Pan Fried Okra Recipe

| August 19, 2018 | 31 Comments

Pan Fried Okra

Fried Okra is even easier without the breading, and tastes just as good. Easy to follow, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions with printable recipe.


Pan Fried Okra, enjoy.
Pan Fried Okra recipe with no breading. Super easy to make.


Pan Fried Okra, slider

We’re using okra fresh out of the garden for this recipe. And, we’re doing it a bit differently than what most folks would call fried okra, because we’re not using any breading to make it.

This version is courtesy of a very dear and older friend that I have been known to spend hours talking on the phone with. Once we get started talking about cooking, we might both get carried away.

In her younger years, Joyce grew up on a farm. She later had a restaurant of her own, and worked her last public work at an old country store. She’s always had a passion for cooking.

Like me, getting in the kitchen for Joyce isn’t as easy as it use to be. We keep trying though. Smile.

Joyce sent me a small bag of okra recently after she heard me say I hadn’t had the chance to get any thus far this year. I think her nephew has been keeping her in good supply, so she wanted to share the bounty. I was very thankful and grateful. Isn’t it great to have good friends?

Joyce told me that she use to use a cornmeal breading on her fried okra, but in the last few years, she would just slice it and toss it in a pan with a bit of hot oil. So, I figured I’d give it a try myself.

Probably like you, I’m more accustomed to having fried okra with a good coating of breading on it. We’ll just have to save that one for another time. I like it that way myself.

Of course, this is much easier, and I like things that way too. Smile. I do think you’ll enjoy it if you decide to give it a try. And, if you’re worried about that stuff that turns some folks off of okra, you know, the “slimy” part, then have no fear, this turned out to hardly have any of that at all. I’ll explain later.

Ready to give our Pan Fried Okra a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking.


Pan Fried Okra, you'll need these ingredients.
Pan Fried Okra, without breading:  You’ll need these ingredients.


Pan Fried Okra, wash the okra.
You can either wash the okra under some cold running water, or just take a damp paper towel and wipe each pod to remove any dirt.


Pan Fried Okra, pat the okra dry with some paper towels.
Place the washed okra between a couple of sheets of paper towel and pat it dry.


Pan Fried Okra, cut off both ends.
Next, use a paring knife to cut off both ends.

It’s a good habit to cut off the end that was attached to the plant by cutting just below the crown. If you were planning to cook the pod whole, cutting it at this point would help cut back on some of the “slimy” part by keeping the end closed. It’s not really going to make a difference with this recipe because we’re going to cut the okra pod into slices anyway.


Pan Fried Okra, cut each pod into slices.
With both ends removed and discarded, slice the pods into slices about 1 inch long.

The tip end would be soft enough to eat if you prefer to keep it on, but the end that was attached to the plant is too hard to be of any use.


Pan Fried Okra, heat your skillet and add the oil and bacon grease.
Place your skillet over Medium heat. Let the pan get hot, then add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. It doesn’t take much. Next, add in the bacon grease and let it melt. The oil needs to be good and hot before you add the okra.

I didn’t have enough bacon grease on hand to cover the pan like I wanted, so I just used some regular cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then added the Tablespoon of bacon grease to add some seasoning flavor to the okra.


Pan Fried Okra, add the cut okra.
Once the oil is good and hot, add the okra to the skillet.

You want to hear the okra sizzle when it hits the pan. By having the oil hot enough to do this, you quickly seal the okra which keeps it from getting all slimy in the pan. You can thank me later. Smile.


Pan Fried Okra, season to taste with the black pepper.
Once it’s started cooking a bit, season to taste with black pepper. Keep stirring the okra while it’s cooking.


Pan Fried Okra, stir and flip while it cooks.
Continue to stir and flip the okra while it cooks.

It will take about 8 to 10 minutes for the okra to fully cook. Let it cook until you start seeing some brown coloring on the sides and edges. Test a piece to see if it’s tender before removing from the pan.


Pan Fried Okra, remove to a paper lined plate and add salt to taste.
When the okra is done to your satisfaction, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt to suit your taste.


Pan Fried Okra, serve warm and enjoy.

You’ll want to serve this warm. Some Hot Water Cornbread can turn this into a full meal.

If you’re cooking several batches of okra, you can keep what you’ve cooked warm by placing it on a sheet pan and sliding it into an oven set at 200F degrees.


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Pan Fried Okra, without breading. As seen on Taste of

Pan Fried Okra Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Pan Fried Okra without breading is an easy way to enjoy fresh okra. A little bacon grease added to your cooking oil will increase the flavor.



