Fried Okra with North African Mayo

Fried Okra paired with a spicy mayo makes a delicious finger food. The tempura batter of flour and club soda is a cinch to make. The mayo gets its kick from harissa, a North African chili paste available in the international section of many grocery stores. As with any good tempura, the okra should be cooked in small batches and served immediately after frying. Serves 8.

Fried Okra

2 quarts vegetable or peanut oil (for deep frying)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup very cold club soda
salt and black pepper to taste
1 pint okra

  1. In a deep fryer or heavy pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and club soda with a fork. (The batter will appear slightly lumpy.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dip the okra into the tempura batter and shake off any excess. Carefully drop them into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the okra from the oil and drain them on paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.
North African Mayo

1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
1 tablespoon harissa or to taste
salt and pepper

  1. Whisk the egg yolk and Dijon mustard together in a stainless steel bowl.
  2. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  3. Whisk in the lemon juice, harissa, salt and pepper to taste.
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