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Of all the lovely produce that summer gifts us with each year, okra is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. Grilled, baked, in soup, and of course FRIED.
When I was a (notoriously picky) kid, fried okra was one of the few vegetables I just LOVED to eat. I can remember my Grandma making them and thinking they were such a treat. And of course they were one of the few dishes I looked forward to at public school lunch.
Fresh okra is only just now available at my local farmer's markets - I bought the first baskets a week ago and knew I had to cook them up fried with my favorite all-purpose Paleo flour, Otto's Cassava Flour. If you didn't already know, Otto's works as a 1:1 replacement for white (wheat) flour in many instances. You can browse my recipes here.
Nutritional Benefits of Okra
One of the best things about okra is that you don't need to dip them in an egg wash to get the flour to stick. That delightful ooey-gooey mucilage that gives okra is characteristic texture acts as a natural binder for the flour.
Speaking of the mucilage, did you realize that that is part of why okra is such a healthy vegetable? Just 1 cup of okra contains a whopping 11% of our daily fiber needs, and thanks to the mucilage that fiber is much gentler on the digestive system. That 1 cup of okra is also an excellent source of vitamin K (like, a crazy 71% RDI), vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese, and it's a good source of folate, vitamin A, B1, B3, and magnesium.
Now, when my Grandma made fried okra, she would have used cornmeal. I really wanted something simple so I started with Otto's cassava flour mixed with a few seasonings. Delicious. I also wanted to try to more closely mimic that cornmeal taste and texture, so I also did a blend of Otto's and coconut flour. Also delicious!
It's up to you if you want to be ultra fast and just use #OnlyOttos, go for it! But if you really want to mimic that Southern cornmeal flavor, add a little coconut flour with it, you won't regret it.
If you need to stock up on Otto's Cassava Flour then you can use my 10% off coupon code this week -just type in curiouscoconut at checkout and save some cash!
A couple of recipe tips:
- Use a smaller frying pan so you can use less fat, and fry in batches
- Don't cut the okra too thick - 1/4 to 1/3 inch is all you want for quick, even cooking
- Lay your paper towel on a cooling rack to prevent the fat from pooling
- Best eaten fresh, but if you need to save leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven. Lay the fried okra flat on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, or until sizzling
- This seasoned flour blend is a great option for other frying needs, too
Southern Fried Okra (Gluten-free, Paleo, AIP)
Fast, easy, Southern fried okra just like my Grandma used to make! Thanks to Otto's Cassava Flour this is a cinch to make and one of the best parts of summer!
- 1/2 lb fresh okra, stems removed and sliced 1/4"-1/3" thick (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup Otto's Cassava Flour (or use 2 tbsp Otto's and 2 tbsp coconut flour)
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- optional: 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (omit if desired for AIP)
- 3-4 tbsp fat of choice for frying (pastured lard, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee)
- Prepare the okra by slicing the caps off the ends and slicing into discs no wider than 1/3".
- Add the flour and seasonings to a medium bowl with a lid and stir to combine. Add the okra, close the lid, and shake to coat the pieces. You can also use a gallon sized zip top bag for this.
- Heat the fat in a frying pan (the smaller size pan you use, the less fat you'll need, but you'll need to cook in batches) for about 4-5 minutes. Carefully add the okra to the hot fat, shaking to remove excess flour, and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until golden but not too brown.
- Lay a few paper towels on top of a cooling rack and drain the fried okra. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, or until all the batches are done, before devouring.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.Tags: paleo, AIP, gluten-free, egg-free, autoimmune protocol, Otto's cassava flour, Southern food, easy recipe, fried okra