1 lb washed and drained okra, cut crosswise into pieces as thick as the okra is wide
2 cups finely ground white cornmeal
1/2 cup cornstarch
6-8 cups vegetable oil for frying (canola, safflower, peanut, etc.)
Skimmer or wire mesh basket
Thermometer for measuring oil temperature
- Place okra into a container with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This allows the okra to produce a thick natural coating.
- Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl to make the dredge and heat the oil to approximately 350 degrees.
- With your hands, pull the okra out of the liquid and allow to drip dry for a few seconds, then drop into the dredge. Toss to coat well. Pick up the coated okra and shake well in a sifter or mesh strainer basket.
- Drop the okra carefully into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Using a skimmer or something similar, pull the okra from the hot oil and drip dry for a few seconds, then toss into a paper towel lined bowl. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.