Pickled and Fried

I don’t like fried okra. I remember my mom making it as frequently as she could when I was a kid. She loved it. But she never made me eat it, thank goodness. I suppose because it’s not particularly good for you and that meant more for her. Kind of like how I don’t force french fries and mac and cheese on my kid. “Oh, you don’t want it? No problem. More for me.”

Because of my long-standing hatred of fried okra, I was dubious when some of my food blog (eatie) friends started talking about the fried okra that Smoke Et Al serves, noting how wonderful it is (and really not talking about much else). “You must try this okra.” (No.) ”But this is pickled first.” (So? Does that mean it won’t still be slimy and okra-tasting?) Yuck. My doubt remained despite learning recently that I kinda like pickled okra (thanks to The Wild Hare).

So, this (unseasonably warm) week, when the food trucks gathered for lunch in Centennial Park, I headed over to see my friends at Riff’s Truck. They are always willing to change a little bit up for me if there’s not already a vegetarian item on the menu. I had some no-chicken lettuce wraps (sounds no-great, right? Wrong—that ginger dressing is fantasticalamal. Anything would taste good with that dressing). I also got some sweet potato fries and fried plantains to share with Mini Eats.

And though that was quite a lot of food, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to tell all my friends that I still don’t like fried okra, even if it’s pickled first.

But noooooo, that will not happen. This fried pickled okra is really good. Great, even. Suprisingly great. And it comes with some smoked paprika (?) pepper (?) aioli (?) that they call ‘Bama white sauce. Whatever it is, it’s so good that Mini Eats dipped her fried plantains in it and then buried her face in the cup.

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Short version: my friends were not joking about this pickled and fried okra. It’s really that good. I didn’t have anything else from Smoke Et Al, though their menu indicates they are more than willing to accommodate vegetarians (yay!), so I may see what they can come up with the next time I’m out. Visit their website (or follow them on Twitter) to keep up with where they are and make plans accordingly!

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11 Responses to Pickled and Fried

  1. i still haven’t tried their fried okra, despite the fact that i love pretty much any + all fried okra. will definitely have to hunt some down soon!

  2. I love that stuff! Love okra all ways, but pickled and fried is the way to go. Funny thing, right before I read this post, I was hovered over my sink eating pickled okra straight from the jar. Smoke Et Al has it down with the frying and dipping sauce!

    • Lesley says:

      Carlos had really nice things to say about everything these guys make, which makes me really want to try something else. Maybe just a sandwich of fried okra smothered in that sauce!

  3. LOVE their okra! Glad to hear you liked the pickled fried okra too. Seriously, all my food from them was amazing! And if they ever make a vegetarian option on their sage biscuit, go for it. It was a great biscuit.

  4. Beth says:

    Smoke Et Al is definitely my favorite food truck next to Riffs! I’m actually in the process of writing a blog post about them now (of course these days it takes me about 2.5 wks to write one blog post). I’ve loved every single thing I’ve had from there.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Alabama white sauce (I’m obsessed w Martin’s BBQ chicken wings w AL w.s.), so the first time I ate at Smoke Et Al and saw that the pickled fried okra was served w/ it, I HAD to have an order. Little did I know that I would be blown away by the okra! So incredible.

    • Lesley says:

      Oh, I’m glad you said something because I did not know that Alabama white sauce was a thing! Oops. Shows how much I’ve kept up with barbeque, huh?

      I tried to recreate the sauce at home by putting some smoked paprika in mayo. I see from recipes that I wasn’t too far off!

  5. Lannae says:

    I am with you, there aren’t a lot of okra stuff that I like because it is either too slimy or to oily. Also, glad to read from you and Beth, that Smoke Et Al is worth trying! It is now on my list :)

  6. I’ve never had fried okra but would definitely love to try it! Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to have found your blog.

  7. Lannae says:

    Went to Meet n 3 at the NFM, and did the “Lesley Eats” tour. I got the Smoked Pickled Okra, and Riffs mac and cheese :)~