These okra cornmeal cakes are pan fried with a crispy outside and spicy soft center. They’re perfect with the refreshing cilantro lime yogurt dip.

Sometimes there’s really not much to say about a recipe.

Why okra cakes?

Well, to be honest, it all has to do with stubbornness. Okra can be gross and I can be stubborn.

So obviously that meant I needed to come up with a way to enjoy eating the slimy-interior wheel shaped vegetable besides just frying into little bites (because if you’ve never tried it that way, it’s gooood).

ps- air fryer okra is a much healthier way to enjoy “fried” okra if that’s your thing.

Okra cornmeal cakes with cilantro lime yogurt dip
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I did, the result are these crispy cornmeal cakes with generous pieces of okra shining through and they’re pretty delicious.

There’s a world of difference between these fun crunchy cakes and this stewed okra and tomatoes recipe but weirdly, they’re both delicious if you need a way to use up the seasonal summer vegetable.

Other than that though, I have nothing else to say about this recipe.

Instead, things that are running through my mind as I sit on this 5 hour flight out to Las Vegas for a week of “vacation” (can it be called vacation when there’s 10+ miles of hiking planned for every day?)…

Spicy okra cornmeal cakes

1. Did Vegas become an Asian hot spot or something? I’m one of maybe 3 non-Asians on this flight. And I’m on Delta, not like Cathway Pacific or something. Odd.

2. Why oh why did I not carve out time to get a pedicure before this trip? Every time I glance at my non-polished toe nails in the flip flops I’m wearing right now, I want to cringe. I hate naked toes.

3. What the HELL is the man sitting behind me doing to the back of my chair? When I sit on a plane, I don’t touch the seat in front of me unless absolutely necessary for tray table adjustments. In fact, I try not to touch anything (hello, germ factory) so when someone can consistently pound the back of mine for 4+ hours, I legitimately do not understand what they could be doing.

4. I have 7 Delta drink tickets sitting in my wallet from back in the days when I was a fancy schmancy (yeah, not really) business traveler and yet, I always find myself on horrifically early morning flights where I can’t even think of drinking anything but coffee.

5. Are we going to end up having to eat at crappy chain restaurants this whole trip? A quick search last night for semi-decent restaurants surrounding the national parks looked pretty grim.

6. I don’t even know what time zone Vegas is in. And then to complicate things, we’re driving to Arizona. Doesn’t Arizona not do daylight savings? Or is that another state? Why are random states even allowed to make up their own time. If there’s one thing the government should regulate, it should be the damn time!

7. I forgot to reprogram the thermostat downstairs while we’re away and considering our electricity rates doubled in the past 2 months, that’s just awesome. At least the plants will be nice and air-conditioned.

8. I can’t believe I paid $4.59 for a Cliff bar at the airport when I packed 6 of them for the trip. And then left them in the bag I decided to check last minute.

9. People who leave their window shades down on a plane when not watching tv bother me. How can you not want to look out the window?!

10. Does getting up at 2:45am mean I can eat an extra meal today?

Fried okra cornmeal cakes with cilantro lime yogurt dip

And one more thing on the okra cakes…

You should make them.

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4.58 from 7 votes

Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dip

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
These okra cornmeal cakes are pan fried with a crispy outside and spicy soft center. They’re perfect with the refreshing cilantro lime yogurt dip.


  • 1 1/2 cups sliced okra rounds
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil for frying, coconut, canola, etc.
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  • Combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the egg and water.
  • Add the egg and water mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir together with a spatula.
  • Mix in the okra, jalapeno, red pepper and garlic.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, form the batter into patties and pan fry on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • Mix the yogurt, lime and cilantro together in a small bowl and serve with the hot cakes.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 8gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 505mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I was struggling through the day with its briars entangling my feet when I came across your blog (in a search for fermented vegetables to help fight the ravages of antibiotics). When I reached the Okra Cornmeal Cakes (can’t wait to make them)recipe and your hilarious thoughts on your flight to Las Vegas my burdens lifted! You brought me up out of the doldrums and I signed on to your site. Thank you, Gina!

  2. I’m definitely going to try these!!! Someone brought something similar in to the beauty parlor once (don’t judge me for eating beauty salon patron treats! It was totally pre-COVID-19, and I was starving!!!), and I thought they were delish despite not being a huge fan of okra. Maybe it was the starvation talking, maybe it was the chemicals in the air wreaking havoc with my brain…I dunno. But those okra cakes won me over! The lady gave us all a pre-printed recipe for them which I promptly lost. (C’mon, lady…it’s 2020. You couldn’t put it in notes and Air Drop it to everyone?!??!?) I am glad to have the chance to make them myself and experience that little taste of heaven all over again. I’ll let you know if they’re a hit or swing-and-a-miss!

  3. I made the okra cakes with the dip for the first time. It was only ok. Taste was good but mine were not pretty. I had trouble keeping the cakes together. I think i put too much veggies in the mix so i had to add slightly more cornmeal. I felt the water was too much. I recommend adding the egg first then add water as needed for consistency starting with 1/4 cup of water. I will definitely try again.