One of my favourite restaurants to go to when we lived in Vancouver was Chewies. What was strange was that I liked the food, but I wasn’t completely crazy about it. I just loved the ambience (and the oysters if it was a special occasion). The one thing I always made sure to order when we went was the fried okra with remoulade. That, I was pretty crazy about. So, imagine my disappointment when I went back to Chewies the last time we were in town and they told us that the fried okra had been taken off the menu. How could they get rid of that crispy, crunchy goodness that I could dip in a creamy, slightly spicy, tangy sauce. There was only one thing left to do.
Make it myself!
But, that required deep frying at home, which I had never done before. I put it off for ages and finally bit the bullet this past weekend. In the end it wasn’t very scary. There wasn’t any of the splattering or burning or smelling that I feared. Also, if you, like me, don’t have a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil, I didn’t find this to be a problem either (see notes in the recipe for some tips and tricks)! It did however take a few tries to get the coating on these guys perfect.
The first few batches, the cornmeal crust floated right off. The first lesson I learned was that I needed to use an equal amount of cornmeal and flour. Cornmeal alone just didn’t stick to the okra. Second, it worked best to put the flour/cornmeal mixture on a plate and roll the okra into the coating, making sure it was completely covered. Third, repeat! the coating was the thickest and crunchiest when I coated it once, dunked it back in the buttermilk and coated in again. In the end I ended up with exactly what I remembered. A crispy, crunchy coated okra and a creamy, flavourful, definitely-can’t-eat-the-okra-without-this sauce.
I chose the smallest pot that I had so that I would not have to use too much oil, but of course this means you will have to cook the okra in multiple batches.
If you don't have a thermometer for the oil (it should be around 350F), using a slotted metal spoon, place one okra into the oil. It should bubble rapidly and get golden brown in about 3 minutes. If it burns, turn the temperature down a bit, and if it is still blonde turn it up (you don't want the okra cooking much longer than 4 minutes or it gets mushy).
Fill up a small pot with canola oil, until there is about 1 1/2 inches in depth. Heat it over medium heat.
Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes. It will turn into buttermilk (alternatively, you can just use 1/2 cup buttermilk if you have it on hand).
In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, and cayenne.
Spread half of the cornmeal/flour mixture onto a plate.
Dip okra in buttermilk, then roll in flour/cornmeal, add the second half of flour/cornmeal to the plate, dip in buttermilk again and roll for a second time in the remaining flour/cornmeal mixture. Make sure the okra is completely covered and to press the cornmeal/flour mixture around the okra.
Once you are happy with the temperature of the oil (it should be 350F, if you don't have a thermometer, see notes above), cook the okra in batches. Each batch should take 3-4 minutes.
Drain the okra on some paper towel to remove excess oil.
Enjoy right away with remoulade!
Mix all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust spice level, lemon, and salt to taste.
Fried okra with remoulade Recipe was last modified: November 7, 2014 by