Southern-Style Fried Okra Recipe

A staple side dish in the South, this fried okra recipe is simple, quick, and oh-so-delicious.

fried okra

Back when I first started Southern Plate, I had an email from a reader asking if I could share a fried okra recipe. Well, y’all know I’ll eventually get to everything and here it is!

Southern fried okra is a truly delicious side dish. It seems no matter the time of year, no matter if you use frozen or fresh okra, it always adds that “fresh from the garden” taste to any meal. However, I’m definitely on the team of making fried okra from frozen, as it makes this recipe even easier (if that was possible).

Around these parts, you can find okra pre-breaded in the freezer section and some places even sell cups of it hot alongside chicken nuggets and such at lunch. Although I have no complaint if I am getting okra (no matter how it is prepared), my all-time favorite form of okra is prepared at home with this recipe. With a nickname like Southern popcorn, you won’t be able to stop after popping one piece in your mouth! Yep, fried okra’s crunchy and crispy exterior is totally addictive – ask anyone!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Cornmeal (self-rising or plain, either is fine)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh or frozen okra (I am using frozen okra). If using fresh okra, go ahead and slice it up into bite-sized pieces and wash okra well.
  • Vegetable oil

How to Make Fried Okra From Frozen

Add eggs to a medium-sized bowl.

add butter milk fried okra final

Add buttermilk to the eggs.

Mix them up real good.

combine dry ingredients for fried okra

  Combine dry ingredients (salt, pepper, cornmeal) in another medium-sized bowl and mix that up.

add okra to egg milk mix

Coat the frozen okra pieces with the egg/buttermilk combo.

Then transfer to the cornmeal mixture and coat until covered.

add coated okra to heated vegetable oil

Place about 1/4 cup oil in a cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat for three to five minutes.

Add the vegetable oil to the pan and heat up until you add a piece of okra and get some sizzlin’. Then you know it’s hot enough to add the coated okra slices.  

fried okra in oil

With a slotted spoon add the remaining okra.

Keep the skillet on medium heat (if in a hurry, you can cook this on medium-high heat, just watch it a bit closer).

Fry okra and stir the pieces occasionally (every two or three minutes) for about twenty or twenty-five minutes or so, until crispy and browned.

remove fried okra

Remove pan fried okra with a slotted spoon and place them into a serving bowl.

fried okra in a bowl

DEVOUR with some Comeback Dipping Sauce (this is the good stuff!). I also recommend dipping the crispy breaded okra pieces in hot sauce.

What’s the Best Way To Store Your Fried Okra?

  • Once cooled completely, you can store your fried okra in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freezer for up to six months. When it’s time, either reheat them on a baking sheet in the oven (turning to ensure both sides get crunchy) or by pan-frying them again in a small amount of oil. Alternatively, use your air fryer to reheat your fried okra.

Recipe Notes

  • When making fried okra from frozen, make sure you thaw your frozen okra completely before frying. Once thawed, drain and pat the pieces completely dry with a paper towel before tossing them in the coating and frying.
  • For a spicier fried okra recipe, I recommend adding a quarter or a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper or cajun seasoning to the cornmeal.


Recipe FAQs

What is okra?

For anyone that isn’t from the South and used to making fried okra you may be wondering what the heck it is. Some people are surprised to hear it’s technically a fruit not a vegetable, like our friend the avocado. Okra is the fruit of the Abelmoschus esculentus plant, which is a member of the Mallow family. Now, isn’t that a mouthful! Native to West Africa, it was introduced to America over 300 years ago. If you are interested in ready more about Okra, here is an overview.

What do you serve with fried okra?

Fried okra is a great vegetarian side dish to serve with other Southern main meals, like fried catfish, pulled pork, fried chicken, and velvet pork chops. Otherwise, you can serve it as a main meal alongside other popular Southern side dishes, including fresh fried corn, mac and cheese, and cornbread.

How do you make fried okra not slimy?

There are three things to do to ensure your fried okra isn’t slimy. First, the thinner the slice, the slimier the okra, so make sure you chop your fresh okra into big pieces. Second, cooking over high heat should stop it from being too slimy too. Third, make sure your okra is completely dry before coating.

fried okra hero

Southern Fried Okra

This fried okra recipe is so easy anyone can make it and look like a pro. Made from frozen okra, I hope you enjoy this dish, which is a staple in the South.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: okra
Servings: 4
Calories: 394kcal


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cornmeal self-rising or plain
  • 4 cups okra fresh or frozen, sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Thaw okra. Combine eggs and buttermilk in one bowl, and combine the salt, pepper, and cornmeal in a separate bowl.
    2 eggs, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 4 cups okra, 1 cup cornmeal
  • Coat okra with egg/buttermilk mixture and then transfer to dry mixture and coat.
  • Heat approximately 1/4 cup of oil in a skillet until hot. Dip okra from the bowl into the oil with a slotted spoon. (Leave the extra cornmeal in the bowl and throw away).
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Stir occasionally and cook until okra is brown and crisp. Take out of oil with the slotted spoon.


