How to make zucchini fritters that are crispy and yet don’t fall apart in the pan. Made with fresh shredded zucchini, panko, parmesan cheese and herbs. A great accompaniment to the fitters is a yogurt-caper dipping sauce (recipe included).Jump to Recipe
The Flexibility of Fritters (aka vegetable pancakes)
Fritters are popular the world over and are made with a wide variety of ingredients, with vegetarian or fish fritters being the most common. Here are a few variations on making fritters to satisfy a specific diet, a fresh ingredient, or a particular taste:
- they are great for breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner
- they can be made with a huge range of fresh ingredients, including zucchini, corn, shrimp, sweet potatoes, etc.
- they taste great alone, but you can enhance them with wonderful dips and sauces, and
- they can be made low carb, without dairy, gluten free and with or without eggs..
I chose to make zucchini friters with a yogurt-caper dipping sauce because it is August and zucchini is abundant and inexpensive. I have also made shrimp fritters with this harissa sauce that were a tasty delight.
Whichever type of fritter suits your fancy, there are definitely some tips and tricks for successful fritter making!
Tips for Fritters that are Both Crispy and Don’t Fall Apart
Although popular, versatile, and delicious, fritters can sometimes be a bit challenging. The two biggest complaints is that they can turn out soggy instead of crispy, or that they don’t stick together in the skillet. Here are some tips to help with both of those problems:
- Salt and dry the zucchini after shredding. There is a lot of water in zucchini and it can definitely result in soggy fritters. I salt the shredded zucchini first and let it sit for around 15 minutes. I then mound it into a ball, wrap the ball in paper towels and squeeze the ball of wrapped shredded zucchini over the kitchen sink. It will release a lot of water!
- Use the yolks of the eggs and go easy on the whites. Large eggs that have a lot of whites can make a difference in whether your fritters are soggy or crispy. I use one whole egg and 1 egg yolk.
- Fold the ingredients together with a gentle hand. Don’t overmix the batter
- Heat: Make sure and get the oil nice and hot before adding the fritters. You should hear them sizzle when you drop them in the skillet. It only takes about 1 minute on each side to cook them into the desired golden brown.
Additional Great Dipping Sauces for Fritters
I have included a recipe in the notes below for a yogurt-caper dipping sauce, but there are so many ways to completely change the flavor of fritters with a unique dip. Try this harissa or romesco or chimichurri sauce with any fritter recipe. Or add an Asian flair with a soy-based dip.
Farm Fresh Zuccnini Fritters
- 1 lb Shredded zucchini should be about 2 cups after water is squeezed out of it
- 1 tsp Kosher salt divided
- 2 Scallions chopped; can substitute chives
- 1 Tbsp Parsley chopped/minced
- 2 tsp Fresh oregano minced
- ¼ cup Panko
- 2 oz Shredded parmesan can use asigo, manchego, or pecorino
- 2 Tbsp flour all-purpose
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 2 small eggs use 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk; keep them cold
- 1 Tbsp olive oil refined or “light” for high heat (may want to use 2 Tbsp)
- After the zucchini is shredded (use the large holes of a box grater), dry it as much as possible with paper towels. Place shredded zucchini in a colander, salt with about 1/4 tsp salt and let stand 15-30 minutes. The salt will draw out more of the water. After 15-30 minutes hold colander over sink and press firmly with a rubber spatula to force out water. Alternatively, wrap zucchini in paper towels or a dish towel and squeeze until dry.
- In a large bowl, combine the dried zucchini, scallions, herbs, panko, cheese, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together with a spoon. In a small bowl, whisk the cold egg and egg yolk together briefly and then fold into the zucchini mix.
- In a saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. When oil just starts to smoke, spoon in the zucchini batter to form small flat rounds (about 3“ cakes). Don’t overcrowd the pan – you will need to cook in 2 batches. Cook 1-2 minutes, flip them over with a spatula and cook other side for 1 minute. Keep first batch warm in the oven while making second batch.
- Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream or a yogurt-caper dipping sauce (see recipe in the notes)
- Turn oven on to low (about 250 °F) to keep first batch of fritters warm while making second batch.
Want another delicious way to use up that zucchini? Try this Zucchini Frittata!