1 lb. young, fresh okra (look for pods about 2 inches long)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups buttermilk
1 to 2 qts. peanut oil
Wash the okra pods and dry them on paper towels. Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl. Mix well to be sure there are no lumps and set aside.
Put the buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Add the okra pods to the buttermilk and let them remain there at room temperature for 15 minutes. This will create a coating on the pods.
Meanwhile, heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add two inches of peanut oil.
Drain the pods and dredge them in the flour mixture. The okra should be fried in one layer, so work in batches if necessary. When the oil shimmers, add the okra to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for three to five minutes, until the pods are golden brown. Remove the okra from the skillet and drain on paper towels.