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.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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32 Comments on “Zucchini & Shrimp Fritters”
YES! Squeezing water out of things is THE WORST EVER. i thought I was the only one who hated that.
You are so creative with adding the shrimp RIGHT into the fritters! I love a meal that is complete all in one bite. And, they are so pretty!
Happy eyes and happy waistline 🙂
In my arms sister! So happy to know I’m not alone in this! Strange, isn’t it? It’s not like it’s a really complicated or messy task… I just don’t like it and can’t really explain why. It’s just one of those things.
And thank you for your kind words. My fritters, if they weren’t all gone by now, would’ve been very happy to hear you say they were pretty easy on the eye! 🙂
Do I classify as a weirdo if I say that I like to squeeze water out of things? Like when I make cauli crust pizza my fave part is squeezing the bejesus out of the cauliflower rice…I know…
Anyway, loving this paleo version of these fritters, looks dope! .)
Weirdo? No way, man. That’s the kind of shit that makes you husband material! Come on. A man who loves to squeeze water out of things AND cooks AND does the dishes AND even makes his own laundry? Gah! If you’re so lucky as to ever find one, you never let go… 😉
Wonderful stuff! Thanks so much for your site.
A tip: try using a ricer to squeeze excess water.
Ooooh! I LOVE that tip! Thanks a bunch for that, Erin! 🙂
I’m with you, but those look like they would be worth the squeezing. I love the combination of the shrimp with the summer squash.
Ah! What is it about squeezing that makes us hate it so much I wonder… but yes, you said it. These fritters are indeed worth the squeezing! 🙂
Yum! These look delicious, especially served with some marinara sauce. And the nutrition breakdown is great, I will have to find some shrimp somewhere in this state of KY and make them soon!
Oooooh, marinara sauce! I love that idea. I’ll definitely try it next time! Thanks for the inspiration, Kim!
Any substitution for the coconut and/or tapioca flour?
Sorry Mike, looks like I had totally missed your question… Please see my answer to Diana right below!
I have the same question as Mike. I am not Gluten Free and therefore don’t keep alternative flours on hand. This sounds like a truly great recipe. I look forward to your response.
It’s hard for me to say without testing it first, but I think it’s fairly safe to assume that you can triple the amount of coconut flour if you are going to sub any other kind of flour. As for tapioca starch, you can use regular corn starch instead, at a ratio of 1 to 1.
Hope this helps!
Thank you Sonia. I appreciate the info. I really must give this a try. Take care and have a great day.
Love the use of shrimp in zucchini fritters!
WOW. Just tried these for the first time. The ricer removed the water from the zucchini like a dream. I omitted the shrimp and nuts in an attempt to “recreate” my beloved potato pancakes. It really produced a satisfying result.
What a treat. I could see having a knife and fork “sandwich” using these as bread (with–be still my heart–leftover meatloaf). Not an everyday meal, but really really worth the effort.
Thank you, Erin, for the great feedback! Glad to hear these also work without the shrimp. Did you have to adapt anything or just plain omitted them? And “be-still-my-heart” meatloaf? YES PLEASE!!! Do you have a recipe for that?
I just omitted the shrimp and nuts and left everything else the same, save for substituting some stuff with what I had on hand: regular yellow onion for the green onion, granulated garlic for fresh and cayenne for the pepper flakes. The result was a very satisfying savory pancake. LOVE
I have not “paleo-ed” my meatloaf recipe yet. It is a standard “no recipe” affair, with meatloaf mix, beaten egg, finely diced onion, shake of oregano, salt, pepper–and breadcrumbs. I just mix it all up until it has the right feel. I’m sure the regular breadcrumbs could be subbed with some finely ground nuts and coconut flour. Heck, you probably have a great paleo-style meatloaf recipe around here somewhere. I just think a cold slab of meatloaf on these zucchini pancakes would be great.
In the meantime, I still had some leftover zucchini cakes and they were terrific for breakfast this morning (rewarmed with a fried egg on top). How perfect was that?
Oh yes! These must be fantastic with an egg on top.
And now you got me wanting to work on a meatloaf recipe. Big time. I need meatloaf in my life, right now!
So glad I followed the link from Ibreatheimhungry and found your site. This recipe seemed pretty adaptable to change – and I hate shrimp – so I started digging around for a protein replacement. I found a bell pepper that needed to be used up so I decided to saute that with some onion and try out the fritters. They are really tasty! The recipe didn’t take a lot of time and I did make it on a workday morning. I can’t wait to try this with some other variations, maybe topping with some yummy hollandaise sauce!
I’m glad you followed that link too, Cheryl and thank you so much for taking the time to leave such great feedback on this recipe. I’m real happy to hear that you liked the fritters! I have to admit that Hollandaise sauce sounds real yummy. I might have to try it myself… 🙂
These were fantastic! I finely grated the zucchini and added a bit of Old Bay. Will add minced green pepper next time and have a paleo version of my mom’s “crab” cakes. Thanks for a great recipe 🙂
Ooooh, love the idea of adding Old Bay to this. I don’t know why I keep forgetting that this seasoning not only exists, but that I have it in my cupboards. I should definitely use it more often! Thanks for reminding me…
Oh, and thanks a million for the great feedback, I truly appreciate it! 😀
First, merry Christmas, happy holidays and congratulations on your newest family member. I know that you will be very busy with her and all your other holiday festivities at the moment but I was wondering if I could cheekily submit a request? Or maybe a challenge? I love these style fritters, I used to make them all the time with shredded zucchini, carrot, cabbage, you name it. However I can no longer have eggs, at all 🙁
I was wondering if you would have any ideas on how to create a fritter like this and keep it together without eggs? I have tried flax and chia eggs, and also tofu to try bind the ingredients, nothing has worked so far, any input would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Have you ever tried mashed potatoes? That would probably be my first try, even though I’m not a huge fan of potatoes, they are fairly good at keeping patties together…
Apparently nut butters are also fairly efficient as a binding agent, but I’ve never tried it so I really wouldn’t know how that works. Maybe try a little bit of mashed potatoes, a few tablespoons of tapioca flour and a few tablespoons of raw almond butter…. I think that’s what I would do!
Hope this helps, and please, keep me posted if you end up trying any of this! 😀
Will give it a go and I’ll let you know how it goes!
Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry SONIA! **
is there a reason to use the tapioca flour? i am allergic to coconut too. I’m wondering if i could use almond flour instead?
Flours act as a binding agent. You could very well use almond flour instead of coconut, although I would double the amount…
thanks, i knew they are a binder as well as the egg but i didn’t know if there was a conversion. we are starting a low carb diet soon and i am gathering recipes and it seems almond flour is used a lot!! thank you for this recipe i can’t wait to try it!!