All the flavor of and crunch of cornmeal-crusted, fried okra without all the oil of deep-frying. The trick is to toss the okra in egg white to help the cornmeal stick to the okra as well as aids in crispiness as it bakes in the oven.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg white
- 1 16-oz container or about 3 cups okra (Or baby whole okra)
- 1/3 cup cornmeal (not cornmeal mix)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or rimmed baking sheet in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 425°. Meanwhile, remove stem ends of okra and cut into ½-inch-thick slices. If using whole baby okra, you can leave on the ends. Whisk egg white in a medium size bowl with a fork; add okra and toss until okra is coated. Combine cornmeal and salt and stir into okra mixture. Not all of the cornmeal will stick to okra and that’s ok. Remove skillet from oven and add the oil. Spoon the coated okra into the skillet with a slotted spoon, tapping spoon on the bowl gently to let excess cornmeal fall back into the bowl. If you dump the entire bowl in the skillet the excess cornmeal will soak up the oil immediately. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Stir gently or flip with a spatula at 10 minutes or when the okra is lightly browned the bottom. Do not stir more than once.
Air Fryer Method: Since an air fryer is literally a baby convection oven that cooks food with super heated air with a fan, yes. If you have a basket-style air fryer, you may have to cook one recipe in two batches. The entire recipe should fit in one of the oven-style air fryers.
- Preheat the air fryer 3 minutes to get it hot. Spray the bottom of the air fryer with an oil spray (not aerosol propelled cooking spray). Place the cornmeal-coated okra in the hot basket and spray the okra again with oil.
- Cook the okra at 400F in the air fryer for 6 to 7 minutes. Shake the basket and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and crispy on the edges.