Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fried Okra Salad

When I was growing up in Phx. my grandmother Daisy May Coleman used to make this dish - I think she even invented it. And just let me say for the record that I was a very picky eater - thank goodness I have grown out of that! Well, maybe I'm still finicky but I will pretty much try anything as long as I know it's coming from a good cook that I trust. My only hate that I can't get past is cilantro - it's just soap on my tongue! Anyway okra, which is generally one of those vegetables that make people say "yuck" I'm telling you this way is like eating popcorn. It's crispy and not one bit slimy - so don't even think it! I'm writing this as I make it for myself tonight (Rich is going to a surf buddies house for dinner) because I have no written recipe and just eyeball it - so here goes:

Fried Okra Salad

Generally serves 2, but if you're like me only 1

about 1/2 lb. of fresh okra
1 egg white (don't use the whole egg, it makes the batter too thick save the yolk for a pudding or something)
about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of cornmeal you are looking for a light coating
oil (canola or peanut) to cover the bottom of a pan by 1/2 inch or better yet a fryer (I have a great delonghi fryer that I fry about 5 or 6 batches in before I have to clean it out)
Chopped fresh tomatoes maybe 2 if small 1 if large or even cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onion - I leave this out of mine, but Richard likes it
Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt - what? it's a tradition! or regular salt

Chop the heads and little tips off the okra and discard, then slice into 1/2 inch or so rounds. Toss with a slightly beaten egg white and then with the cornmeal. Do Not salt at this point - I think it makes them less crispy. Heat the oil in a large skillet (or if you're lucky a fryer) and fry until crispy. It probably takes 20 minutes on the stove if you have a big enough pan and they aren't crowded and only 10 min. in a fryer - start tasting to see if they are crisp enough. When done remove onto a paper towel and then salt and toss with the tomatoes and red onion (if you like) and serve right away! Tell me okra is slimy - I dare you after trying this!


  1. I made this on Monday night - no kidding! The way I learned from Becky Richards. She is right - it is great tasting. The fresh tomatoes make this dish. Because this is not my grandmother's recipe I take the liberty of improvising by add a bit of fresh green onion and/or a bit of chopped basil, if handy. Once I used buttermilk as a binder because I had forgotten that it was egg (buttermilk seemed the safest assumption since it remain a Rebecca Richard staple) - good with the cornmeal, but not quite the same, the okra had a sort of sour undertone!

    Congrats Becky on starting your blog. It is a perfect venue for you to share your goodies with us!

  2. I remember our Grandmother Daisy making this salad when I was visiting her in Abiline. She told me that it was your facorite Rebecca! I thought.. RIGHT, Okra? Well, she used cherry tomatoes (I don't do tomatoes) and she had brown onions on hand. I believe she also used bacon grease to cook it in. It was to die for. I have never been able to duplicate it like she did and sometimes I crave it. Our Grandmother turned me into an okra lover!

  3. Rebecca, my dear, talented daughter-in-law, you as usual have inspired me to run into the kitchen and fix something special for lunch. Wish we could go to the Farmer's Market together every Saturday. I would probably be 30 pounds lighter and a lot healthier. Here I am, stuck in Texas and organic is not a way of life. Rebecca, keep up the good work and folks, Cafe' Rebecca never disappoints when I go out for a visit! Love you girl.