Our 12 Best Okra Recipes
Okra is a signature Southern ingredient whether fried, pickled, or grilled. Savor this veggie with some of our favorite okra recipes.
Okra thrives in the scorching heat of humid summers, soaring skyward in its semitropical glory. Originally from Africa, it is as overtly Southern as sweet tea and kudzu. Luckily for us, we have the inside secret when it comes to the delectable pods—no other people embrace okra as Southerners do.
Crushed pecans and baking mix form the crisp breading for this classic Southern-style side.
Recipe: Fried Pecan Okra
Use fresh corn and okra in this Maque Choux dish for best results. If you don't like spicy food you can easily sub the hot sausage for a milder version to fit your tastes.
Recipe: Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux
Grilling really brings out the flavor of this favorite Southern side. Serve the grilled okra on wooden skewers with a side of Lemon-Basil Dipping Sauce.
What a revelation! Use a meat mallet to smash okra and create more surface area for crispy-brown goodness. Try this at home.
1 lb. fresh okra
1½ cups buttermilk
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Use a meat mallet to smash okra, starting at tip of pod and working toward stem end. Place buttermilk in a shallow dish, and place cornmeal in another shallow dish. Stir desired amount of salt and pepper into buttermilk and cornmeal. Dip okra in buttermilk; dredge in cornmeal, shaking off excess.
2. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a large Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry okra, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes or until brown and crisp, turning once. Remove okra, using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve.
Adapted from Virginia Willis' latest book, Okra, published by The University of North Carolina Press, this fast sauté is great over grits or a bed of arugula.
½ lb. fresh okra, halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pt. grape tomatoes
1 lb. peeled, large raw shrimp, deveined
½ tsp. dried crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Sauté okra in 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer okra to a large bowl. Add tomatoes and 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet; sauté 3 minutes or until skins begin to burst. Transfer tomatoes to bowl with okra. Add shrimp and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet; sprinkle shrimp with red pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in okra mixture, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Stir in salt, pepper, and parsley.