Cornmeal adds a toasty flavor of these golden okra fritters. Serve them hot with spicy stewed tomato relish. Dried shrimp can be purchased at many Asian or Hispanic grocery stores. If you want to make these vegetarian, you can omit the dried shrimp.
Enlarge Image Credit: Ganda SuthivarakomMAKES 12 FRITTERS
Ingredients2 tsp. dried shrimp (optional)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup stone-ground white cornmeal
½ cup flour
1¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. water
2 cups okra, sliced crosswise to ¼ inch thick discs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions1. If adding, soak the dried shrimp in hot water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and chop. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté till translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the optional chopped shrimp; stir and cook for 1 more minute. Let cool.
3. Place cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together to blend. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs and water. Blend sparingly till dry ingredients are just moistened. Batter will be thick. Fold in the cooled onion mixture and okra.
4. In a heavy skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1" and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of batter per fritter onto the lined baking sheet and flatten each slightly with the back of the spoon. Using an offset spatula, lift each patty and slide each into the hot oil. Cook a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown on one side, approximately 2 minutes. Carefully flip the fritter and continue to fry on the other side until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on a rack. Serve fritters hot with spicy stewed tomato relish.