Serious Heat: Okra-Fried Jalapenos Recipe

Serious Heat: Okra-Fried Jalapenos Recipe

"These are massively addictive."

It's always exciting when someone presents you with a new way to prepare a dish that had never crossed your mind before. This was the case while I was interviewing Chattanooga resident and chef Kent Whitaker for an upcoming article in on tailgating. He mentioned his favorite way to eat jalapenos—battered and fried a la okra and dipped in a creamy horseradish sauce.

The results were fabulous. Always a fan of fried pickles, battered jalapenos combine that same pickled sourness along with the spiciness of the pepper—and it's all encased in a crispy coating, then dipped into a cooling horseradish sauce.

Kent advices using any recipe you have for fried okra and just switching out okra for pickled jalapenos. Just be sure to drain the pickled jalapenos very well before coating. Crushed tortilla chips or Fritos add an extra crispiness to the batter. And a little warning—make more than you think you need. These are massively addictive.

Fried Jalapeno Peppers with Horseradish Dipping Sauce

  • Yield:6


  • For the dipping sauce:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • For the jalapenos:
  • 2 cups sliced pickled jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Handful of crushed tortilla or corn chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil, as needed


  1. 1.

    For the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour and finely crushed chips. In a smaller bowl, mix the milk, eggs, garlic powder and salt.

  3. 3.

    Warm the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. (I found that about a half-inch of oil in the pan was adequate.)

  4. 4.

    Using a slotted spoon or hands, spoon some of the peppers into the milk mixture to coat, and then toss into the cornmeal mixture to coat too. Shake off excess cornmeal coating.

  5. 5.

    In batches, add the coated jalapenos into sauté pan, and fry until golden in hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Repeat in batches until all the jalapenos have been fried.

  6. 6.

    Serve jalapenos hot with horseradish sauce.