Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Fried Cornmeal Okra

Fried Okra

Okra is originally from West Africa, for it was introduced to the American South by the Atlantic Slave trade. Traditional African-American recipes mix okra with tomatoes, lima beans and corn. Find them in soups or stews such as gumbo and jambalaya. In this recipe, okra is fried in a cornmeal batter. Like many fried dishes, enjoy this recipe sparingly. I recommend frying the okra in cold-pressed sunflower or grape seed oil for a clean and neutral taste. Instead of eating fried okra by itself, try adding Fried Cornmeal Okra in a salad of romaine lettuce, corn, tomatoes, green bell peppers and grilled chicken.

Okra tossed with egg

Fried Cornmeal Okra
Originally published on

Cold-Pressed sunflower or grape seed oil; as needed
1/2-cup organic yellow cornmeal
1/2-cup flour
Sea Salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
Ground cayenne pepper; as needed
1 egg
1 to 2 lb. fresh okra

1. Add oil to a skillet until it has a depth of about 1/2 inch. Preheat oil over medium-high temperature.
2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sea salt, fresh black pepper and cayenne pepper in a medium size bowl. Whisk the egg in another medium size bowl.
3. Slice okra into 1/2 inch pieces. Discard stem and end parts.
4. Place the okra into the egg mix and make sure each piece is generously coated.
5. Add the okra pieces to the cornmeal-flour mix. Make sure each piece is generously coated.
6. Working in batches, add okra to the skillet when the oil is about 375°F.
7. Fry until the bottom of the okra is golden brown. Turn the okra over to cook the other side.
8. Remove okra to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with the other okra until there is none left.
9. Enjoy!

About Sanura of

In 2009, Sanura Weathers started a sweet, savory, buttery, green and healthy food blog at As a Food Writer and Graphic Designer, Sanura creates a visually appetizing food blog redefining comfort and traditional recipes with a healthy twist. Sanura also edits and curates writers for


This entry was posted on December 11, 2011 by in 2011, Recipe and tagged , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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