Lemon Pepper Fried Okra
You’ve heard of lemon pepper wings but have you ever had Lemon Pepper Fried OKRA?
Lemon Pepper wings have been having a moment since they were featured on Donald Glover’s hit show “ATLANTA”. Lemon pepper chicken wings are nothing new but lemon pepper fried okra is a great new take on a classic dish. Fresh, tender okra is the key to this tasty dish.
Okra season usually runs between May and September but you can find it year round in grocery stores in the southern U.S. You may have to ask your grocer to order it if you live in the northern or western states.
1 Pick and prep your okra
Look for okra pods that are between 3 and 4 inches long for the most tender vegetable. When they get about 5 or 6 inches long they begin to become tough and fibrous.
Rinse and dry the okra, cut off the “cap” then cut the okra pods in half lengthwise.
2 Make the batter and cornmeal mixture
Beat egg whites with salt, pepper, lemon juice and cornstarch to make a light batter for your lemon pepper fried okra. This will help the cornmeal flour stick to the okra without becoming too thick. It also helps to give a first layer of seasoning to your okra, and we all know that seasoning is EVERYTHING!
Toss the okra well in the egg white mixture until it is thoroughly and completely coated in the egg whites.
I use corn masa harina, the gluten free (check the package to be sure) corn flour used to make tortillas and tamales, instead of regular cornmeal. Masa harina has been treated with an alkaline solution and very finely ground to help it form a dough easily. There is an affiliate link for the masa harina above (and for the lemon pepper I use) if you can’t find it in your local grocery store. You can substitute fine ground cornmeal if you like.
Mix your lemon pepper into the masa harina or cornmeal in a zip top bag, then shake the okra in the cornmeal mixture to coat well. Pre-made lemon pepper contains salt as well so keep that in mind when you’re making this recipe.
This would go great with my oven roasted fire cracker hot wings recipe, pictured below
Click here for my FIRECRACKER HOT WINGS recipe
3 Fry it up
Gently shake off the extra access cornmeal batter then carefully place the coated okra into the hot oil.
It will take a few batches to get all of the okra cooked, but the okra will cut very quickly. It just takes about 3 or 4 minutes, flipping the okra once, for the okra to become golden brown and crispy.
Drain the lemon pepper fried okra on a rack covered with paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve your lemon pepper fried okra right away so it’s remains crunchy.
Lemon Pepper Fried Okra
- 2 pounds fresh okra pods
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3-4 cups of canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups masa harina or fine ground yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons lemon pepper more or less to taste
- Wash the okra in cool water and pat dry
- Cut the "cap" stem end off the okra pods then cut them in half lengthwise
- Beat the egg whites, salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice and cornstarch together in a large bowl
- Add the okra to the bowl and coat the okra well in the egg white mixture
- In a large zip top bag shake the masa harina (or corn meal) together with the lemon pepper
- Heat the oil over medium high heat (about 350 degrees) in a frying pan
- Working in batches shake the okra in the masa harina
- Shake off the extra masa and fry the okra for 2 minutes per side until it becomes golden brown
- Remove the okra from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a rack covered with paper towels.
- Taste for seasoning and add additional salt or lemon pepper if needed