I’m not a big fan of deep-frying; in fact, I seldom deep-fry anything if I can use the oven instead.
I’m usually not too keen on getting oil splatters all over my kitchen, or having my apartment smell like the latest burger joint on the block.
However, I do allow exceptions every now and then…
Very rarely, when I’m in the mood for that kind of food – such as homemade French fries – I give in. Since meals like this are hardly ever cooked in my kitchen, it feels like a luxury on the occasions that I do.
And this time, I’m going to teach you how to make deep-fried zucchini fries, an appetizer that is totally worth the oil splatters and burger-joint smell… though we do have some natural remedies to freshen the air!
Crispy and beautifully golden on the outside, yet tender and juicy on the inside, these make an amazing appetizer to serve to guests when they are over.
They’re healthier than French fries – because zucchini is lower in carbohydrates and has more fiber than potatoes – yet they taste just as good, and feel just as luxurious.
They’re also fairly simple to make.
Start off by cutting this summery squash into slices, then dip them in beaten egg, and coat them in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt.
All that’s left to do is to deep-fry them until they turn a gorgeous golden color on the outside. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. It’s best with spicy hot Sriracha sauce, in my opinion!
Hungry now? Let’s head right to the recipe!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Get Your Mise en Place Ready
Set out the vegetables, eggs, and oil. Measure the amount of grated Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and salt.
Step 2 – Cut the Veggies
Step 3 – Set up the Dredging Stations
Combine the grated Parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix the ingredients well until they are evenly distributed.
In another bowl, beat the eggs well.
Step 4 – Dip and Coat
Working in batches of 4 or 5 sticks each, coat the sticks well in the beaten eggs. Allow any excess egg to drip back into the bowl. The goal is simply to coat the sticks – too much egg is not necessary.
Once the sticks are dipped, coat them in the panko mixture. Pat them very well on all sides until they are completely covered in breadcrumbs. Arrange them in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet pan.
Step 5 – Fry
To test if the oil is hot enough, throw in one stick. If it starts sizzling, the temperature is perfect. If not, wait a little longer, and repeat the test until it is hot enough.
Deep-fry the vegetable sticks in batches until they are golden, for around 3 minutes.
Using a frying pan is a great method, but you might also want to consider purchasing your own deep fryer! What a good excuse for making hot, crispy food – all the time!
Remove, and let them sit on a large plate or baking sheet pan lined with paper towels until they are fully drained of any excess oil.
Serve and enjoy.
A Crispy and Delicious Vegetarian Appetizer
If you’re a fan of crispy appetizers, I know you’ll definitely enjoy these deep-fried zucchini.
They are cooked to a golden, crispy perfection on the outside, while still retaining their tenderness on the inside.
Super simple to make, these are great for serving when you have guests over.
And you might want to try my recipe for green bean fries for another tasty alternative!
What else are you doing to eat up all that summer zucchini bounty? Let us know in the comments below!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.