What Are Zucchini Fritters?

A. Leverkuhn

Zucchini fritters are small cakes made with the zucchini variety of squash. These foods are often served as snacks, but may also be part of regular meals or even upscale gourmet presentations. Many of them share various common ingredients and cooking methods, although different techniques can change the texture and taste quite a bit.

Raw sliced zucchini.
Raw sliced zucchini.

Some of the most common presentations for these types of foods include dicing up the zucchini, and blending in with various elements including flour or dough. Some other common elements are egg, breadcrumbs, milk, salt and pepper. Additional herbs and spices may be added to flavor the dish according to a particular cook’s taste, and how he or she wants these items to be enjoyed.

Zucchini prior to slicing.
Zucchini prior to slicing.

Different sorts of zucchini fritters may have radically different flavor profiles. Some cooks like to use garlic, which is a staple in Italian and Oriental cooking. Using garlic correctly can leave the dish with a hearty flavor, without overpowering the taste of the zucchini and other elements. Other parts of the garlic plant, such as the garlic scape, may also help attain this culinary objective.

Herbs used to season zucchini fritters include cilantro, a common Mexican ingredient, and basil, which is often used in Italian cooking. Oregano or thyme may also be used to provide a hearty flavor. Powdered or dried herbs are often used for foods like these, where successfully blending in all the elements is critical for appealing to a culinary audience.

Certain alternative forms of zucchini fritters involve using larger pieces of zucchini breaded and fried. Many cooks do not call these fritters, but instead, refers to them as zucchini strips or fried zucchini. In some cases, various forms of fritters may also include larger chunks of zucchini.

Other differences between types of zucchini fritters have to do with how the items are prepared. One conventional cooking method for this food involves taking the entire blend of zucchini, dough, and other ingredients, and either deep frying or pan frying the small pieces. Some cooks these days are opting for alternatives like baking to keep the calories lower for these foods. Baking also eliminates the need for draining the finished products with paper towels or other methods for getting excess oil removed from the small cakes. Where some fried zucchini fritters have a more browned, crisped surface, others that are baked may be less crispy.

Garlic scapes can be used to flavor zucchini fritters.
Garlic scapes can be used to flavor zucchini fritters.

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