Y’all, I love okra. No, I mean I REALLY love okra. I’ve been known to say that fried okra should be listed among some of this country’s greatest inventions. It. Is. Awesome!
So when Uncle Terry, (remember him from our previous post about freezing green beans), brought us a bag of okra fresh from his garden, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Okra is great cooked up in a gumbo, but we don’t make a lot of gumbo around here and I find other preparations of okra a bit too slimy for my liking. But fried okra… As far as I am concerned there is no reason to prepare it any other way, ever!
Again, there are only the two of us at home and we cannot possibly eat through this whole bag of okra before it spoils, so I needed to find a way to preserve it for future use. I hit Pinterest and discovered many different ways to freeze breaded okra for frying. Many recipes included buttermilk and eggs and a whole lot of fancy stuff that I don’t have at home, but then I found a few that kept it simple and I’ve created a bit of a variation on those here. (Apologies for the poor quality pictures in this post!)
Freezing Breaded Okra for Frying
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. Rinse your okra, and lay out on a towel to dry.
3. Remove the ends and slice each pod into pieces – a little less than an inch.
4. Grab a gallon size freezer bag and add 1.5 cups of corn meal, 0.5 cup of flour, salt & pepper and I like to sprinkle in about 1 Tbsp of Cayenne and 1 Tbsp of garlic powder, seal and shake bag vigorously.
5. Add sliced okra to the bag a little at a time. Be sure not to overcrowd the bag – you want to leave enough space for the flour and cornmeal to move around freely to ensure even coating of your okra.
6. Using a slotted spoon/fryer spoon fish your breaded okra out of the bag and spread it out on a cookie sheet. (one layer deep – don’t overload them here)
7. Place cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and flip the okra carefully using a spatula and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
9. Prepare cooling racks.
10. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and place on the cooling rack. Allow the okra to fully cool to room temperature.
11. While your okra is cooling, get your marker pen out and start labeling freezer bags with the name and date of the contents. I like to label my bags in the top right corner – this makes it easier to “file” through all the bags in my freezer to find the one I am looking for.
12. When okra is room temp, portion it out into freezer bags and press excess air out of the top before sealing.
13. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet, next to each other and place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer.
14. Once the okra is frozen you can remove the cookie sheet and “file” the okra standing upright to save space.
15. You’re done!