In East Texas in the 1940’s and 1950’s I grew up eating many more fried foods than I choose to eat now. That means most of the okra I grow in my garden will wind up in gumbo or roasted whole, both delicious and healthy. But fried okra will always remain as a favorite comfort food for Joe and me, and our children love it, too. So occasionally, I slice a batch, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add some chopped onion, toss in cornmeal, and fry it in oil, not bacon drippings (the traditional choice of cooking fat). We really don’t use enough bacon to save the drippings in a container on the back of the stove like my Mother and Grandma did This is one of those foods I have cooked for so many years and with varying amounts, according to how much okra I had. So it seems odd to produce a recipe, but if you really want to know….
4 cups okra pods – small ones, not longer than about 3 inches
1/2 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup cornmeal, or enough to dredge okra
Remove stem and small amount of pointed end of okra, then slice in 1/2 inch rounds. Add to a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add chopped onion and toss. Heat an inch of oil in cast iron frying pan. Fry okra in small batches to allow crisp browning. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately
We like ours just like this, but you can spice it up a bit by slicing in a jalapeno pepper or mixing in some cayenne pepper or other seasoning with the cornmeal. Also, since dipping sauces are so popular, you can try mixing a little mayo with lemon juice and garlic powder or serve with Ranch dressing on the side.