Spanish Zucchini Fritters
A subtle but delicious appetizer — a great meal starter, a tapa for your “tapas night” or just alone.
This recipe is a mash up of two of my favorite fried Zucchini recipes, Italian and Spanish. “Frittelle di Zucchine” is made with shredded Zucchini, cheese, flour and egg. Spanish fried Zucchini is made with sliced Zucchini that’s breaded with a Paprika infused flour. So, it is natural to combine these 2 for an interesting twist and a more delicate texture.
See gluten free version under ingredients.
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking: a couple of minutes!
Ingredients (for a dozen of Zucchini fritters):
- Fresh zucchini x 1
- Flour x 4-tbsp (substitute with potato flour for a gluten free version)
- Panko bread x 2-tbsp (skip for a gluten free version)
- Baking soda x 1/4-tsp (add 1/2-tsp for the gluten free version)
- Grated Parmesan cheese x 4-tbsp
- Smoked Paprika x 1/4-tsp to 1/2-tsp (personal taste preference). Make sure this is sweet paprika. I prefer Spanish sweet Paprika.
- 1 egg
- Salt 1/2-tsp
- Pepper 1/2-tsp
Double the ingredients for a larger batch of fritters.
Peel the Zucchini and grate with the smaller holes side of the grater. I prefer the holes that look like a horizontal slit as it gives the Zucchini a better texture. Then, squeeze the water out of the Zucchini. I do not add salt on this step. Just squeeze until removing all the water. Alternatively, leave on a colander with a weight on top to slowly squeeze the water.
On a bowl, add the Zucchini, flour, Panko bread, baking soda, Parmesan cheese, Paprika, salt, pepper and the egg. Mix with a fork. Don’t use an electric blender or food processor as it will grind the Zucchini.
The consistency should be soft to hard and not runny. If too hard, add another egg. If too soft, add more flour.
With a tablespoon, scoop enough to fill the spoon and scrape off with another spoon making small balls (see picture). They should be about 12–15 mm in size.
Use canola or sunflower seed oil for a neutral flavor. Add enough to cover the fritter. Heat oil to approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Once hot, drop the fritters and fry until light brown. Turn them carefully for even cooking. FYI, darker color is OK but it gives the fritter a mild burn cheese taste.
Let them cool down for a couple of minutes while draining any oil over a couple of paper towels.
Now, enjoy them and cheers!