3 to 4 cups oil for frying, plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups fresh okra, chopped fine
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped tomato
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups self-rising flour
1. In a dutch oven fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, heat 3 to 4 cups oil to 325 degrees.
2. In a large skillet heat 3 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chopped okra and onion and cook until onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. In a stainless-steel bowl add all remaining ingredients except the flour. When the okra mixture is cool, add to buttermilk mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Slowly fold in flour a little at a time until it is all well-combined.
4. When ready to fry, gently drop a heaping spoonful in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked fritters to a paper towel to drain excess oil. Continue working in batches until all fritter batter is used. Sprinkle cooked fritters with additional salt and serve warm.
- By Kevin Mitchell, adapted from Taste the State, USC Press 2021