Ultra-crisp pickled okra pods are the ultimate pairing for chipotle aïoli.
Fried Pickled Okra
Yields: 10-12 servings
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from can)
- 1¼ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
- 1 pound small to medium fresh okra pods
- 2½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup pale lager beer, chilled
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chives, chipotle pepper, grated garlic, lime juice, adobo sauce, and ½ teaspoon black pepper until smooth. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Place okra in a large heatproof bowl.
- In a large saucepan, bring vinegar, 2 cups water, sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, smashed garlic, and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salt are dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over okra. Place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of pickling liquid to keep okra submerged. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes; refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove okra from pickling liquid, and let drain on paper towels. Pat dry. Halve, smash, and slice okra as desired.
- Fill a large Dutch oven halfway with oil, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 tablespoon salt, and remaining ¾ teaspoon black pepper; whisk in beer until smooth. Working in batches, evenly coat pickled okra in batter, letting excess drip off. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately with chipotle aïoli.