This vegan fried okra is simple to make and perfect for when you’re craving something crispy, fatty and salty. I ain’t gonna lie, this is no health food but just cuz we’re vegan doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some southern fried comfort food from time to time, right?
If you’re an okra skeptic, this fried okra will change your mind! It’s soft and tender on the inside, crispy and flavourful on the outside. If you liked a certain kind of nugget in your pre-vegan days, a batch of this vegan fried okra will satisfy that craving in an instant!
Now, I don’t often batter and fry things but I had some fresh okra leftover from my vegan gumbo video last week and wanted to use it for something simple. This vegan fried okra recipe fits the bill. All simply need to chop the okra, dip it in buttermilk then dredge it in a cornmeal-flour mixture. Fry it up till golden brown and eat it warm – ready in 15 minutes!
If you’re wondering how buttermilk is vegan it’s because I made it using soy milk. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a scant ¼ cup of soy milk makes a thick vegan buttermilk. The slight sourness that the buttermilk adds to fried okra is absolutely delicious so don’t skip it.
So I’m sure some of you are going to ask me if this recipe can be baked rather than fried. I have not attempted it baked but after reading over several other baked recipes, the consensus seemed to be that baking results in tasteless, cardboard-like okra unless you pour copious amounts of oil onto the baking pan first (then what’s the point of not just frying it???).
At the end of the day, just because we’re vegan doesn’t mean we have to eat green salad and ancient grains everyday. Sometimes some good ‘ol southern fried okra is just what you need!
Serves 2, can easily be doubled
Vegan fried okra is perfect when you're tired of green smoothies and just want something salty, fatty and crispy!
5 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
15 minTotal Time
- Oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- A scant ¼ cup (60 ml) unsweetened soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- A few grinds of pepper
- 1 ½ cups (130 grams) sliced fresh okra
- Heat about 2.5 cm (1/2 inch) of oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
- Put the apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup and add soy milk to make ¼ (60 ml) cup. Transfer to a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Test the oil by dipping a wooden chopstick in it. If the oil bubbles up around it, it’s hot enough. Work in small batches and dip the some okra first into the buttermilk, then transfer a few pieces at a time to the flour mixture and roll to cover. Fry, turning as necessary until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (I found it easier to transfer the okra pieces in and out of the oil with chopsticks).
- If you want you can sprinkle a bit more salt over the hot okra (optional). Serve warm.
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