Published by PETA Staff.
Okra is an ingredient that can be drastically different in taste and texture depending on how you prepare it. Cooking sliced okra in a stew or gumbo will make it soft and—don’t let this word scare you—slimy. The gooey substance that is released from okra prepared this way can act as a thickening agent for a dish.

But if the thought of consuming anything slimy makes your skin crawl, then there is another okra option for you—frying. Coating the green vegetable in a layer of cornmeal and frying it in oil reduces the gooeyness and leaves you with a crispy, very Southern treat.


Southern Fried Okra
6 cups oil, for frying
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lbs. fresh okra, sliced 1/2-in. thick
1/2 cup soy milk

  • Heat the oil to 350°F in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or a large pot. You may not need to use all 6 cups of oil depending on the size of your pan. Do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dip the okra in the soy milk and then dredge in the cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well.
  • Carefully add the coated okra to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings

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