Fried zucchini flowers

27 Jun

 

Two weeks while I went on a trip to the Mekong, I saw a bunch of zucchini flowers (at the beginning I even thought it was another kind of flowers, because zucchini are not quite a local specialty here, and they are tasteless).


 


 

It was actually looking like what I remember to be zucchini flowers. It is pretty hard to find in France, and also expensive (compared to Italy). I was used to eat my aunt’s delicious fried zucchini blossoms while I was staying in Italy so I decided to try it out (this recipe was even on my to-do list for the blog!). My blossoms were not looking good after a few hours of car so I had to throw away a lot of them.

Thus, here are the ingredients (remember I don’t have any measuring cup so I warmly advise you to follow my pictures more than my figures).

Ingredients:

– 100gr of flour
– 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (bought my English bicarbonate at Annam Gourmet Market in Saigon, I was amazed to find back the Heritage products)
– 10cl of milk
– 2 eggs
– a pinch of salt

To cook the zucchini flowers, you need oil like sunflower oil which is tasteless, at least 10cl.

Firstly, you need to prepare the flowers. This step is the most important if you want to be able to eat them.
Open them carefully and get rid of the pistil inside. You need to check a few times the bottom of the inside of the flower to be sure there is no particle and not even the base of the pistil remaining.
You also have to cut the pedicel.
If you don’t get rid properly of those parts, you may have a strong bitter taste while eating the end of the flower.
After that you just have to wash them carefully to not break the petals and put them aside.

Now it’s time to prepare the dough. Firstly, put the flour in a bowl and mix it with a fork just to make it less granular and avoid lumps. Then add the eggs and mix.

Take a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and put it in another bowl. Mix it with a fork because bicarbonate tends to be way more granular than flour.

After that you can add it to the flour and the eggs.

Once the dough is liquid enough, add the milk and mix until it becomes homogeneous.

Then it’s time to cook the flowers. For that you have to dip each flower inside the dough until it is coated.

Make the oil warm on a saucepan (be careful to not warm it too much, oil could burn yourself!).
I discovered a great technique to not use too much oil and to avoid being burnt it’s to put just a bit in the bottom of the saucepan and tilt it to have the oil on an angle.

Put one to three flowers at the same time and cook until it is getting lightly brown.

The inside is supposed to be really tender and nearly melting, it is impressive because you really taste the zucchini!
It has actually more or less the same texture as a fried zucchini.

I recommend you to prepare some kind of dipping sauce with it like yogurt with basil and lemon, or tomato pesto mixed with a bit of cream cheese. Fried zucchini flowers are good even natural, but it is nice to prepare it with something else (which I didn’t do, because as you know, I live in Vietnam, finding European basil is already an extremely difficult task…).

For the most competent cooks, you can also prepare a stuffing like ricotta with tuna, or minced meat with herbs for example. There are so many choices that it’s up to you!

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