Chips, Sticks or Fries?
What will it be? The Parmesan and panko crusted fried zucchini recipe? Crispy zucchini chips? Or the beer-battered zucchini fries like you get at the state fair, only better? Well, they do all look great on the platter and please every taste bud. But, I know... you want to know what panko means before committing.
Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese style breadcrumbs, made without
crusts, so that they are extra light and airy and extra crunchy. They're
pretty easy to find.
You will need a mandolin for this one.
3 medium zucchini
Peanut, olive, or vegetable oil for deep frying
1-2 cups flour
Sliced zucchini is nothing if not juicy, so start by draining some of that moisture. Trim the zucchini and slice them very thin with a mandolin. Salt the slices and place them in a colander to drain for at least a half hour. Dry between towels or paper towels.
Heat the oil 350° or so, hot but not smoking. Toss the zucchini with flour in a medium bowl, a little at a time, shake off any excess and fry in batches just until golden, 1 or 2 minutes, turning if necessary. Drain on paper towels. Taste and salt lightly if needed.
Makes a lot of chips.
Parmesan-Panko Crusted Zucchini Sticks
Peanut, olive, or vegetable oil for frying
6 large zucchini (but not the giant, end-of-summer things in your garden)
1 1/2 cups flour 4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper or red pepper flakes
Start the oil heating to 350° either in a deep fryer or a large frying pan with oil to a depth of 2 inches. Trim the zucchini and cut them into sticks about 3 inches by 1/2-inch.
Select three medium bowls or small pie plates. Place the flour in one, the beaten eggs in the second, and the Parmesan, panko, salt and pepper, mixed together, in the third one. Press the zucchini sticks into the flour, then dip them into the eggs and shake off any excess. Now press them into the Parmesan-panko mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the breaded sticks on wax paper or a cookie sheet until you are ready to fry them.
Working in batches, fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Remove the fries from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on
paper towels. Salt lightly, if you wish, and serve with Ranch Dressing
or seafood sauce, both great dipping sauces for zucchini fries.
Heat the oil and cut the zucchinis as instructed in the Parmesan-panko fried zucchini recipe. Prepare the beer batter recipe. Dip the zucchini sticks into the beer batter, shake off the excess and fry immediately until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towels and salt lightly. Serve with dipping sauce.