Our southern staple okra is finally coming back into season. Go by the NC State Farmers market this week and try one of these recipes!
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups fresh okra, washed and cut into ½-inch slices
- ½ cup bacon drippings
Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl or brown paper bag. Add okra and toss to coat. Heat drippings in skillet over medium heat. Fry okra in bacon grease, turning often to get crisp and brown.
SAUTEED WITH VEGGIES
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
- 12 okra pods, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears of corn)
- 6 baby green pattypan squash, each cut into 6 pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 12-ounce bag cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Mix cornmeal and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in small bowl. Add okra and toss lightly to coat. Pour okra into sieve and shake off excess cornmeal.
- Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add okra and sauté until coating is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer okra to paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add corn, squash, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover and cook until squash is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in okra, cilantro, and green onions. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne, if desired.
CRISPY INDIAN OKRA
- 12 oz frozen baby okra (bhindi), thawed (if you can find fresh young okra, use that!)
- 3 tablespoons fat of choice (avocado oil, ghee, or schmaltz work well)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Serrano pepper (or 1-2 thai bird chilies), minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ inch ginger, minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- Rinse okra, and slice into rounds. Spread them out onto a paper towel to dry while you prep the remaining ingredients. The okra must be completely dry.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of fat in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Next, add the cumin seeds and once they begin to brown or splutter, add the onions and serrano pepper.
- Saute for 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown. Then add the garlic, ginger and spices mix well.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of fat and the okra. Stir-fry for 10-12 minutes or until the okra is dry and crispy.