Italian-Style Fried Okra


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in



By Todd Porter

Published 2013

  • About

From Todd Most people seem to have a love–hate relationship with okra. When cooked, it can develop a bit of an unappealing slimy texture. Like Grandma used to say, however, “It isn’t that you don’t like something, it is just that you haven’t found a way it’s prepared in which you do.” What better way to convert someone into an okra lover than by serving it to them nicely battered and fried? This Italian-style batter is our absolute favorite for frying veggies: light and crisp, with white wine and nutmeg giving it a special sweetness. Make sure the oil is nice and hot before frying, or the okra will come out oily. The resting period after dipping the okra in the batter allows the excess batter to drip off and also helps bind the batter to the surface of the okra. Without that time, the okra will often slip out of the crust when you bite into it. The batter works equally well for just about any vegetable or meat you like to fry.


For the Batter

  • 2 cups (250g) flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup (120ml) dry white wine

For the Okra

  • 2 pounds (910g) whole okra
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh lemon wedges, for serving



  1. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and nutmeg and pepper to taste. Make a well in the center, then whisk in the olive oil and egg yolks until some of the flour is incorporated.
  2. Add the wine to the well and whisk until some more of the flour is incoporated. Add 1 cup (240ml) water and whisk until the batter is smooth. If you have time, resting the batter in the fridge for 2 hours will yield the best texture, but you can use it right away if you need to.
  3. In a separate bowl (preferably a copper one), whisk the eggs whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  4. Make the okra: Dip the okra into the batter to coat completely and place on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  5. In a large frying pan, heat 1 inch (2.5cm) of oil to 375°F (190°C). Fry the okra in batches for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve with lemon wedges.