Des

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Fried Okra

Fried okra is a classic southern dish. It is a crispy and addicting easy snack or appetizer recipe. A cajun dipping sauce gives it the perfect amount of kick!

I think Okra kind of gets a bad rap. Sometimes when I ask if people like it, I get funny faces and then responses like “But it’s slimy”. And slimy is not really something that you want associated with food. And while Okra can be kind of slimy if it’s not cooked right, fried okra, in all of it’s crispy fried goodness, is down right addicting.

Okra in a slotted spoon.

We’re talking “popping it in your mouth like it’s popcorn” addicting. It’s right up there in the “can’t stop eating this” category with my crunchy jalapeno bites.

Ingredients you’ll need: 

Fried okra ingredients.
  • OKRA: For this fried okra recipe, I used frozen okra. Frozen okra seems to be a little bit easier to find in my neck of the woods. My grocery store carries the fresh stuff every once in a blue moon, but for the most part, frozen is where I have to turn. If you have to use frozen okra too, just make sure that you thaw it first
  • FLOUR: This is going to give the buttermilk something to stick to. 
  • BUTTERMILK: This is going to stick to the flour which will make the perfect piece for the panko to stick to. 
  • PANKO BREAD CRUMBS: Traditionally, fried okra is made with cornmeal. I prefer to use panko bread crumbs as they give the perfect amount of crunch to any fried food. (It’s my secret to the best ever fried cod!
  • SALT/CAJUN SEASONING/GRANULATED GARLIC: this is what I use to season the panko. The cajun seasoning can add a bit of a kick so you can leave it out if you prefer. You can make your own with my Cajun seasoning recipe
  • OIL: For frying. I prefer to use a neutral, less expensive oil when I’m deep frying. You’re using so much and you don’t really need to taste it so save your expensive oils for other things. I use canola, vegetable or peanut. 

You may be wondering what to dip okra in, and while it’s great on it’s own, I made a dip to serve along side. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • MAYONNAISE: It adds a bit of oil to the sauce which helps smooth it out. 
  • SOUR CREAM: Where most of the creaminess comes from. 
  • CAJUN SEASONING: Again, this will add a bit of heat. You can use blackening seasoning as well which will still have a lot of Cajun flavor but less heat. 
  • SALT: Just to taste. Some Cajun seasoning blends have salt while others do not. 

Step by Step Photos and Instructions: 

Fried Okra follows the basic assembly line set up as all of my favorite fried food recipes. You’ll need a plate with the flour, a bowl with the buttermilk and a plate with the seasoned panko. It’s super easy once you get the hang of it but follow along with these step by step photos to see my process. 

  • STEP #1: If you’re making the dip, I like to make it first so that the flavors have a chance to meld.
  • STEP #2: Dredge the okra pieces in flour. Shake off any excess.
  • STEP #3: Dip the flour coated okra pieces into the buttermilk. Use a fork to help drain off the excess.
  • STEP #4:  Dredge the okra pieces into the seasoned panko. 
  • STEP #5: Fry the oil at 350 degrees. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to do this part in batches. You don’t want to over crowd the pan. Season to taste with salt and serve with dipping sauce. 

Storage and Leftovers: 

Since this is fried, you’ll want to serve this right away as leftovers don’t really hold up that well. 

Recipe FAQ:

Why do you need to “Fry in batches”?:

You’ll often see the term “Fry in batches” when you’re looking at recipes. This is done to help prevent over-crowding the pan which will lower the heat of the oil. When you over-crowd the pan, fried food will stem rather than fry and will be less crispy.

What are panko bread crumbs?

Panko bread crumbs are a Japanese style of bread crumbs. They are crispier than traditional bread crumbs.

What does okra taste like?

Okra has a sweet, grassy flavor. It can be used as a thickener in some recipes or served fried like in this one.

So if you’ve got people in your life that are unsure about okra, make them this fried okra recipe, you’re sure to change some minds! 

More southern food favorites:

Fried Green Tomatoes

Pimento Cheese Recipe

Southern Style Green Beans Recipe

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Popcorn Shrimp Recipe

Deep Fried Pickles

Note: this post was originally written in 2016. It was updated in 2022 with new photos, step by step photos and nutrition information.

Fried okra on white plate.

Fried Okra

A classic southern dish, Cajun fried okra is crispy and addicting. The dipping sauce gives this easy appetizer recipe the perfect amount of kick!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Easy Appetizer Recipes, Side Dishes
Cuisine Southern
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 386 kcal

Ingredients
  

Fried Okra:

  • 3 cups sliced okra thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning optional
  • oil for frying

Cajun Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Set up an assembly line: Place flour on a plate. Pour buttermilk in a bowl. Combine panko bread crumbs, garlic, salt and cajun seasoning together on another plate.
  • Dredge the okra in the flour. Dip the the buttermilk, let excess drip off. Dredge okra in panko bread crumb mixture. Repeat until all okra is coated.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch oil to 350 degrees. Once oil reaches temperature, fry orka, in batches if necessary until golden brown. About 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer okra to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt.
  • To make dipping sauce whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise and cajun seasoning. Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve okra with dipping sauce.

