Zucchini & Shrimp Fritters
I’d been wanting to “Paleo-ify” these Zucchini Fritters, one of my all-time most popular recipes, for quite some time now.
But for some reason, I just kept putting it off…
Not that they’re really all that complicated to make, far from there.
It’s just that… Okay. I have a confession to make. You know how there are certain things in the kitchen that will inexplicably put you off? Like peeling potatoes, zesting citrus or removing the stems from strawberries, for instance.
For me, it’s squeezing water out of things. No matter which method I use, it never fails to put me off. And so, I often end up not making recipes that call for squeezing water out of something just because of that. Like these amazing fritters right here. Or even one or my ultimate favorites, Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
Truth is, I’d much rather peel potatoes than do that squeezing thing. But honestly, I’ll have to seriously work on this, because these fritters are SO very worth the effort.
Beyond worth it!
They come together fairly quickly and easily and don’t even require that many ingredients either: a few zucchinis, of course, some shrimp, eggs, a handful of nuts and 2 or 3 other little uncomplicated things…
But unfortunately, there’s no avoiding squeezing that liquid out of those zucchinis. If you skip this step, the fritters will have way too much liquid in them and will only ever turn to mush. Not exactly what we’re after, is it?
Alright, let’s start by getting that step out of the way. Once that’s done, the rest is all good and fun!
I find the easiest way to go at this is to mound the zucchini right in the middle of a clean tea towel…
…then fold that tea towel back over the zucchini, twist the ends to make a little bundle…
…and squeeze the bejesus out of that bundle, until no more liquid comes out.
Oh, that liquid’s good stuff, you know. Feel free to drink it, if you will, or save it to add it to something else later.
And that’s what you are left with: beautiful, DRY zucchini. That wasn’t so hard, was it? One might even say that it was fun.
But now we can move on to even funner things!
Like chopping and mixing! WOO! Now that, I like!
Basically all there is to do now is add all the ingredients to a large bowl…
…and mix delicately until everything is well combined and evenly distributed.
When the fritter mixture is good to go, heat a splash of coconut oil or avocado oil in a frying pan set over medium heat and, when oil is nice and hot, add a generous 1/4 cup of the mixture for each fritter.
You can slightly flatten and help shape them delicately with a fork, if you find it’s necessary.
Cook the fritters 3 or 4 at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they form a nice golden brown crust.
Now, fritters are extremely delicate little things and need to be given time to set nicely before you attempt to flip them. Be patient! Also, they need to be flipped with great carefulness, much like pancakes. Be gentle! It might help to support them lightly with your fingers while you are performing the flip.
They’ll thank you for all your efforts by staying nicely together!
These fritters are at their best while they are still warm, so you can keep those that are ready in a warm oven while you cook the others.
The real beauty in these is that you can serve them as a side dish, as an appetizer, as a light snack…
or even as the “pièce de résistance” of a light meal. Here, I chose to enjoy mine with a few pieces of fresh vegetables and a healthy serving of Baba Ghanouj
Can you say yum?
Oh, and don’t think you have to stick with this flavor combination: substitutions can be made so VERY easily!
Leave the nuts out if you don’t care for them, or use a different kind of nut. Replace the shrimp with chicken or tuna, play with the seasoning… you can really make these your own and come up with a new flavor combo every time you make a fresh batch.
Ah, and in case you are wondering, they do reheat fairly well, too. I find the best way to reheat them is in a skillet set over medium heat. The microwave will get them warm indeed, but they also tend to come out a little mushier. Still, if you’re in a pinch, it’s a very good option.
See how beautiful and fresh and loaded with all kinds of flavors these are? Oh, and yes, you can eat them with your fingers if you want. It’s allowed!
These are plain fabulous, I tell you! Tough luck about that squeezing thing, these will be added to my menu a lot more often from now on!
My brain will just have to deal…
Zucchini & Shrimp Fritters
- 600 g 1-1/4lb / 3 medium zucchinis, grated
- 225 g 1/2lb raw shrimp, cleaned and chopped
- 9 Brazil nuts, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
- Start by squeezing as much water as you can out of the zucchinis. The easiest way to do this is to place the grated zucchinis in the middle of a clean dish towel, fold the top and bottom flaps over the zucchini then twist both ends to form a little bundle, then twist and squeeze the bejesus out of that bundle until no more liquid comes out.
- Add the squeezed zucchini to a mixing bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients and mix delicately until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Heat a splash of coconut oil or avocado oil in a frying pan set over medium heat and, when oil is nice and hot, add a generous 1/4 cup of mixture for each fritter. Slightly flatten and help shape them delicately with a fork, if necessary.
- Cook 3 or 4 fritters at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they form a nice golden brown crust. Add more oil as necessary.
- Note that fritters are extremely delicate and need to be given time to set nicely before you attempt to flip them. Also, they need to be flipped with great carefulness, much like pancakes. Be gentle. They'll thank you for it by staying nicely together!
- You can keep these warm by placing them in a warm oven while you cook the remaining fritters.