These crispy and delicious Southern style okra fritters made with fresh okra make the perfect appetizer, side or snack.
Raise your hand if you’re an okra lover! Even if you think you don’t like okra, you will love these okra fritters. Tons of fresh chopped okra, onion, and a little bit of jalapeño are folded into a seasoned batter made with cornmeal and buttermilk and then pan fried to perfection.
Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, these okra fritters are delicious and go with almost any meal. They’re fantastic in the summer with a garden salad or during the cooler months with soup, stew or chili.
They make the perfect appetizer or snack with some greek yogurt or sour cream dipping sauce or just on their own. I also love to top one with a fried egg for a delicious breakfast!
- Okra – fresh okra is best in this recipe but you can also use thawed frozen. It’s easily found in your regular grocery store and often at the farmer’s market.
- Onion – grated yellow or white onion. I would not use red.
- Jalapeño – adds a bit of heat. If you don’t want any spice, be sure to remove all of the seeds or omit this ingredient.
- Cornmeal – gives the fritters a cornbread like texture.
- Flour – all purpose flour or for gluten-free use this measure for measure all purpose gluten free flour.
- Baking powder – helps them rise and gives a cornbread like texture.
- Egg – holds the batter together.
- Honey – just a touch for sweetness.
- Buttermilk – adds tenderness and tang. If you don’t have buttermilk, use one of these substitutes.
- Seasonings – I use Tony Chacere’s creole seasoning which has a mix of chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper and other seasonings and salt. You can use whatever kind of seasonings you like.
- Oil – avocado oil is my go to. You can also use vegetable oil or canola oil.
Start by trimming off the tough stems of the okra pods. Chop okra into small pieces. If you don’t want them to be too spicy, remove the seeds from the jalapeño pepper and finely mince. Use a box grater to grate the onion.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and seasonings. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and honey. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add the veggies to the batter and use a spoon or spatula to thoroughly combine. The fritter batter will be thick like cornbread.
Heat a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of neutral oil. You only need enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan – much like cooking pancakes. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to spoon rounded tablespoons of batter into the hot oil and gently press down to flatten a bit. Pan fry for about 2 minutes per side until deep golden brown and crispy.
Repeat until all of the batter is used up, adding more oil to the pan as necessary and transferring fritters to a plate lined with paper towels or a wire rack to drain excess oil. Serve piping hot.
- Make sure the oil is super hot and shimmering before adding any batter to the pan.
- If your fritters start to burn, lower the heat.
- Store leftover okra patties in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. They are best reheated in the toaster oven or warmed through in a skillet.
What to serve with Okra Fritters
- Vegetable Orzo Soup
- Instant Pot Chili
- Mushroom Barley Soup
- Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad
- Sauteed Baby Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic
- Herbed Greek Yogurt Dip, sour cream or slather with butter.
Classic Southern Crispy Pan Fried Okra Fritters
- 1 pound okra
- ½ cup grated onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons creole seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil for pan frying
- Chop the okra into small pieces, finely mince jalapeño pepper and grate the onion.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, creole seasoning and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and honey. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.
- Use a spoon or spatula to stir the chopped veggies into the batter until well combined.
- Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- When the oil is very hot and shimmering, scoop out heaping tablespoon portions of batter and gently press into the hot oil. Pan fry for about 2 minutes per side until deep golden brown and crispy. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.
- Transfer fritters to a paper towel lined baking sheet or wire rack to drain excess oil.