*This was originally posted as Vegan Fried Okra, but apparently it’s Shishito Peppers! Lol I’m an idiot. The recipe is great for either, though, so carry on!
Southern cooking has my heart. All the delicious, buttery comfort food gives me the warm and fuzzies. I’m a huge fan of The Pioneer Women, Ree. After getting her cookbook a few years ago, I immediately began cooking anything and everything Southern. Just ask my husband or brother, for a while they’d come home to a new pie every day. I felt like a Disney Princess, whistling around my kitchen, in hopes that a group of birds would come in and help with the dishes. One of my favorite southern dishes is Fried Okra! Now that I’m blogging with more of an emphasis on Vegan/ Veg food, I thought I’d give you a Vegan Fried
Okra Shishito Pepper dish to try for yourself! I’d never made it before, so this was a great opportunity to learn something new!
As much as I love Sothern Cooking, my waistline doesn’t. This Vegan Fried Shishito Pepper dish is one of the rare unhealthy things that you’ll see me post. It’s deep fried, covered in corn meal and flour goodness, and guaranteed to please. Just maybe walk around a bit after you eat it 😝
For thisVegan Fried Shishito Pepper/ Okra dish, I made a few modifications to try to get the best consistency possible. I used unsweetened almond milk instead of the buttermilk the traditional recipe calls for, and after the first batch, I thickened the almond milk up a little by adding 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum. Xanthan gum is a “natural” thickener, and it’s great to use in smoothies, dressings, and soups as well. I was turned on to it during my raw vegan days. It gets some flack because it’s unclear if it’s bad for you or not, but I figured if I’m deep-frying my dinner, who tf cares?? You judge for yourself, I’m not yo momma!
Additionally, for this Vegan Fried Shishito Pepper recipe, I tried using Panko (bread crumbs) in addition to the corn meal and flour mix. This combination didn’t work as well as I’d thought because the almond milk was still a bit runny. If I had been using a recipe with egg or butter, it might have worked better. In the end, I found that the corn meal and flour mix did the best job of (kind of) keeping the breading on the okra.
Okay, here we go with Vegan Fried Shishito Pepper!
- Gather and rinse your Shishito Peppers/ okra
- Cut off the stem and bottom of your Shishito Peppers/ okra, then slice into 1″ pieces
- Mix your dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, seasoning), and mix your almond milk with your xanthan gum in a separate bowl, and put your oil in a deep frying/ sauté pan and warm it over medium heat
- Set up a little assembly line for yourself next to your stove. Dunk your shishito peppers/ okra morsels into the almond milk to coat it, then cover it with the dry mix, so it’s completely covered
- Gently—so you don’t burn yourself—drop the shishito peppers/ okra into the hot oil. Sorry, no picture of steps five and six because I was trying to not set myself aflame!
- You may have to do it in batches, when the okra is a nice golden brown, transfer it onto a cookie sheet with a layer of paper towels on it, to help soak up and drain some of the oil
- Serve with your favorite other southern dishes; I chose mashed potatoes!
Vegan Fried OkraPrint Recipe
- 1 lb. of Okra, rinsed and cut
- 3-6 cups of oil depending on the depth of your pan. You want the okra to be able to fully submerge, but the pan half full or less
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1/4 tsp. of paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup of seasoning salt
- 1/4 cup black pepper
- 1/8 cup of garlic powder (or 1/4 if you don't have seasoning salt) LESS IS MORE
Gather and rinse your okra
Cut off the stem and bottom of your okra, then slice into 1" pieces
Mix your dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, seasoning), and mix your almond milk with your xanthan gum in a separate bowl
Put your oil in a deep frying/ sauté pan and warm it over medium heat
Set up a little assembly line for yourself next to your stove. Dunk your okra morsels into the almond milk to coat it, then cover it with the dry mix, so it's completely covered
Gently—so you don't burn yourself—drop the okra into the hot oil
You may have to do it in batches, when the okra is a nice golden brown, transfer it onto a cookie sheet with a layer of paper towels on it, to help soak up and drain some of the oil
Serve with your favorite other southern dishes; I chose mashed potatoes!
SarahFebruary 28, 2017 at 5:49 pm
That’s not okra, those are shishito peppers.
SionannFebruary 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm
Oh noooo! Thanks, Sarah! How can you tell?? I wonder if Whole Foods accidentally mislabeled them?
SarahMarch 1, 2017 at 3:09 am
That’s too bad if Whole Foods mislabeled them! Okra is already so rare and unused in many parts of the country, it’s a shame for them to make it more confusing. Google an image of okra and you’ll be able to tell. They are long and tapered with small hairs on the outside. They’re segmented and very slimy inside which helps give them a nice texture when fried, and they have these wonderful round seeds that burst in your mouth. (Can you tell I’m in love?)