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Feb 23, 2014 07:14 AM

Fried Okra in Boston area?

I've had it a Redbones (years ago) and Sweet Cheeks (recently) and in the gumbo at Legal Seafood.

Anywhere else? Went to Tupelo for the first time last Sunday and disappointed, none there.

Any sightings?

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  1. Funny you should ask. We had leftover Blue Ribbon ribs and burnt ends so I picked up a few sides from Redbones because I was in the area. Corn pudding, mac and cheese, hush puppies (a little heavy) and fried okra.

    The okra was soggy by the time we got it home, but I liked the little bite of heat in the breading and thought it was tasty with the remoulade sauce. It wasn't overly greasy, either. I'd get it again if I were eating there.

    1. Mrs. Jones in Lower Mills makes very good Fried Okra.

      It is one of the things I miss from my time living in FLA, but Mrs. Jones hits the spot.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Matt H

        OT but I have just found this place on Yelp. Is her fried chicken really good? I might have to trip over.

        1. re: foxspirit

          The fried chicken there is legit. Keep in mind that they only serve wings, they are quite big, but just wanted to mention that in case you were looking for other pieces.

          1. re: foxspirit

            I went recently. The fried chicken comes only in wings – 5 to an order ($9) with a small square of sweet, cakey cornbread. The wings were outstanding; they are large, golden, well seasoned and crispy with a tender and moist interior. I swooned at the first bite, as I grabbed for an extra napkin to stem the flow of juices, streaming down my hand. I regretted not ordering the chicken wing dinner plate ($11), which includes two sides.


            1. re: foxspirit

              I love fried okra - I tried State Park's and disliked the pickled flavor.


          2. State Park has 'fried pickled okra' on the menu. haven't had, at the recommendation (against) of a friend. but he's a northerner, so y'know, maybe just not his thing?

              1. madrid, i was impressed w/ the Sweet Cheeks version (and huge portion). Were you?

                did you grow up w/ it in NC? Funny, my VA mom never cooked okra, though i am wondering if she put it in her Brunswick stew....I actually don't think i ever had it before a few years ago (Indian restnts here), and now it's one of my fav veggies! (but not fried) I like it when it's small but a past client of mine grew it nearby and hers were much bigger(like 5".) and very prolific.

                p.s. i'm maybe remembering that that west roxbury bbq spot, red eyed pig, may have it.

                9 Replies
                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  I love it stewed in all it's gooey glory.

                  Fried okra has always been a mystery to me... if they were little bits of say carrot, deep fried, it wouldn't taste much different. There is not very much that is okra-ey about fried okra.

                  Perhaps an artifact of the Southern "fry everything" culinary tradition.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    well, I disagree. Have you tried fried okra at a place that does it well?

                    It's not just an artifact of the fry everything southern tradition (who invented frying mars bars!). Done well, it's actually really okra-ey, but maybe you had to grow up with it. It's crunchy, corn-ey (cornmeal light breading), and to my taste very okra-ey. I love stewed okra as well, in gumbos, etc., tomato sauces, soup, I use it there often, and I'm not repelled by the slime. I also like it with a light coating baked and broiled, and also grilled. fast, no coating.

                    I don't deep fry at home because I don't trust my abilities and my thermometer, but it is one of those tastes that if you like it, you want it.

                    You don't...I get it. Most don't. My SO after exposure beginning in his 20's, has come to love it in all forms. It's great baked or broiled with a yogurt dip with Indian spices.

                    I wouldn't fry a carrot, but I do pickle both carrot and okra, as well as lots of other vegetables/fruits.

                    I loved the fried okra at sweet cheeks. it was halved vertically, not sliced horizontally, so longer but thinner pieces (I'm thinking a mandolin), greaseless, crunchy, delicious. I did not like the honey coated hushpuppies there, and it's too pricey, too far away, and too hard to park for our child situation at home, so not likely I'll go back soon.

                    The overly breaded, fried at too low temp, rancid oil, eaten when it's cold......horrible for anything, not fit for anything mammals eat.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      Hmmmm guess I gotta try it again ;-) !!!

                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                    OC, was your okra-growing friend a New Englander? I was under the impression that we don't get enough heat to grow it up this way.

                    1. re: poundcake

                      We do - I've bought locally-grown okra at several of the Boston-area farmers markets.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        so have I. Southerners go for the smallest pods and I've picked them out at various summer farmers markets. The harvest is so much later up here, but then it is also for corn and tomatoes, peaches and berries.

                      2. re: poundcake

                        yeah. she has a big piece of property on the hill in Winchester. Full sun. She told me she gets a bumper crop every year.

                        madrid, are the small pods just younger, or a diff variety?
                        and the larger pods are less desirable because more fibrous and larger seeds? Are the large okra used for pickling? when i get okra at Indian restnts and grocers, it's always small size.

                        oh, madrid, it's also sold every other day (alternating w/ eggplant) at La Fe. the Dominican take away in downtown Lynn. tomato stewy kind of prep. Near you- Hungry Mother doesn't do it?

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          I'm sure there must be different varieties of okra, and some may grow larger pods, but I think whatever variety, the smallest pods are younger. The larger ones tend to be more fibrous, but Sweet Cheeks uses larger ones and they are great, sliced vertically very thinly. You can pickle any size.

                          I've only been to Hungry Mother twice and was not very impressed overall so haven't been back. I do check the menu every now and then and don't recall seeing fried okra.

                      3. re: opinionatedchef

                        Agree--Sweet Cheeks by a mile, and (whispers) in a pinch, I will eat Cracker Barrel's with hot sauce. Indian places in my area (Merrimack Valley) regularly offer okra, but not fried typically.

                        OT, the side we got battered with (no pun) in my family's corner of NC was hushpuppies. Much prefer okra.