WEEKDAYS 1e|12c|p

Southern Popcorn with Mississippi Comeback Sauce

James Pickens Jr.
Servings: 4 - 6
1 to 2 hr
Part 1 of 2

Not your average popcorn!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
For Southern Popcorn
  • 2 1/2 pound okra (cut into 1/2-inch pieces, on a bias)
  • 3 quarts canola oil (for frying)
  • 1 recipe tempura batter
  • parsley (chopped, to garnish)
For Tempura Batter
  • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 8 ounces cornstarch
  • 8 ounces rice flour
  • 12-14 ounces sparkling mineral water (chilled)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Mississippi Comeback Sauce
  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chives (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • In a stovetop fryer, heat the oil to 350ºF.
  • For the Tempura Batter: In a large bowl add the turmeric, cornstarch and rice flour and whisk to combine. Add the sparkling chilled water and whisk to combine until the batter is the consistency of a slurry. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge the okra in the tempura batter and drop into the fryer. Allow to fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Repeat with remaining okra.
  • For the Mississippi Comeback Sauce: In the carafe of a blender add the mayonnaise, chili sauce, chives, tarragon, paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, cayenne, and lemon juice and blend on low speed for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
  • Place 6 to 8 ounces of Southern Popcorn in a bowl, garnish with the chopped parsley and enjoy!
  • Tip: Store the comeback sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
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