Air Fried Okra

Hello, lovelies!

It’s summertime, and with that comes summertime produce – including okra!

I don’t know about you, but I am a major snacker. Sometimes I get bored of the same snacks over and over again though, so I like to mix it up. This recipe was just what I was looking for when I wanted to up my snacking game! Though it could also be used as a yummy appetizer or side with a meal – basically just eat this whenever you want.

My husband and I are signed up for a CSA, which means that we get a whole box of fresh produce from a local farm every single week. We love our CSA for a number of reasons, but one specifically is that it forces me to try new things when I get veggies that I wouldn’t necessarily buy at the store – which usually leads to some delicious discoveries.

A few weeks back, we got a bunch of okra in our box. Prior to this, I had very few interactions with okra and didn’t really know what to do with it. But I did some online searching and discovered how popular fried okra is! Most of the recipes I found required oil, all purpose flour, and egg – all of which I typically stay away from. So I decided to experiment and make a whole food plant based version in my air fryer! After a couple recipe tests this was the end result, and I am so happy with it! I hope you give it a try!

Ingredients

This recipe basically just requires okra, a cornmeal and flour mixture, a couple spices, and aquafaba to stick everything together. 

  • Okra – the star of the show, obviously. If you’ve never had okra before, it’s a pretty unique taste. It’s relatively mild and I have heard others compare it’s taste to eggplant – though I honestly don’t know if I would have ever come to that comparison on my own! Depending on how okra is cooked, it can sometimes be “slimy” – but by air frying it in this recipe we are able to give it a nice crunch!
  • Cornmeal – This makes up the bulk of our “breading” or “crust” for our okra. Most cornmeal is made up of just dried corn kernels.
  • Spelt flour – this flour is a GREAT replacement for all purpose flour in this recipe. I have not personally tried any other flours, but I would suspect that you could also try other alternatives such as amaranth flour or chickpea flour – but know that it could alter the flavor slightly if you go this route.
  • Aquafaba – this is the liquid that you normally pour out when you drain a can of chickpeas! It is used a lot in plant based cooking because it can be a great replacement for both oil and egg. In this case, it is acting as a sort of “glue” to stick the cornmeal mixture onto our okra.

How to Make Air Fried Okra

Like most of my recipes, I tried to keep this pretty simple! Here is a simplified version of what you are going to do for this recipe:

  1. Chop your okra into slices
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, and spices in a large ziplock bag
  3. Dip okra slices in aquafaba, then throw them into the ziplock bag
  4. Seal the bag and shake until okra is coated
  5. Air fry!

Tips & Tricks

  • I’m not sure if this counts as a “tip and trick”, but more of a heads up: when you cut your okra, you may notice a slight white “slime”. This is completely normal! When I cut into okra for the first time I was worried that mine had gone bad because I noticed this – but with some research I discovered that it was perfectly fine!
  • If you need to drain a can of chickpeas to get your aquafaba (which you probably do, because not many people just happen to have aquafaba hanging around), just put your chickpeas in a closed container in the fridge and they typically last 3-4 days like this. Then you can use them in whatever you want over the next few days! (For a great hummus recipe to use them in, be sure to download my recent ebook!)
  • My husband and I love eating these as a movie night snack because they have a nice crunch – but they also make a great side or appetizer!

Enjoy, my lovelies!

Air Fried Okra

Recipe by Delaney MarieCourse: Snacks, Sides, AppetizersCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

10

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of okra (or about 1/2 pound)

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1/4 cup spelt flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of pepper

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • Aquafaba* from one can of chickpeas (about 1/2 cup)

Directions

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400F
  • Cut the okra by removing the stems and then chopping okra into 1/2 inch slices. When you slice the okra you will notice that it has a slight white slime to it – don’t worry, this is normal!
  • Combine cornmeal, spelt flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a large ziplock bag. Close the bag and shake until thoroughly mixed.
  • Dip each okra slice into the aquafaba, then throw into the ziplock bag with the cornmeal mixture. Seal the bag and shake until all okra slices are evenly coated.
  • Pour half of the okra slices into your air fryer in one layer – depending on the size of your air fryer you may be able to cook all of the okra in one batch, but for most you’ll have to do it in two batches.
  • Cook okra at 400F in air fryer for 5 minutes. Shake the basket and cook for another 4 minutes, or until it reaches your preferred level of crispiness.
  • Repeat this process with the second batch of cornmeal-coated okra.
  • Eat up!

Notes

  • *Aquafaba is the liquid you usually pour out when draining a can of chickpeas. In traditional recipes, egg is used to stick the cornmeal mixture to the okra – but aquafaba is a great replacement in this recipe

Happy cooking, friends! If you made this recipe don’t forget to tag me (@joyfulbalanceofficial) on facebook or instagram so I can cheer you on for your okra-cooking ways.

Stay well!

3 Comments

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