Okra is one of those vegetables that people either love or hate! The haters do so, on account of the slippery, gelatinous-like liquid it exudes, depending on how it is cooked. Those who love okra, on the other hand, enjoy its delicate flavour, having discovered the secret of how to cook it. One of those secrets is to fry it quickly on relatively high heat, being careful not to overcook it. Try this recipe for okra that is crisp and crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, without any of the slipperiness!
500g Okra 2 eggs
188g (1½ cups) maize flour 1 tbsp Royco/Aromat
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Oil for frying ½ tsp salt
1. Trim the stems off the okra pods and cut into bite-size pieces or leave whole if very small.
2. In a bowl, beat the eggs well with cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt.
3. In a paper bag, add the maize flour, Royco or Aromat, black pepper and salt and give it a good shake, so that all the ingredients are well combined.
4. Dip the okra in the egg mixture and then put it in the paper bag and give it a good shake, so that it is completely covered. Put on a clean plate until all the pieces are coated.
5. In a heavy frying pan, heat at least 1 cm depth of cooking oil. (Do not use olive oil as it can turn bitter when heated at high temperatures.) Try this trick to test if the oil is hot enough – dip the end of the handle of a dry wooden spoon into the oil. The oil is ready when it starts sizzling steadily around the handle. Do not wait for it to bubble violently, as this is an indication that the oil is too hot!
6. Fry the okra in batches in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until the okra turns brown and crispy on the outside.
7. Drain and serve hot.