Happy Boy Recipes

Fried Zukes

    Fried Zukes

  • 2
  • 1

Fried Zucchini Spears

Can't Go Wrong With Golden-Fried Flavor

Total Time: 30-45 Min. Servings: 4-6

Posted by Tent

There is a restaurant on Lake Tahoe's West shore named Sunnyside. Some of my earliest gourmet eating-out memories are from this spot, for both their Hula Pie {which, sadly, does not contain ANY fresh produce} and their fried zucchini spears. My 8-year-old self couldn't believe they were actually vegetables, and for a few years it was one of the few ways my parents could get me to eat anything "green". While I'd never suggest that people replace all of their healthier cooking methods with battered, deep-fried-golden-goodness, these things make for some crowd pleasing appetizers.They are also more colorful and less starchy than potato fries, and you can make the whole experience even richer with a creamy chive-mint  dip.

For the Fry
1 tsp salt & pepper
1 - 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour
A splash of amber or pale ale
2 cups water
5-6 large zucchini {golden zucchini or romanesco squash are great as well} sliced into spears long-ways
1 tbsp breadcrumbs or panko

For the Dip
1 Cup sour Cream or 1 cup 2% Plain Greek Yogurt for a slightly slimmer dip
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped mint
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp chopped chives

Let me begin with a mild cautionary statement:  battering and frying anything can be a bit of an undertaking, but it is worth it. And I'm sure there is a way to do this without getting your hands covered in goopy batter, dripping it all over your stove-top and jeans and shoes and possibly singing your arm hairs with hot oil, I just haven't figured it out quite yet. Also, I would recommend not trying to text arriving guests for the duration of this activity - that was a mistake I will never make again.

I've broken the battering process up into three messy, but delicious steps - basically, you take whatever it is you want to fry, coat it in a dry, flour-y bath, dip it into the batter and then place the whole thing into the hot oil.

I usually set up an assembly line to make this process a bit faster. First, make the batter - whisk the water, beer and 1 1/2 cups of flour together. Then, slice the zucchinis {golden squash and romanesco work great with this recipe as well}. After the squash is prepped, heat the oil on medium high, and make the dry bath - in a plate or very shallow bowl, stir together the remaining flour, salt and pepper and breadcrumbs.

Next, it's fry time. Once the oil is bubbling a bit, its hot enough to make some crunchy squash. Lightly coat a handful of squash in the flour bath, then dip them in the batter. Once submerged in the batter, lift them out and do a little spin to fling off the excess batter. This might be how I sometimes get batter in my hair. Then, drop them in the oil. Let them fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown, and remove and place onto a plate with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil.

If it looks like the squash are getting blackened too quickly or if there is a ton of smoke and your friends start opening all the windows and/or the alarm goes off or their caged parakeet dies, turn down the heat. If things start sticking, add a little more oil, but be sure to let it heat up before adding in more squash. I do these in batches, as many as can fit into a pan of oil with a good amount of space around them. I also started using one hand to do the flouring and operate the tongs to pull out the fried spears and another to do the dirty work - dipping and throwing into oil. I leave it up to you to decide which. Salt the squash right before people start devouring them, and don't make them until people are ready to eat because these are definitely best right out of the pan.

As for the dip - you can do it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Whisk together the oil and sour cream, add in lemon juice and garlic and stir, then top with the mint and chives.