Here's how I like to do it.
Rinse, pat dry and slice the okra. Allow the cut okra to marinate in buttermilk for about 45 minutes.
Start heating your oil up. You want your oil to be between 350° to 375°. I like to use my 12 inch Lodge cast iron skillet. The suggested amount of oil should come half way up the side of the pan.
Place the breaded okra on the parchment paper. Once the cooking process begins it goes fairly quickly. That's why we want to get all the okra breaded at once, waiting to be placed in the skillet. Between each batch you may have to allow the oil to return to the suggested heat.
Don't crowd the skillet; you can do this in batches.
2 pounds fresh okra
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cups canola or peanut oil
Kosher salt to taste
Lay an 18" piece of parchment paper on the cabinet. This will be for the okra after you dredge the pieces in the cornmeal / flour mixture. Place paper towels on a serving platter. This is for the okra as it comes out of the oil.
Rinse and pat dry okra. Cut off the cap and tip. Slice each pod into 1/2 inch pieces.
Place sliced okra in a bowl and toss with buttermilk. Refrigerate for 45 minutes prior to frying.
Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a mixing bowl.
In a cast iron skillet heat oil to 350° to 375°.
Drain the buttermilk off the okra pieces. Toss the okra in the cornmeal / flour mixture and lay out on the parchment paper. I like to allow the breaded okra to sit for a little bit and come to room temperature. That way the temperature of the oil won't drop drastically.
In batches, drop handfuls of okra into the hot oil. Fill the pan but don't crowd okra in the pan. You want one layer. Avoid turning the okra much because a lot of the cornmeal will just fall to the bottom of the pan and will eventually burn. Let them be until you see they are turning a golden brown on bottom and, with a slotted spoon, carefully turn.
When the batch is golden brown use a slotted spoon and remove the okra to the serving dish covered in paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt
Repeat with the rest of the okra, in however many batches it takes.Toss a little Kosher salt on each batch as you place them on the paper towels.