  • 1 lb Fresh Okra
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease for seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. Rinse the okra pods gently under cold running water, or wipe each with a damp paper towel.
  2. Remove both ends from the okra pods. Discard the ends.
  3. Slice each pod into pieces about 1 inch in length.
  4. Place a skillet over Medium heat on your stove top.
  5. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to coat bottom of pan.
  6. Add the bacon grease.
  7. Let the oil get hot, almost to the smoking point.
  8. Add the cut okra.
  9. Turn the okra often as it cooks to let it brown slightly.
  10. Add the black pepper.
  11. When okra is lightly browned, remove from pan, place on paper towel to drain.
  12. Add the salt to taste.
  13. Enjoy!


If you’re cooking more than one batch, keep the cooked okra warm in a 200F degree oven while frying the second batch. Serve warm with some Hot Water Cornbread on the side.

Keywords: Pan Fried Okra, Fried Okra without Breading, Old fashioned okra


Your Comments:

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh okra? Ever make it without any breading at all? I’d love to know how you like our recipe after you try it.

Share your memories of this great Southern dish with us. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like:  Squash and Onions Recipe

Or, maybe this:  Pork Roast with Gravy

How about this:  Sweet Potato Casserole


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Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (31)

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  1. MiMi says:

    Do you know the nutritional facts for fried okras cooked with bacon grease.

  2. Shannon says:

    Tried this recipe and it was delicious. I am avoiding carbohydrates but love okra. This is a great way to get in some fats and a great veggie. Thanks

  3. Kristie says:

    This is the only way,my granny ever fried okra. The best way to me. She would cook it a little longer till some pieces were crunchy.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kristie, Thank you for sharing your memories of your Grandmothers fried okra with us. I bet she was an awesome cook. Smile. Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. C j thomas says:

    Hard to come by okra up here in Fairbanks and when I do find it it never makes it to the pan. I eat it up raw, just like 26 years ago in the Piedmont. I love okra. When folks say they hate it I say more for me.
    Thanks for the recipes!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Cj, I don’t recall that I have ever ate any raw okra. Am I missing out? Smile. I’m sorry you have a hard time getting fresh okra up in Alaska but hope you do get a chance every now and then. Thanks for taking the time to share your comments. I do appreciate that. I hope you will continue to visit with us and I look forward to seeing you again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Sharon says:

    We never ate okra, while growing up in Kentucky, I will pretty much try anything in the veggie family. I loved this, so will try to grow some next year! So easy and tasty! Love simple food!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sharon, Okra seems to grow in abundance once you get it started. I do hope you get the chance to plant some next season. Thank you for sharing your comments with us and I do hope you’ll continue to visit with us. I look forward to seeing you again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Lois Muzzy says:

    How do you make hot water cornbread? Never liked okra, but will give it a shot. My mother loved okra.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lois, I’ll have to see if I can get a post up on the hot water cornbread for you real soon. I do hope you’ll fry up some okra. I’m not a huge fan of the stuff myself, but I did like it fried this way. I like it breaded as well, but don’t care for it just boiled. Too slimy. Smile. I appreciate your comments and your visit. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Deb says:

    Yes, this is the way we fry okra…without the breading. Sure makes a yummy lunch!
    Glad to hear you’re better than when the vertigo first started, but still would love to hear that you’re completely over it. Hope you get your pickles done.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Deb, It is pretty good this way isn’t it? Thank you for your kind words regarding the Vertigo. I too am looking forward to it moving away soon. It’s not any fun and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Smile. I did just get some cucumbers delivered day before yesterday. I’ve washed them, trimmed the ends, and prepared the salt brine for them. They’ll be in soak for several weeks now, so hopefully we’ll continue to improve and feel more like working with them when they’re ready for the next steps. Thanks for stopping by today. I do appreciate your support and your visits. My best regards to you and your family. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. susan hines says:

    Hi Steve,
    I enjoy reading your column so much, and I hope you continue to feel better each day. I really enjoyed your post on fried okra. I have made it this way for years, and really enjoy the lack of oil and fat when it is prepared this way. I do take mine one step further, which is to sprinkle about a tablespoon of cornmeal on top of it when it is almost done and then continue to turn it over in the slow cooking pan. Have a great week,
    S. Hines

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Susan, I’ve had several folks comment both here and via email to me personally, that they sprinkle it with cornmeal towards the end of it cooking as well. I guess it depends on how or where you grew up as to how you learn to make it. Smile. Thank you for the well wishes. I do appreciate your visits and hope you’ll continue to drop by any old time. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Terry Helm says:

