Rinse the whole okra pods under cold water, drain, pat dry, trim, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.
Place the cornmeal into a 1 gallon zip-top bag. Add the okra and shake to coat thoroughly. Return the okra to a dry colander and shake off excess cornmeal.
Add enough vegetable oil to a 12-inch stainless-steel saute pan to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring the oil to 370ºF. Add the okra and fry until golden brown on 1 side, 5 to 6 minutes. Stirring occasionally, continue cooking until okra is golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes longer. Remove the okra from the pan with a spider strainer or slotted spoon to a wire rack set over a paper towel-lined half-sheet pan. Season, to taste, with salt and allow to cool for 2 minutes before serving.