Okra, Two Ways – Fried and Pickled

We have okra coming in left and right, so we have been trying to use it in everything.  So, we went two of my favorite ways – pickled and fried.  Pickled okra is perfect for several things – just an antipasta platter, Bloody Mary’s, and as a side for pimento cheese .  For fried, we paired it with a roasted red pepper dipping sauce.

Pickled and fried - my faves!

Pickled Okra

This is enough to fill 2 pint jars packed full of okra

In each jar, add:

  • okra, packed in tight
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon corriander seeds
  • 2 smashed garlic clove

In a pan on the stove, bring to just a boil:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Stir until just combined and pour over okra. Put on lids and let sit in fridge for just about a week to get it’s pickled flavor.  Should keep fine in the fridge for a month.

Fried Okra with Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

  • As much okra as you feel like frying, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. (We probably did about 2 cups cut up)
  • 2 cups buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute an egg wash of  2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • vegetable oil
  • Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

Heat oil in a cast iron pan on stove over medium heat.  You’ll want the oil to come up the sides of the pan about a 1/2 inch or so.

Submerge okra in buttermilk (or egg wash) for about 5 minutes. In meantime, combine cornmeal and flour in shallow dish with salt and pepper (and I usually like to add a few dashes of whatever hot pepper spice I have).  Set up a breading station like so: on counter place okra in buttermilk, next to it your seasoned flour, and next to that a sheet pan or plate to place the breaded okra.  Next to your pan with oil on the stove, set up either a sheet pan or plate lined with a couple paper towels.

To  bread okra, remove okra from buttermilk/egg wash, let excess drip off, and drop in seasoned flour/cornmeal mixture. Toss around in this until coated, gently shake off any extra, and place on sheet pan. To keep things a little neater, use just one hand for the “wet” and one hand for the “dry” for the breading of the okra – this will keep you from ending up with two breaded hands!

Sprinkle just a tiny bit of flour in the oil.  If it sizzles up, you are ready to go.  Gently place okra in pan.  Don’t over crowd pan because that will cause temp of oil to drop and it won’t fry up as nice.  If you are doing 2 cups, you will have to do at least 2 batches.  Once okra has fried on one side for about 1 -2 minutes, turn them over and fry another 1-2 minutes.  Carefully remove them from the pan and place on the paper towel-lined pan and season with a light dusting of salt.  Continue until all okra has been fried. Service with dipping sauce.

Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

  • 2 roasted red peppers (I just used them from a jar – I did not roast them myself)
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I used store-bought)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Put peppers in blender and blend up until kinda smooth.  Add mayo, balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper.  Blend up until fairly smooth and serve with okra.

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8 responses to “Okra, Two Ways – Fried and Pickled

  1. I love the cornmeal crust, such a classic. We have okra coming out of our ears too. I need to pickle it. Great recipes.

  2. Two marvelous way of cooking okra! I am definitely going to try this! Love the red pepper sauce!

  3. Reading recipes like these makes me really wish that I had okra in the garden. Oh well. 🙂

  4. Man I am looking forward to next year i am growing okra! c

  5. It is a good thing my computer screen isn’t 3-D, because I think I’d try to grab one of those! They look delicious. Beautiful presentation in both pictures. (~Ruth~)

  6. The fried okra with that red pepper dip is a killer combination. YUM!!!

  7. I just love okra and both recipes sound wonderful. You hardly even see fresh okra in the New England markets but I can buy frozen cut okra which I buy for gumbo.

  8. I am determined to grow Okra next year (if I can find seeds when i go to London) as I understand it does well in the heat….and I love it!

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