)

  30. 144

    Catherine says

    Mixing tomatoes with the okra makes it an entirely different dish.
    This recipe is just fried okra.
    Nothing else.

  31. 145

    Mike Whaley says

    I tried this and followed to the T. Wasn’t great but wasn’t bad. I think deep frying works better. I learned to cook it from a Gullah woman back in the 70s. It WAS good, but not the best.

  32. 146

    Va. says

    Funny that I’m several generations southern (since the 1600s) and we always floured our okra before frying. I never ate any that way (dredged in cornmeal) and tend to think it would be gritty.

  33. 147

    Rhonda Roper says

    You fried okra lovers should really try adding diced onions and potatoes to your okra and frying all together. I am certainly going to try some of these other suggestions. Okra is still growing in the garden and I should be able to start to harvest this week or next. Thanks for all the tips here!

  34. 148

    Janice says

    Can’t wait to try it this way….like you, I always have trouble getting it all fried the same. And I can’t stand the pieces that get almost burned. So I am going to give this a try tonight! Pinto beans, fried (baked) okra, sliced onions and cornbread…it’s what’s for supper here! Thanks for sharing!

  35. 149


    I’m trying it your way. Its already in the oven and not sure I can wait. Always just coated with cornmeal and flour and fried in oil. My southern mama always used bacon drippings but we don’t eat enough bacon to have that much to be able to fry in.

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