G-Mama’s Fried Okra

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October 25 is National Greasy Food Day! And while such indulgences must be sporadic, I could think of no better way to celebrate than to make my Grandmother in Law’s Fried Okra.

fried okra recipe poster

Affectionately known in the family as G-Mama, she hosted Sunday lunches clear up to the last years of her wonderful life, and nothing made my husband happier than to walk in the back door and catch the smell of her fried okra. Simple, timeless, always delicious, and almost always served with fried Spots from the beach, after everyone had eaten their fill, she would dump the rest onto my husbands plate, and sometimes be a little offended if he couldn’t put down all five pounds.

So, to honor this day of greasy indulgence, I share with you her recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I’ve seen many variations in cookbooks and on the internet, and honestly, I don’t think you could go wrong. I’ve seen one recipe that calls for making your own buttermilk, and several that call for an egg wash instead. Some have added other spices, such as garlic and cayenne, and my husband has been known to add some “Slap ya Mama” Cajun seasoning. However, G-Mama was a purist. Just salt and pepper and a lot of love.

Fried Okra


  • 1 lb fresh okra*
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Oil for frying**

*Frozen okra may be used, but must be thoroughly thawed and drained
**Vegetable or Peanut oil work best


  1. Trim okra and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  2. Heat approximately 6 cups of oil in a large cast iron pan to 360° F
  3. Put trimmed and cut okra pieces into a bowl with the buttermilk
  4. Mix cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl
  5. Remove the okra from the buttermilk, drain the excess liquid, then place into the cornmeal mixture. Toss to coat.
  6. In batches, put the okra into the heated oil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and place onto paper towels to cool.