Okra is an often overlooked veggie, but it ranks at the very top of the ‘good for you’ list. It’s full of fiber, Vitamins A, C and K, and super-important antioxidants. Our fried okra poppers are lightly battered in buttermilk, so you get all of the benefits and flavor.
Don’t have buttermilk on hand? No reason to rush to the grocery store! You can make some at home. All you need to do is add two teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to a scant half-cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until it starts to curdle, then mix in the okra!
To keep your fried okra poppers nice and crispy, you’ll want to space them out on the paper towel while they’re drying. If they’re too close together, they’ll start to steam one another—so don’t stack your batches, either!
Fried Okra Poppers Recipe
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 lb okra, fresh or frozen, cut into ½" pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups oil
- salt and pepper
- Add cornmeal, flour and spices to a gallon-sized resealable bag. Shake to combine and then set aside. If using fresh okra, rinse and pat dry with a kitchen towel then cut it crosswise into ½" pieces, discarding the stem. Pour buttermilk into a large bowl and add the sliced okra, stirring gently until well coated.
- Transfer okra to cornmeal/flour mixture using a slotted spoon to drain excess buttermilk. Seal bag tightly and toss until each piece of okra is separated and completely coated in breading mixture. Transfer breaded okra from bag to a mesh wire strainer and jiggle slightly over a garbage can to remove the excess breading.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, pour in the oil, and heat for a few minutes. Add one piece of okra to see if the oil is hot enough. If it sizzles and floats to the top, you’re good to go. Add just enough okra to the skillet to form a single layer with plenty of space between each piece. Allow okra to cook undisturbed for at least 1 minute—if you move them too soon, the breading may fall off.
- After 1 minute, gently stir the okra, turning to ensure even cooking. Cook for approximately 3–4 minutes until golden brown and the sizzling begins to subside. Remove the okra with a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper.
- Repeat with the remaining batches using a dry paper towel with each batch and then transfer to a serving dish. Enjoy these little nuggets all by themselves or dipped in your favorite sauce, such as ranch dressing.
Serve our homemade buttermilk ranch dressing on the side for dipping!