Sunny's delectable fried okra

It's hellish in the picking, divine in the eating.

Published March 21, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

Fried okra

1/2 pound fresh okra

Drippings from 5 slices of fried bacon

1 cup buttermilk

1-2 cups yellow corn meal

Salt and pepper

1 cup vegetable oil

Mix bacon drippings with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. Place the mix of oil and drippings into heavy skillet and set aside.

Fill a small wash pan with several inches of warm water. Place okra in water. Gently rub each piece of okra and remove to a colander to drain. Remove stem ends of okra pods and slice the rest into 1/2-inch slices. Place into a dish with the buttermilk. Make sure all the okra pieces are covered with buttermilk. Place back into colander to drain, briefly.

While the okra drains, heat bacon drippings and oil until hot. Sprinkle okra liberally with salt and pepper. Pour corn meal onto a plate; add okra a few pieces at a time, shaking off excess corn meal before dropping okra slices into hot oil.

Fry okra, turning once, until crispy golden brown. Add more oil as needed, making certain it's very hot, but not smoking, before adding okra.

Drain on paper towels. Serve okra while hot.

By Sunny Hemphill

Sunny Hemphill is a freelance writer in Washington state.

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