Most of us up here in Yankeeland have very few opportunities to eat fresh okra since this vegetable prefers temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It has begun creeping into farm stands just south of me in the Connecticut Valley in the last couple of years. The Valley is sunny and warm (well, warm for New England!).

I purchase okra at the Bars Farmstand in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Although it’s a bit of a drive for me, I love the Bars Farm. It has the most extensive variety of sweet and hot peppers anywhere around. And like many other local farms it practices integrated pest management; its owners are responsible stewards of their land.

Many people object to the “slime” component of okra. I have found that when it is fried it doesn’t emit much slime. My friend Michael Collins grills it, and I hope to try that method soon. Meanwhile, here I share the recipe for the okra fritters (a.k.a. kritters) I have made twice now.

The size of the kritter depends on your taste. The kritters are crunchier (and of course more fattening) if you cut the okra into tiny pieces—say, 1/3 inch long. When I made them earlier this week, I just cut each piece of okra in half after snipping off the ends. This method results in a little more okra flavor.

Either way you make them, you will doubtless convert non-okra lovers with these treats.

Okra Fritters


10 pieces of okra, with the ends trimmed off, sliced either in half or into several smaller pieces
enough buttermilk to cover the okra
1/2 cup cornmeal (this is approximate; just dump some cornmeal into a bowl)
2 tablespoons flour (ditto)
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
canola oil as needed for frying
salt (if needed)


Wash and dry the okra. Place it in a bowl, and cover it with buttermilk.

In a flat bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, and Creole seasoning. Dip each damp piece of okra in this mixture.

Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with oil. Heat the skillet until the oil is quite hot. Quickly fry the okra pieces in the oil, turning once.

Remove the okra pieces to a paper-towel-covered plate. Taste one. (Try to stick to ONLY one!) If the kritters need salt, sprinkle a little on top.

Serves 2 copiously as an appetizer or side dish.


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6 Responses to “Kritters!”

  1. Grad says:

    My ex-husband hated okra, so I never made it although it is quite plentiful and inexpensive here in Georgia. I have only had it in gumbo and the slime didn’t bother me too much. The only vegetable I can think of that I hate are turnips (oh, and rutabagas – which to me are the same thing – yuck). The next time I see them in the market I’ll pick some up and give this recipe a try – hopefully this weekend. And…let’s face it…fried anything is usually pretty darn good!

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    So true about fried food! As for turnips and rutabagas, I am slowly growing to like them–particularly when they are very fresh and very small.

  3. Alice says:

    Excellent! One of my favorite hors d’oeuvres from now on!

  4. Rex Pierce says:

    Some folks say they don’t like okra because it has a slimy texture. This effect results from pectins and sugars within the pod, and can be avoided by several techniques. First, do not wash the pods, always wipe clean with a kitchen cloth or paper towels. The added water will activate the gummy contents as soon as you cut the pod open. Second, cooking okra in oil or in a dry skillet will prevent the juice from turning slimy. Third, acid also inactivates the slime components, so pickled okra loses this tendency. Tomatoes also reduce the effect.

  5. get smart says:

    My favorite way to cook okra is to wash it lightly then cook it in a small amount of olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet. Put in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, add 2 tbs butter and about half a teaspoon of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Put okra in whole and let it get nice and brown on all sides. My grandkids love it!

  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    I’m glad, Alice! And thanks for the feedback, Get Smart and Rex–even if you contradict each other about washing the stuff….