Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Prepare Breaded Okra To Freeze For Frying Later

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I love to see this in the summer.
If you don't know what this is, I am so sorry.  You can not beat a fresh batch of southern fried okra.  This is perfection.  And it is also one of the only few things that made it through the heatwave and drought conditions this year.  That is because okra is a real heat lover.  So even though our plants were a lot shorter than they usually are, they are still producing enough to pick every other day.

HINT: If you ever grow your own okra, please wear long sleeves and gloves to harvest it as okra has lots of little tiny hairs that will eat you alive.  Itching and burning like crazy is what you will get if you don't.

I thought I would share the process I use to get my fresh okra breaded and freezer ready so I can fry a "fresh" batch any time I want to.

Step 1: Pick, wash, and dry your okra.
        2: Cut off stem and pointy end of each pod (throw away or compost ends) and slice in 1/2 inch slices. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
       3: Put a bunch of cornmeal, already seasoned with salt and pepper, in a gallon ziploc bag.
       4: Add a few handfuls of okra to the bag at a time and shake around till all pieces are covered with the cornmeal mix.
       5: Remove breaded okra and spread on baking sheet.
       6: Place the baking pan full of okra in the preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn okra and return to oven for 10 more minutes.  This dry blanches your okra.
       7: Let okra cool completely then put in freezer in a pretty flat layer so the pieces will freeze separately and not stick in one big clump.  About 2 hours.
       8: Remove okra from baking pan and put into freezer bags and make sure to get as much air out as possible.  If you have a vacuum sealer that is perfect.

Make sure to label your contents and date so you can use the oldest first.  If you are not sure why you should blanch your okra then feel free to check out this page for info on that.  And for dry blanching specifically check out this link here.

23 comments:

  1. LOVE okra and this is exactly how I love it!

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  2. What a great idea. I love the idea of being able to prepare it in advance for an easy side dish on a busy night.

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  3. I didn't know okra leaves were edible! How do you prepare them?

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  4. I am a Tennessee native and moved to Florida in 1986. I have been freezing okra this way since my momma taught me at the age of 9 or in 1968! It is the BEST!

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  5. I was wondering if deep frying the breaded okra in 300 degreese deep fryer for 6 minutes would qualify as blanching it for freezing. This is the way I pre fry French fries before I actually crisp fry them at 375 degreese.

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  6. Replies
    1. For me, I like dry blanching because it doesn't get mushy. I don't like my frozen okra to stick together. I like that I can do it like this and each piece freezes separately. It is a personal preference.

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  7. Just curious... would it be okay to put the cornmeal on after the blanching process or does it matter??

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  8. When you are ready to cook to eat do you thaw and drop in hot oil or put them back in the oven?

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  9. When ready to cook to eat, do you thaw and drop in deep oil, cook frozen, or put back in oven?

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    1. I cook it in a deep fryer at 350. I put it in frozen.

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  10. When ready to use, do you fry it still frozen? Im trying this for my first time Love fried okra! Thank you

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    1. I do fry it frozen. I use a deep fryer at 350. It turns out great!

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  11. I was taught to season self-rising flour in ziplock bag. Cover oka well before frying. No cornmeal is used. I will put some cornmeal and flour to see how we like it.

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    1. I add flour to my cornmeal when cooking it fresh. Many people here only use corn meal. I think it is a matter of preference.

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  12. How does the meal stick to the okra? You don't have to dip in milk and egg to coat first?

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    1. It does stick by the moisture from washing it. You can totally dip in milk and egg first if you want though! Either way is great! I do when I cook it fresh.

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  13. Do you have to coat with milk and egg to make meal stick? If not how does it stick to the okra?

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    1. You do not have to. You can for sure if you want to though! I do when I cook it fresh. It does stick by the moisture on the okra from where I wash it. It freezes well and cooks up perfectly. It won't have a thick breading like this though. If you like a thicker breading, by all means you can coat it first! Make it yours! Sorry it took me a while to answer. I didn't realize I had comments waiting approval.

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  14. Won't the okra be cooked after 20 minutes in a 350 oven? I have a ton of okra coming from my garden and want to freeze to fry later..normally I would soak in buttermilk then coat in cornmeal mixture, then fry...I'm wondering if I could just freeze it raw? would that be ok?

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    1. I just noticed your comment. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. The okra is not fully cooked after 20 minutes. Mine froze perfectly and cooked perfectly from the freezer even a year later. Honestly I am not sure why you have to blanch it before you freeze it. I was raised hearing you have to. I don't know if you can freeze it raw. I would have to look into the reason.

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