Originating from Africa, okra is a strange delicacy that is related to cotton and hibiscus. It can be a fruitful plant, especially in warmer growing climates. Many people shy away from okra because of its slimy texture. I’ve always been fond of okra, and every time I have a chance to use it, I feel like I am going back to my roots in the south.
A good friend of mine has a nice-sized garden, and every year we grow a few types of okra plants. From the common Clemson Spineless, to some really neat varieties that we get form rareseeds.com like Red-velvet, Star of David, Burmese, and a few others. So far our favorite is the Star of David, the pods that form on these plants are short but larger in circumference than most other varieties. The long, drawn-out wait turns to joy when it is time to pick and cook the okra straight from the garden. How I long for those summer days.
There are many recipes that okra can be found in though out the world. I recently picked up the cook book Okra: a Savor the South and I hope to try a few of these dishes in the near future. But, for me, most of my experience with okra comes from my child hood in South Carolina with recipes like Steamed Okra, Pickled Okra, Peppery Stewed Okra and Tomato Soup, and my favorite, Fried Okra.
Fried Okra is simple, quick, and easier to enjoy for those trying it for the first time.
- 1 lbs Fresh Cut Okra
- ½ cup butter milk
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup cornmeal or as an alternative Panko works too
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cheyenne pepper less if needed
- Sea Salt or Kosher Salt added after cooking to taste.
- 2 cups Vegetable Oil
- ¼ cup Yellow Mustard
- 1/8 cup Fire Roasted Habanero Sauce We like
In a large cast iron skillet or cast iron pot, add oil.
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning, black pepper and Cheyenne pepper.
In small batches dip the okra in the milk, and then dredge in flour mixture to coat well.
Place okra on a baking pan spread out and let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat oil, then carefully add small batches of okra to in to the pan and cook until golden brown.
Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, sprinkle sea salt to taste, and then serve.
Mix Mustard and Habanera Sauce of a tangy, spicy dip.