Summer Eats: Fried Okra with Sriracha Aioli

Deep into the August harvest, I pretty much have okra coming out of my ears. The hearty, green and tubular seeded pods have received a nasty rap in our eastern neck of the woods. Every person I talk to about okra is dumfounded as to what to even do with this stuff and has some horror story to offer of it being slimy and inedible nuisance. However I am here to spread the gospel that okra is not only flavorful and healthy (3.2 g of fiber per 100g!) but delicious! In this recipe I call on a favorite southern method of dealing with okra, frying, that is sure to change any disbeliever into a life long follower. Though, lets be frank, anything breaded and fried is palatable, but I find that okra's sweet and unique flavor still shines through the grease.

Fried Okra with Sriracha Aioli

Yields 6-8 servings

2 pounds fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick

3 cups oil, for frying

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder

1/2 cup buttermilk

In a large sauce pan bring oil to frying temp (350 degrees, oil amount may vary depending on pan).

In a mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour and seasonings. Dip sliced okra in buttermilk and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Fry okra in oil until golden brown and place on cardboard or paper towels. Enjoy immediately!

Sriracha Aioli

1 quart greek yogurt

1/2 cup sriracha or chili paste

1/2 cup lemon/lime juice 

2 tablespoons salt

1 dash chili powder

Combine all ingredients in bowl, and serve along side. Bon Appetit!