We took perennially adored okra to the next level by quick-pickling fresh whole pods in a spicy brine prior to frying them for an addictively tangy and crunchy.
Fried Spicy Pickled Okra
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 pounds fresh whole okra, sliced lengthwise halfway up pod if desired
- 1 cup fresh dill sprigs
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 red chile peppers, thinly sliced into rings and seeded, if desired
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 2 quarts distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
- 3 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- Place 4 (1-quart) canning jars on a kitchen towel. Divide okra, dill, garlic, chiles, bay leaves, and mustard seeds among jars.
- In an enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, bring vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour vinegar into jars until okra is just covered. Seal jars, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate jars for at least 24 hours before using or up to 3 months.
- In a medium cast-iron Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350˚. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
- Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together cornmeal, flour, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Drain pickled okra, discarding liquid. Working in batches, dip okra in buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Dredge okra in cornmeal mixture until fully coated, gently shaking of excess.
- Fry okra in batches until golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. Remove okra using a slotted spoon and let drain on prepared pan. Serve immediately.