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It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I started frying vegetables, (zucchini is one of my favorites as it doesn’t fall apart). Frying vegetables is so easy it’s almost unreal. Plus, it’s a great way to show kids (and picky spouses) that vegetables don’t have to be bland and boring!
So, here’s another one of my videos to show you how easy and simple it is to prepare and serve.
The Basics of Frying Vegetables
The ideal method for frying is to dip each piece in white flour, then in a milk and egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs to coat. However, I have fried using simply flour, egg and breadcrumbs, or flour, milk and breadcrumbs, or some other variant with the ingredients with just as satisfying results.
Having said that, there are some reasons why I prefer and therefore recommend using all the initial ingredients I mentioned.
First, by dipping the zucchini in the flour first, the egg mixture is able to uniformly adhere to the entire surface area. For kicks, try to dip a zucchini round into the egg without dipping it in the flour first. You will see the egg just doesn’t hold onto the vegetable like it should.
This presents a problem when you try to coat the rounds with the breadcrumbs b/c now the breadcrumbs don’t have something wet and sticky to hold onto.
Secondly, why an egg and milk mix? Frankly, I think you can omit the egg without a problem, but the egg does provide a little more flavor and helps create a bit more puffed up texture. My photos don’t show it all that much unfortunately, but it’s true. As I said, if you don’t like eggs, or don’t want to use it for whatever reason don’t sweat it.
In regards to ratio, I added enough milk to cause the egg not to be too stretchy – I’m not making a fried egg here. I made sure to beat it thoroughly with a fork and that’s all that was needed.
Thirdly, the type of breadcrumbs – although I have gotten in the habit of making my own breadcrumbs, I would recommend plain Panko breadcrumbs. Plain Panko usually don’t have the hydrogenated oils. Just compare the ingredients from a seasoned can with a non-seasoned one and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Whole wheat breadcrumbs or white bread? I used in the video whole wheat breadcrumbs and they tasted great. If I were baking these instead of frying, I’d prefer to not use the whole wheat but that’s just preference.
Fourth, why no salt and pepper? Well, the breadcrumbs may already have that added in, and you just don’t need it. But if you really want to, then add a pinch in with the breadcrumbs and mix well.
Okay, the important part….
I’ve already given you the ingredients but here you go: flour, egg and milk, breadcrumbs, oil for frying.
- Wash and slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds – no larger
- Pour some flour in a bowl or plate
- Beat 1 egg and some milk in a bowl (adjust for quantity)
- Pour some breadcrumbs in a bowl or plate
- Take each round and dip in the above order making sure to coat generously and set aside
- When done heat about an inch of olive oil in a medium saucepan over med-high heat
- When the oil is really hot use some tongs to place some rounds in the pan making sure not overcrowd them. You’ll need to do this in batches. In my video I do about 4 at a time – depends on size of pan.
- Let it fry for about 15 to 30 seconds then turn over and repeat. When the coating is a nice golden brown, they are ready. If they aren’t turning color fast, then the oil probably isn’t hot enough – you want to hear it sizzle!
- Transfer to a plate with a paper towel (the paper towel will help absorb the excess oil)
Serve and enjoy!
Use this dish as a stand alone snack, appetizer or a side dish to some pasta or chicken dish. If you have any left over, don’t toss them out. You can reheat in a toaster oven!
Until next time, grazie and Happy 4th of July!