There are times in my life when I have a craving for fried food – last week was one of them. I had to have something fried and poked around in my fridge for ideas. There, sitting in the crisper were two zucchinis. Zucchini fritters it is (was).
The key thing about making fritters of any kind is to remove as much water as possible. The problem about zucchini is when you fry them, they become soggy, especially if you fry grated zucchini. One way to “remedy” this (not 100%) is to lightly salt the zucchini shreds/matchsticks/grated zucchini etc. and squeeze out as much water as you can. You won’t be able to completely fix the problem, but you probably will end up with a crisper fritter. When I made these fritters I didn’t bother to do that. As such, I had a crisp exterior but “creamy” interior. They were still yummy but not crispy through and through. Basically, it really depends how you would like your fritters.
This recipe is slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s. Feel free to also use whatever spices you prefer. If you are a purist, good ole’ salt and pepper would do fine.
UPDATE: I made these again and made the effort to remove as much water as possible from the zucchini using the method described above. It produced a much crisper and yummier fritter – I am a convert and will make the effort to do this in the future. The “batter” will be quite dry, but that’s a good thing. The crisper fritters are pictured above.
(taken and slightly adapted from here)
- 1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini, grated or julienne into thin matchsticks. You can use a food processor to help you with the grating or a mandolin for julienne-ing.
- 1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
- 2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin AND/OR 1/4 cup diced onion/shallot
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
For the topping (optional):
- 1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
- 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- A few pinches of salt
- 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
- In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wring away. I actually did both.
- Mix together the zucchini, salt (about 1/4 teaspoon or more), pepper, flour, baking powder and egg. You can also add in paprika if desired.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven (about 200ºF) until needed. According to Smitten Kitchen, this will also help the fritters crisp up more. However, I don’t place my fritters in a warm oven after frying. If I want them to crisp up again, I use a toasted oven.
- Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.
- For the topping, if using, stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.