Cornmeal Fried Okra
Fried okra is served everywhere in the South, but that doesn’t mean it’s always good. Same goes for stewed Okra and Tomatoes.
2 pounds fresh okra, smallest size preferred, washed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 quarts good frying oil
2 cups extra-fine cornmeal
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Trim the tops off the okra and slice the okra in half. Place the trimmed okra in a dish and pour 1 cup water over it, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Agitate the okra in the water and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes. While the okra is soaking, using a frying thermometer, slowly heat the oil to 350°F.
In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, cornstarch, and sea salt. Pull a handful of okra from the dish and allow it to drain in your fingers a few seconds, then drop the okra slices into the cornmeal mixture. A metal skimmer works well. Toss to coat well, remove the okra from the dredge and sift the excess dredge away, being careful not to knock off too much coating. Repeat the dredging process until all the okra is coated and ready to fry. Working in batches, drop the coated okra into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden, around 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pot. Transfer the hot okra to paper towels to drain, and sprinkle with more fine sea salt.