Calories: 394kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

You may also enjoy these Southern recipes:

Southern Biscuits Recipe A Classic With Only 3 Ingredients

Southern Cubed Steak and Milk Gravy

Hoe Cake Recipe Southern Style From Mama

Chicken Fried Steak Recipe

Similar Posts


  1. LOL Sonya! I also love okra boiled.. yes.. slime and all. heck.. ya don’t even have to chew it.. just let it slide down. Ok ok.. i’ll stop.

    I just bought two “The Biggest Loser” workout DVD’s and I haven’t recovered yet… they have me delirious…

    1. Now Bill, your weight is just fine. you just need to eat more heart healthy food. By “heart healthy” I mean food that makes your heart smile because its so stinking good!!

      I have GOT to make something for dieters today..alright a few more comments and I’ll be off to the kitchen.


    2. Bill I had a good chuckle over your eating boiled okra…slime and all. I love boiled okra, when I cook green beans I lay the pods on top of the beans and let them stem cook. Good eating.

  2. after reading about fried okra yesterday, I went home and cook some for supper. You will think that I am crazy, but I spaghetti and meat sauce and had the fried okra on the side along with garlic butter english muffins. It was good, and my little one love it. His two favorite dishes.

    talking about figs, we have a fig tree. I make fig preserves and strawberry fig preserves. they are so good on a hot biscuit and I have even used them between cake layers as a filling.

    Happy Cooking :o)

    1. Think your crazy? More like think your family is LUCKY!! Sounds like prime eatin’ to me!

      Ugh, fig tree. My heart just dropped reading that. Ohhh how I miss my grandaddy’s figs! lol
      I buy them every now and then, when they are available at the grocery store though.
      Mama also has a neighbor with a huge fig tree and she picks me a whole bucket sometimes!!! Its funny because I have a reaction to eating raw figs. The outer skin of them makes my lips raw as can be. So I sit down with my bucket of washed figs and a wet cloth. Eat a fig, wipe my mouth, eat a fig, wipe my mouth. Apply Vaseline liberally afterwards:)
      Yeah, that might have been TMI but y’all should be used to me by now…

  3. LOL! Maybe we could all chip in and get Christy some carbon offsets! And the okra looks plenty crispy to me, BTW!

    Made the apple flautas last night. They were a big hit even with the low carb tortillas!

    1. LOL!Yes, lets see if we can get us some government funding to make Southern Plate a greener place…ooh OR we could just get a local farmer’s market to start providing me with all of my groceries !! Weee. You know, Wal Mart recently had a contest where they gave away a year’s worth of groceries to the winners. I’m kinda glad I didn’t know about it until it was too late because its killing me thinking of the possibilities of it now!

      Some people dream of winning the lottery, I dream about unlimited baking/cooking supplies!

      I’m so glad you got to make the flautas!!! I just love ’em!!
      Christy 🙂

  4. Christy!

    Please don’t tell them they aren’t cooking it right!! It is really about how you were raised up eating it. I just like mine more crispy than your picture appears to show it being. Also, try it smother fried sometimes. I add a little water to it while it’s smother frying to keep it from drying out, although the lid keeps a lot of moisture and steam inside as well. It is awesome cooked this way!

    One other thing–a friend of mine said his mom always chopped up green tomatoes about the size of the okra pieces and mixed them in with the okra and then mealed everything and fried it together. Those fried green tomatoe lovers would probably love it that way too.

    Love your site!


    1. Beverly,
      After reading what you just wrote about adding the green tomatoes in and frying it all together, I can’t hardly type right now because my mouth is watering so bad.

      I don’t know how I am going to last until green tomato season……..
      I need that.
      I need that really, really bad!


  5. I like to mix cornmeal & flour together to bread okra. Big boo on fresh from the garden okra if you’re the one having to pick it! We have a large garden every summer but once I figured out that frozen was almost as good, I told husband to quit torturing us and just plant more tomatoes.

    1. You know, I just don’t think it is possible to have enough tomatoes, do you?
      They make the BEST stews and such in the winter and ……..oh goodness I could devote a whole site to them!

      One odd thing though, I don’t like raw tomatoes. I love them in every shape or form except that. Both of my kids eat raw ones like they are candy!

      I do love me some garden ‘maters!
      Christy 🙂

  6. Christy,
    I just love your site and I love fried okra. My five year old would eat it every meal. I cook it every chance I get. I really like fresh okra from the garden, so I try to put some up during the summer. Thanks for all of your hard work and preparing all of these wonderful receipes and how-tos.

    1. I am SO with you on the fresh from the garden okra. Nothing comes close to it. You know, I really should be a better gardener! My grandaddy always kept an amazing garden and he could make anything grow in such abundance that we were never without fresh vegetables and even some fruits in the summer. He used to have a fig bush, too, and he and I would go out there with bowls and pick it clean dry whenever I came to visit. Then we’d go back in the house, wash them off (what we hadn’t eaten yet) and sit down and finish off every single one of them!

      Thank you so much for your kindness and praise. It means more than you know!!!
      Christy 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe or Post Rating