Those who live in the south probably know of fried okra as a popular dish. But those in other parts of the country and the world may not even know what okra is. If you are one of those people, here’s the scoop.
Also known as Lady’s Fingers or ochro, okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is cultivated in warm, subtropical climates. Its origin is disputed with possibilities including West Africa, Ethiopia and South Asia.
The plants contain edible green seed pods. When cooked, they produce a goo or slime which contains soluble fiber. For this reason, they are often used in developing countries to solve malnutrition issues.
The goo it produces can also be made into non-caffeinated coffee.
The oil from okra is extremely healthy. It is high in unsaturated fats as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Its leaves can also be cooked or eaten raw in salads.
Although often eaten during mealtimes, okra also has several industrial uses. It can be used as a biofuel. Bast fibre from the plant’s stem can be used to reinforce polymer composites. The mucilage it produces can remove turbidity from waste water due to the plant’s flocculent properties.
Okra is often served fried and is pretty easy to prepare. Just roll in eggs and dip in a flour cornmeal mixture to get that crispy texture.
The combination of flour and cornbread give this fried okra a tasty outer layer that keeps the it from becoming limp, even after cooking.
Fried okra is a dinner time favorite in many Southern homes and it could be a favorite in your home as well. It is great when served with burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches or it can be a terrific side for your main entrees. Serve it with your next meal to find out what your family thinks of this healthy plant.
1 bag frozen cut-up okra
2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
salt and pepper
5 eggs, beaten
1. Heat about 1/4-inch of cooking oil in a frying pan.
2. Mix flour and cornmeal together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. dredge okra in beaten eggs, then dredge in flour-cornmeal mixture.
4. Place okra in heated oil and fry on medium heat until golden brown Stir occasionally so all sides are browned.
5. Drain on a paper towel. Serves 6.