I’m back! I’ve been absent from diversedinners.com for a little while – mia culpa.

I’ve been traveling, like I do, and the break from the kitchen threw my creative senses off for a little bit. Thankfully my travels provided much inspiration, and today’s recipe, fried okra bites with pepper dip, is the result of one recent inspiration.


Fried Okra Bites with Pepper Dip by Diverse Dinners


I used to abhor okra recipes. I grew up eating so many bad, very bad okra dishes. However, I am now renewed, and loving the okra.

I first tasted fried okra bites at YardBird Southern Table & Bar in Miami. Yardbird does nothing badly, every time I visit this restaurant I discover a new thing to love, I usually visit just once a year though, but each visit makes me feel as if I’m back home. The staff are always welcoming, the food and drinks are on point, and the ambience – off the scales! 

Fried okra bites with pepper dip, can serve as an appetizer or passed hors d’oeuvres. A richly flavored cocktail such as Passonfruit Blackberry Bourbon Cocktail or Thyme Tequila Fizz would go oh so well with this dish. This is a dish that goes really well with a cocktail. It cuts the rich flavors and creates a palatable balance.

What truly makes these fried okra bites with pepper dip, is the light crunchy exterior, which then turns into a seedy vegetable wonder, coupled with a vibrant peppery accompaniment. 


Fried Okra Bites with Pepper Dip by Diverse Dinners


After soaking the okra pieces in a mixture of eggs and buttermilk, I used cornmeal, seasoned with salt and onion powder, to coat the okra. The seasoning is subtle so as not to react with or confuse a nice dollop of dip. Fried okra bites with pepper dip is a one-two punch of great flavors.

Fall is upon us, and we will soon be swapping salads for more filling options. Fried okra bites with pepper dip is still pretty light, but gives that comfort factor. Give this recipe a try and see.


Serves 4

Fried Okra Bites with Pepper Dip

45 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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    Fried Okra
  • 12 oz fresh okra
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine salt
  • Cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Pepper Dip
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Equipment & Utensils
  • Plastic wrap
  • Medium-large container with sealable cover
  • Slotted spoon
  • Deep skillet or dutch oven


    Fried Okra
  1. Cut okra into 1 inch pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk thoroughly, then place okra pieces in mixture.
  3. Toss until okra pieces are coated, then cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove egg-soaked okra from fridge then place enough cooking oil to cover okra pieces in skillet or dutch oven, but do not place on heat as yet.
  5. Place cornmeal, onion powder and salt in a medium to large container, and mix thoroughly.
  6. With a slotted spoon, scoop up some okra pieces and tip them into the cornmeal mixture.
  7. Cover container and shake okra until completely coated.
  8. Remove okra pieces from cornmeal mixture carefully to avoid removing coating.
  9. Repeat instructions 6-8 until all the okra is coated.
  10. Heat oil on medium to approx. 320.
  11. Test your cooking process and take a couple of pieces of coated okra and place them into the oil.
  12. Cook while turning regularly until golden.
  13. When you have your perfectly fried okra prototypes, repeat process, filling your skillet or dutch oven.
  14. You might need to cook the okra in a couple of batches.
  15. Transfer okra to paper towels to drain.
  16. Pepper Dip
  17. Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  18. Then place in a small dipping bowl.
  19. To Serve
  20. Place okra on a serving plate or bowl, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with pepper dip.