    Hi Steve. I want to try this. Love okra and tomatoes…guess they could be added to this at the end? Have made your recipe for Salisbury Steak with onion gravy twice and my friends loved it as did I. Will say the 2nd time I added a tablespoon of A1 sauce and a tablespoon of prepared horseradish to the beef mixture with good results (added a little smokey tang) which I liked. Love your site and look forward to your post every Monday.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Terry, I hope you get to try the Pan Fried Okra recipe. I think you’ll like it. Thanks also for trying our Salisbury Steak. I’ve never added any horseradish or the AI sauce, sounds good though. Maybe I can try that next. Thanks for the suggestion. I do appreciate all of your support and your visits. The door is always open, so please stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Kathy H. says:

    wow, that sounds so easy! probably won’t miss the breading! i will need to try this! thank you for the BEST recipes! God bless you!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kathy, As they say, “its so easy there ain’t no fun in it.” Smile. I do hop you’ll try it soon. Let me know what you think okay? Thank you for your comments and compliments. I do appreciate your support. I hope you’ll continue to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Josie says:

    Oh man, I haven’t had fried okra in years. The only kind we can get here in WA is the frozen kind and it doesn’t fry right. Maybe when we go home in the summer I can get some. Memories of mom cooking this is making my mouth water. Oh those memories… to love ’em. Be blessed.

  12. Shirley Nemeth says:

    I ate lots of okra growing up in N C. because we had it in our garden. My Mama would slice and fry it. Also, she would leave it whole and put it on top of a big pot of butter beans or peas during the last few minutes of cooking. It was slimy that way but we all loved it.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Shirley, How in the world could you eat that slimy okra? Smile. I bet it was good though with a bit old pot of Butter Beans. Were they the speckled ones? Those are my favorite but haven’t been able to get any fresh ones this year. Thank you as always for all of your visits. I hope you’ll continue to visit with us. You know the door is always open. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. Susie says:

    Never tried it without breading (cornmeal) going to try this though. I try to grow something different in my garden each year, last year tomatilos, but guess what this year was okra. I got a pretty fair amount so I’ll give this recipe a whirl. Will let you know. Thanks Steve, God Bless.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Susie, I do hope you’ll fry up some okra this way. Sounds like you’ve been blessed with a good crop, that’s awesome. I look forward to hearing your results when you try the recipe. Thank you for your visit today and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  14. Debbie says:

    Hi Steve, another great recipe, just like the squash and onions. I now slice my okra lengthwise, just cut the top off and slice down the middle, dip in a little white cornmeal, not a thick batter just a light coating and fry, delicious. I do hope you get the chance to make some pickles for the NC State Fair. I love going to the fair to see all the canned goodies, it would not be fall in NC without visiting the fair. Hope you are feeling better each day.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Debbie, Thank you for your kind words. This old Vertigo has been giving me a good run, but thankfully it’s getting better. My brother picked me up some fresh cucumbers from the NC State Farmers Market a day or two ago. I’ve got my cucumbers in soak as I type this, and will hopefully have a fresh batch ready just in time to enter some into the State Fair. I love the fair as well. Thank you for your visit today. Again, I appreciate your concern. I do hope you’ll remember the door is always open so you can stop by any old time. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. steve bailey says:

    I’m going to the garden this afternoon and cut some okra. I’m willing to try anything one time.
    I want the hot corn bread recipe please. I was taught here on Hatteras Island to scald plain corn meal with a little flour to make corn bread dumplings. I am wondering if your corn bread is similar only you fry it!
    I Enjoy your website and you bring back many childhood eating memories.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Steve, I do hope you get to try the Pan Fried Okra, I think you’ll like it. The Hot Water Cornbread is a mixture of corn meal, flour, a dash of salt and then the hot water. I’ll try to get a post for it up real soon. Several other folks have asked for it as well. I’m glad we can bring back some great memories for you. I hope you’re enjoying the coast. I love to “smell the ocean.” Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. The door is always open to you. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I will have to try cooking fried okra without cornmeal. I’ve never done this. I slice the okra thinner than you do. My husband likes them crunchy. I’ll head to the curb market tomorrow to get some. Thanks!

    One more thing……. is hot water cornbread the same as hoe cakes? I mix cornmeal with salt and add warm water, and fry in oil until the edges are crispy. Is that what you do?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I do hope you’ll get to try the Pan Fried Okra real soon. YES, I make the Hot Water Cornbread just as you mention using some cornmeal and a little flour. There are a lot of different versions for Hoe Cakes, but what I’ve always known as a hoe cake is very similar to the Hot Water Cornbread in the photo. I just add buttermilk and an egg to the mixture then fry it up the same way. I did some with my post on How To Make A Collard Sandwich if you’d like to check that out here on Taste of Southern. I’ve had lots of requests for both versions, so guess I need to get some recipes for both up pretty soon. Thank you for asking. I do appreciate your comments and your visits. Be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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