Can You Freeze Fried Okra?

Okra is a tube-like vegetable known for its slimy texture, which comes from the mucilage, a thick substance within okra's pods. You may not want to eat okra on its own because of this sliminess, which is why it's the perfect veggie to deep fry. Once it's been breaded and fried, the okra will be so crispy and delicious that you'll forget all about its mucilage.

Fried okra is pretty easy to prepare: after soaking the okra in egg, you'll coat it in cornmeal and seasonings, then fry it in oil to get it crispy. Because of how easy it is, you may want to make a big batch and freeze a portion to have on hand for later — but can you freeze fried okra? Technically yes, but it will lose some of its texture during the thawing and reheating process. So it's actually advised to freeze okra before you fry it, after it has been coated and breaded. This way, it's ready to fry later on, and you can skip the preparation, but those little green gems will be fresh and ultra-crispy once you're ready to enjoy them.

After you've coated them in the egg and cornmeal, lay out the okra on a sheet pan and pop it in the freezer. After it has frozen solid, you can transfer the okra to a sealable bag so that it takes up less room in the freezer. When you're ready to cook the frozen batch, you don't even have to wait for them to defrost — simply fry them from frozen.

How to serve fried okra

Now that you know how to freeze fried okra, it's time to talk about how to serve it. Fried okra makes the perfect appetizer, especially when you pair it with a dipping sauce. It will work well with all of the dipping sauces you probably have in your fridge: ranch, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, and so on. If you want to pair it with something a little more unique, you could make your own garlic aioli or even a bright and fresh pesto. Or, maybe you're looking for something comforting and cheesy and want to whip up a batch of smoky white queso dip to drench the fried okra in.

Fried okra also works well as a unique side dish, especially when paired with other Southern dishes. Perhaps you can serve it alongside blackened catfish or wild rice and sweet potato jambalaya. While the jambalaya has sausage in it, maybe you're in the mood for a more meat-entered dish — in which case, you may want to try out a flavor-packed jerk chicken recipe or an easy pork chop recipe.