How To Make Fried Okra That's Crispier Than Your Mama's

Don't you dare tell her I told you.

If you’re like me, you probably grew up eating fried okra by the handful. I can remember my mom guarding her horde of golden-crispy okra coins as they came out of the skillet, doing her best to keep my sister and me from eating them before supper.

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Mom chose the skinniest okra pods (because they’re more tender), cut them crosswise into thin coins (like our most popular fried okra recipe), and dredged them in just cornmeal and salt before frying them until crispy throughout.

Southern Living
Southern Living

But no offense to my mom—and to you, your moms, and your grandmothers—but there’s another way to slice okra that can make it even crispier than Mama's.

The Secret To Extra Crispy Okra

Make The Right Cut

Instead of cutting the okra pod crosswise into coins, try this: Cut each okra pod in half lengthwise into two spears. Unlike cutting it into coins, which leaves some squishy stuff in the middle, cutting okra into spears exposes the entire interior of the pod, creating more surface area for the crunchy cornmeal to stick to, and allowing the oil to fry the okra totally crispy, inside and out.

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Curried Okra Shoestring Fries

I realize this may be a controversial declaration. Of course, I’m not saying this way of making okra is all that much better than your mama's—I wouldn’t dare! I’m just saying it is highly likely that if you try it this way, your okra just might turn out even crispier than your mama's—which was perfectly delicious to begin with.

If you do try this way—and I hope you do—and you discover that your okra is the crispiest you've ever tasted, it might not be wise to tell your mother, grandmother, or anyone else.

Or—here’s a thought—blame it on someone in your family who doesn’t usually cook. Here's an example of what to say. "Can you believe it? I asked [insert the scapegoat’s name here] to slice up the okra, and he/she cut it longways—bless his heart! But I declare, they are mighty crispy…"

Try our Crispy Okra Fries and tell us what you think!

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Read the original article on Southern Living.