Okra has a bad reputation in our house. So bad a reputation that I’m the only one that eats it. Speedy’s and the girls’ complaint? Okra is slimy. Okra makes them think of snot and that’s not edible. But okra is so good and I’ve been trying to convince them to try it. To no avail. Until a few days ago.
We visited Speedy’s mom on her birthday. Speedy’s younger brother, Buddy, was there and Speedy noticed at once how much weight Buddy has lost. To his credit, Buddy has always been an exercise freak. He used to lift weights, he played badminton and, these days, it’s biking. But he doesn’t always have time for exercise because he’s primarily in charge of caring for their mother who is now 85. Plus, he likes his beer so very, very much. So, there are periods when he’d put on weight. And, last time we saw him, he had a lot of extra pounds in him especially around the middle.
So, Speedy commented on Buddy’s apparent weight loss and asked what he had done. Buddy’s answer? Okra.
Okay, don’t take that to mean that eating okra is a miracle weight loss diet. That point is that Buddy, a very carnivorous person, was never really into vegetables. But while he, like Speedy, hated okra when he was younger, he has now learned to appreciate it. Unless he was joking. At any rate, it was a good occasion to nag Speedy about okra. A few days later, I picked up a bag of okra at the grocery, I showed it to him questioningly, he didn’t object and I cooked the okra the best way I could to minimize the sliminess — breaded and fried.
Based on a recipe from Simple Daily Recipes.
Recipe: Fried breaded okra
- 8 to 10 pcs of fresh okra
- 2 tbsps. of beaten egg (or one egg white)
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of chili flakes
- 1/4 c. of corn meal
- 1/2 c. of flour
- about 2 c. of vegetable cooking oil for frying
- Rinse the okra and drain.
- Cut off the tops and slice diagonally into one-inch thick pieces.
- Beat the egg, salt and chili flakes in a bowl. Add the okra and toss to coat each piece well.
- Stir together the corn meal and flour. Add to the okra. Mix to coat the okra to form the breading.
- Heat the cooking oil. Fry the okra in batches until the coating is lightly browned and the okra is done.
- If the frying is done right, the cooked breaded okra should not be greasy at all. So, the cooking oil has to be the correct temperature. To test, drop a piece of bread into the hot oil. If the bread sinks and does not float within a few seconds, the oil isn’t hot enough. If the bread turned very dark within a few seconds, the oil is too hot. Make the adjustments before frying your okra.
- Yes, Speedy ate a lot of fried breaded okra. Nice first step. Although… truth be told, I am not very happy with how the fried okra turned out. The sliminess was reduced considerably, no doubt. Or, rather, you don’t notice the sliminess s much because of all that crunch. Still, the breading was not uniform and I’m not so sure that corn meal is ideal for this dish. Next time, I’ll fry the okra a la tempura using the technique in the ebi tempura recipe.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2 to 4, depending on whether it is served as a main or side dish