Air fryer okra is a crispy delight with a healthy twist in the true sense. You will love this way of cooking perfectly crispy okra without using too much oil. Air fryer okra makes a delicious side dish.
You can fry them simply without any breading or make breaded okra. These air fried okra anyways are going to be the best in taste and crispiness.
Whether you are an okra enthusiast or just trying to explore new veggies in your meal, you will love the air fryer okra for ample reasons.
With its unique ability to achieve that coveted crunch using significantly less oil, air fryer okra has quickly become my favorite vegetable made in the air fryer.
Okra and Its Nutritional Profile
Okra is also known as lady's fingers. Though it's not a much-loved vegetable, it has an impressive nutritional profile. It contains a lot of essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Also, okra contains a variety of antioxidants that help protect the body against harmful free radicals
Okra is an excellent source of vitamins C, K. These are rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Okra is a fiber-rich vegetable, with both soluble and insoluble fiber content. Although not a significant source of protein, okra contains a moderate amount of it.
This vegetable is naturally low in calories. Good to manage weight or maintain a calorie-controlled diet.
Okra thus provides a range of health benefits, including improved digestion, enhanced immune function, weight management, bone health, and support for heart health. Read more details here.
How to choose the best okra?
Choosing the best okra is essential for a delicious-tasting okra dish.
Buy okra that is tender in structure. Break the tail end of it to check the freshness and tenderness of the okra. If the tail snaps easily that is tender and easy to cook.
Look for okra pods that are vibrant green in color, firm, and free from blemishes or discoloration. Avoid pods that appear dull or have brown spots or any mark of any hole since they might have some insects or bugs in them.
Avoid getting firm and tight okra since they are more fibrous and difficult to cook. Also, avoid okra that feels too soft or limp, as it may be overripe or starting to deteriorate.
Select okra pods that are about 3 to 4 inches in length. Smaller pods are generally more tender and have a milder flavor. Larger pods tend to be tougher and may have developed a woody texture.
How to cut okra to avoid sliminess?
Before cutting okra wash them thoroughly, gently rubbing them with your hands to remove any dirt, debris, or potential insects. Look for any blemishes or spots. If found then discard that one since they might have some insects or pests.
Then dry them using a clean kitchen towel or spread them to air dry for some time before chopping them. If you cut them when wet, they will turn slimy.
You can cut them into bite-sized pieces just with horizontal strokes or slit them in half vertically. If they are bigger (but tender), then cut the okra into two halves and then slit them vertically into two parts.
Air Fryer Okra
Okra is one of the misunderstood and not so loved vegetables probably. Its peculiar slimy texture (of raw okra) is what makes it a problematic vegetable for most of us. Check out my roasted okra recipe.
But remember when you follow a few of the tips and tricks for prepping and cooking, you will certainly not end up with slimy okra. And since in air fried okra, they are cooked at a high temperature, they won't turn slimy.
While air frying okra, we don't need a lot of oil to it, unlike the stir-fried okra. Just 1 tbsp oil is enough to coat the okra with spices and to add crisp to the vegetable in the air fryer.
This is an easy recipe where you just need to season the okra with desired flavors and then crisp it up in the air fryer for said time and temperature.
To get the crunch of fried okra, add some arrowroot or cornstarch to the okra. Some other alternatives would be rice flour, tapioca flour.
Flavors and spices are completely on personal choice and preference. You can simply fry the okra with salt and pepper. Garlic adds a nice punch to the flavor. So I would recommend adding garlic to the okra.
Fresh tender okra
cornstarch/ rice flour - optional for extra crispiness
How to make okra in the air fryer?
Wash the okra thoroughly and look for any blemishes or any sign of damage. Discard the okra if you find any insects or pests in it.
Wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel. And let them air dry for 2 - 3 minutes if required.
Trim both ends of the okra. Here I have cut them into halves vertically. For longer ones cut them in two halves and then slit vertically.
Place the okra on a clean plate and add corn starch and seasonings to it followed by olive oil. Rub gently to mix or coat the okra with flour and seasonings.
Preheat the air fryer to 390 F (200C) for 3 minutes. Then transfer the okra into the basket. Air fry the okra for 18 minutes at 390 F. Shake the basket or flip the okra after 9 minutes. The timing may vary by 2 - 3 minutes. Check for the desired doneness after 12 minutes. The okra should be crispy to golden brown.
Remove from the air fryer once the okra is fried to desired crispiness. Serve hot with any dip or as a side dish.
Frozen Okra in Air Fryer
Cook frozen air fryer for 15 minutes at 380 F.
Also, check out my air fryer potatoes here.
Store in a proper airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 days. In the freezer, they may stay good for 2 - 3 months when packed in the correct way in an airtight freezer bag.
Reheat at 350 F for 2 - 3 minutes in the air fryer.
How long to cook okra in the air fryer?
The cooking time of okra varies with a few factors like the way they are cut (vertical halves, small bite-sized pieces, any flour used for coating, and type & size of air fryer). These times are for long fries like okra. The long and coated okra will take longer time than normal seasoned okra.
- Air fryer fresh okra at 390 F for 12 - 14 minutes (variation with the way they are cut and coating used for it)
- Air fry frozen okra for 15 minutes at 380 F
Air Fryer Okra
Air Fryer Okra
- Wash the okra thoroughly and look for any blemishes or any sign of damage. Discard the okra if you find any insects or pests in it.
- Wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel. And let them air dry for 2 - 3 minutes if required.
- Trim both ends of the okra. Cut them into halves vertically. For longer ones cut them in two equal halves and then slit vertically.
Season the okra
- Place the okra on a clean plate/ mixing bowl and add corn starch and seasonings to it followed by olive oil.
- Rub gently to mix or coat the okra with flour and seasonings.
Air Fry Okra
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 F (200C) for 3 minutes.
- Spray or brush a little oil in the basket.
- Then transfer the okra into the basket.
- Air fry the okra for 18 minutes at 390 F.
- Shake the basket or flip the okra after 9 minutes. The timing may vary by 2 - 3 minutes.
- Check for the desired doneness after 12 minutes. The okra should be crispy to golden brown.