I really do have salad recipes coming up, I promise you. But this is technically a vegetable, right? This falls under the category of OMG decadent and tasty, but probably don’t want to have every day….because it’s THAT good. Put these on the buffet table during a party, and they will be gone in 5 seconds.
Fried Zucchini Sticks
- 4 medium zucchini, about 2 pounds
- 3 eggs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Panko crumbs
- Canola oil for frying
- Salt for seasoning
- Ranch dressing for dipping
- Place a large heavy skillet, cast iron skillet or heavy & wide soup pot on the stove and pour in the oil until it comes up 1 inch from the bottom. If you’re using a skillet, make sure the oil does not come up more than 1/2 way of the depth of your pan. Heat on medium high.
- Slice the zucchini into sticks and set aside.
- Set out 3 flat bottom bowls, or pie plates work great, too.
- In the first bowl, add the 3 tablespoons of flour. In the second one, crack & beat the eggs. In the third, add the panko crumbs, 1 cup of flour and seasonings.
- I work from left to right. Sliced zucchini, plain flour, eggs, panko/flour mixture then a landing pad such as a large plate, cutting board or baking sheet.
- Lightly coat several sticks with the plain flour. The flour will help the egg stick, which helps the seasoned flour/panko stick!
- Then, with my left hand I transfer a few of the flour coated sticks into the egg, carefully turn them around a little, then transfer to the flour/panko mixture and dredge it around with my right hand. Then place on the plate or board. Doing the dredging one stick at a time helps keep it evenly coated.
- Transfer the coated sticks to your plate or board. Keep these guys separated, no touching.
- Over by the stove, set out paper towels to place the cooked zucchini on. I double my paper towels. I also have a cookie rack or baking rack nearby to get the sticks off the towels - which helps keep them crispy.
- When the oil is shimmering, fleck a tiny bit of four into it and it should sizzle up and talk to you. Shoo the kids and animals out of your work zone with the oil.
- Slip a few sticks into the oil, do not over-fill the pan. Turn so they brown evenly and pull them from the oil with tongs and place on the paper towel. IMPORTANT PART - sprinkle with salt now, so the salt sticks. Then fry up the rest of the zucchini and season. Place on the baking rack if you have one, this gets them off them paper towel and helps them stay crispy. You can hold these over in a warm 200 degree oven until serving time, but they’re best served immediately.
- Serve with ranch dressing. And if you’re like me, you’ll squirt in a smidge of Sriracha into the ranch to give it a bit of kick!