I love fried okra. It’s not the most beautiful of dishes, I get that, but I love it just the same. I imagine that for most people, this is their favorite way to enjoy this fun vegetable. I’m truly a fan of okra any way I can get it – pickled, sautéed, grilled, roasted, or simmered with tomatoes – but fried okra is indeed a treat in itself. However, I don’t like the many steps it takes to make traditional fried okra. It’s also pretty messy to batter it.
Enter this easier, less-mess version. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not still a tad messy to eat. That’s the nature of cornmeal-fried anything, really. But with just a short list of ingredients, no battering, and only enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet (no quarts of oil that you have to discard later), this is now my go-to fried okra recipe. It’s perfect with grilled or roast chicken (or yes, fried!) and mashed potatoes.
Comfort food, all the while celebrating the South’s most prolific August vegetable. What more could you want? Oh, yeah – it’s gluten-free and vegan. Bonus.
Easy Pan-Fried Okra (gluten-free, vegan)
1 lb fresh tender okra pods, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 c cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill is gluten-free)
1/4 c corn flour/masa (Bob’s Red Mill is gluten-free)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c sunflower oil or coconut oil
Toss the sliced okra in a medium bowl with the Dijon mustard until evenly coated. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, corn flour, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add the okra to the cornmeal mixture and toss until coated well.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and add oil. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the okra and spread out in a single layer. Fry for about a minute, or until brown, and stir to fry the other side. Once browned all over, remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Adjust seasoning and serve.