Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Freeze and Fry Fresh Okra

Source: sgbrown

Okra is one of my favorite vegetables.  It's easy to grow, drought tolerant, puts on lots of pods and is delicious!  You can cook it in so many different ways. I love to add it to soups, stews and goulash.  We even make pickled okra that out of this world!  Our all time favorite way it to pan fry it!  There is nothing better than a big ole pan of fried okra.  I made some tonight as a matter of fact. 

For the longest time, I was frustrated trying to find a way to freeze my okra so that when I was ready to fry it , it wouldn't be all slimy.  If you have fried fresh okra and then at another time, fried okra that has been frozen, you know what I mean. It just doesn't come out with that good crispy, crunchy crust.  

When you thaw frozen okra, it is really slimy and the coating is all gummy.  The okra wants to stick together and the batter gets all clumpy. You have some okra with no crust and some that is nothing but crust. Well after trying different methods, I finally got it!  

When you are going to freeze your okra, of course you want to go ahead and slice it. I do not coat it with anything,  I place mine in a freezer bag right away, before it starts getting too slimy. Now when I thaw mine, I put the freezer bag in the microwave just until the ice melts. Then I cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the freezer bag and set it in the sink and let it drain.  Once it has stopped draining, lay it out in  a single layer on a plate to let it air dry a little. When you are ready to cook it, place it in a bowl and give it a good mixing with cornmeal. Now I think the only way to cook fried okra is to coat it in cornmeal. That's all I use, no flour, just cornmeal. Add it to your hot grease right away, if you let it set very long, it will get slimy again. Fry it until it is brown and crispy. Drain it on paper towels and serve.  

I hope this works as well for you as it has for me!  

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