In a heavy medium pot, preheat enough oil to come halfway up the sides to 360 degrees F.
In a shallow dish, combine the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence. In another shallow dish, combine the cornmeal and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence. In a third bowl, beat together the eggs, water, and the pepper sauce, if desired, to make the egg wash.
In batches, lightly dredge the okra first in the flour, then dip into the egg wash to coat. Dredge in the cornmeal, shaking to remove the excess. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.
Yield: 1 pound