Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Make these cornmeal cakes as an appetizer or hearty side dish. We topped ours with tomatoes, arugula and basil, but they would also be delicious with avocado or cheese.


makes 16 cornmeal cakes


2 cups plain yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 egg

1 ½ cups water

2 garlic cloves, smashed into paste

1 (.5 pound) package okra, thinly sliced

2 shishito peppers, seeded and chopped

2 green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup arugula

1 pound tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices

2 tablespoons basil, chopped



Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F to keep the cornmeal cakes warm.

In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the egg and 1 ½ cups water until smooth.

Smash the garlic to make a paste. Then add the sliced okra, shishitos, green onions and garlic paste into the cornmeal mixture. (The batter will be thick and will thicken even more as it sits, so add water if needed).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon or ladle 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of batter for each cake into skillet, and gently flatten into a 3-inch pancake. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and tops are covered with bubbles, about 1-2 minutes. Flip each pancake over and cook 1-2 more minutes. Place the cakes on a sheet pan and put them in the warmed oven to keep them warm while you make the rest of the cornmeal cakes.

Use more oil in the skillet as needed between batches and repeat the process until you are finished with all the batter.

Season the cornmeal cakes with salt and pepper. Top with arugula, tomato and basil.


vegetable plate

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