Notes

Frozen okra must be thawed first. 
Be sure to fry in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. 
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 71.8gProtein: 14.1gFat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 763mgFiber: 5.7gSugar: 7.6g
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: Dip, fried okra, okra, snack

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Beverly Ramsay
    June 11, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    5 stars
    I am yet to do this time is limited but will try to come Sunday

  • Reply
    Donna
    February 4, 2019 at 1:06 am

    5 stars
    Ok I have definitely been one of those ‘isn’t it slimy’ people for years now…this has definitely convinced me to give okra another try! Looks amazing

  • Reply
    Tammy
    February 3, 2019 at 10:16 am

    5 stars
    I’ve never had fried orka before but these look and sound amazing especially with that dip! :D

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca
    February 3, 2019 at 9:43 am

    This is our type of dish — although we haven’t fried okra we’ve done enough green tomatoes. Those are our special treat. We’ll have to try out the okra. Like you, we don’t find fresh too often around here. It sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    February 3, 2019 at 5:52 am

    I am not a fan of okra in any form, but these look so crispy and delicious. Also, I’m looking at your habanero sauce video and it looks like it can do some serious heat damage. It looks good though.

  • Reply
    Jenni LeBaron
    February 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    5 stars
    This looks like such a fun recipe and I love the kick from the cajun seasoning. I would probably eat these like popcorn!

  • Reply
    Jessica (Swanky Recipes)
    February 2, 2019 at 11:32 am

    5 stars
    Fried okra is a favorite of mine and you can find it everywhere in the south! The hubs always asks me to make them, especially for game day. I might just have to whip up a batch for the big game tomorrow. So sad to see the Saints didn’t make it, though.

  • Reply
    Krista Price
    February 1, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Whenever I’m driving home (to DC) from the Eastern Shore during the summer months I try to stop at as many produce stands as possible and there’s always so much okra at each stand! I never buy any because I’ve never cooked with it before, so I’m glad I found this recipe! I’m going to pin this recipe for the next time I have plenty of okra!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    February 1, 2019 at 2:05 am

    5 stars
    I have not had fried okra in years. My mom used to make some. This looks so deliciously crisp. Love how golden they’ve been fried. Now I want to make some.

  • Reply
    Denise
    January 31, 2019 at 8:32 am

    5 stars
    I have never tried fried okra, but I always hear how good it is. Your recipe is simple and sounds great, I will have to try it!

  • Reply
    Eva
    January 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    5 stars
    I came across okra for the first time a couple of years ago when a Turkish friend introduced it to me. I had no idea about this vegetable before – I come from Italy and that was something I had never seen anywhere in my country. I had a chance to taste it when my Turkish firend used it in soup, but never tried my hand at actually using it in my own cooking experiment. This crunchy recipe sounds more appealing than soup :)

  • Reply
    Aleta
    January 30, 2019 at 7:13 am

    5 stars
    Oh yum this looks absolutely delicious! I love your choice of dipping sauce to pair with these, cajun seasoning is one of y favourites. This is a must try for sure!

  • Reply
    Sherri
    January 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve never had fried okra before but it looks delicious! Love the sound of the cajun dipping sauce too! Definitely a must-try!

  • Reply
    Krista
    March 26, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    I am going to have to try this out! Love it!

  • Reply
    Karlynn
    March 26, 2018 at 11:58 am

    5 stars
    One of my all time favorites!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    March 25, 2018 at 4:04 am

    5 stars
    These looks incredible! So perfect!

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet
    March 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Such crispy perfection, these sound yummy!

  • Reply
    Nutmeg Nanny
    March 24, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    This would definitely go fast in my house!

  • Reply
    Catalina
    March 24, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    5 stars
    The perfect appetizer! Looks so tasty!

  • Reply
    Serene @ House Of Yumm
    August 25, 2016 at 5:47 am

    How fun!! I love fried okra. Pure comfort!

  • Reply
    Laura / I Heart Naptime
    August 23, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What a delicious southern comfort food!

  • Reply
    Miryam, Eat Good 4 Life
    August 23, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I love okras but I still have not seen it in the store. I would love to make something like this. Perfect as an appetizer. It looks great!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking
    August 23, 2016 at 3:53 am

    I’m all about panko, too! These look SO good. Wish we had okra here!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ The Complete Savori
    August 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I agree okra doesn’t get the love it deserves. This recipe would change peoples minds I can tell.

  • Reply
    Michelle Nahom
    August 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I can never find fresh okra here, but I love it. I buy frozen to cook with, but I’ve never made fried okra. I know I’d love it though. I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    The Chunky Chef .
    August 22, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    It’s crazy, I’ve never had fried okra before! But this looks amazing :D

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.