Pod Cast


I love okra

In all of its mucilaginous glory

Okra. Gumbo. Whatever you want to call it

That seed pod fruit of the plant related to the hibiscus and mallow family of plants

Abelmoschus esculenus

Father of mallows, edible for men

Literal translation of the Latin name

Don’t know who came up with that, but it does make sense

Where is it from?

I don’t know. I don’t care

Does it even matter if it’s from Ethiopia? West Africa? Asia?


Not to me

I buy mine at the downtown or Mount Pleasant farmers’ markets. I’ve been known to throw an elbow at a matron or two fighting for the smaller pods. (See below)

For supper on a recent Sunday after a day of eating, I fried up a mess of gumbo. In deep fat. Stunk up the kitchen, but, oh, Lawd, it was worth it

Served it with some ketchup, some hot sauce, some ranch dressing

We gobbled it down

No other dish on our little bread plates

Here’s the receipt. Have no fear of frying, but do wear an apron as the grease splatters. And, do use a deep pot/Dutch oven. And, do use a candy/frying thermometer

Don’t forget to soak in the buttermilk

Fried Okra

A mess of small okra (1-2 lbs). I don’t buy pods bigger than a little finger as they are too fibrous otherwise

Buttermilk – 2 cups worth

Hot sauce

Cornmeal – 1 cup

Seafood breader – I use House Autry – and trust me on this – use the seafood breader – 1 cup



Red pepper

Crisco – either the oil or the solid. About 3 cups worth

Candy thermometer

Newspapers and brown paper bags

About 45 minutes before serving, cut okra into one inch pieces, removing the cap and the tip

Place sliced okra into a bowl and cover with buttermilk and give a few dashes of hot sauce, some salt, some pepper

Meanwhile, heat oven to 250 degrees and line a cookie sheet with newspaper and top with a brown paper bag or two

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal and seafood breader

After the okra has soaked for 15 minutes, begin to heat oil/crisco/fat slowly over medium heat

Using the candy thermometer, measure the temperature of the oil/crisco/fat. It needs to be at 350 degrees.

After the okra has soaked in the buttermilk for 30 minutes, coat in the bowl with the meal and breading. Dredge it well

Once the oil reaches 350, fry the okra in batches. I add the okra by hand, and I do a good handful at a time – about a cup – and fry for five minutes or until golden brown. You may get a few grease pops, but you’re a strong, fighter type. I know it. Stir it once or twice while it’s frying.

Watch the heat in the pot as you don’t want it too cold. The temperature drops with each batch of okra. Also, don’t want the heat to get over 375 or the okra will scorch

Once the first batch is done, transfer those golden nuggets to the brown paper bag lined cookie tray and place in the oven. I use a long handled slotted spoon. One of those mesh fry rigs used on the cooking channels would be great for removing the hot okra from the pot

The okra will hold while each batch fries

You can’t mess it up if your oil is hot and you have no fear

No fear of frying. No fear of making a mess. No fear of stinking up the kitchen

Before serving, sprinkle the hot okra with a little sea salt or Kosher salt

Don’t worry about leftovers. There won’t be any

Corn meal flaked fantasy right there

2 thoughts on “Pod Cast

  1. Well now, that is a truly divine sharing. Love love. Thank you so much…fry em , steam or grill..you just gotta eat em. 👏💥👍

    Sent from my iPad



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