First it was the polenta chips, then the mini Italian doughnuts. There seems to have been a lot of frying happening in our house these school holidays. Here is a much healthier alternative to the much loved potato chip or french fry. Oven Baked Panko and Parmesan Crumbed Zucchini Fries. Japanese panko crumbs are lighter and flakier than traditional breadcrumbs and produce a crisper and crunchier zucchini fry. I’ve opted for an oven baked version today as it’s quicker and involves less kitchen clean up than frying. Of course, if you prefer, it is perfectly acceptable to fry these little beauties. The panko crumb will absorb less oil than a traditional bread crumb. Which is also healthier for you.
So popular were these in our house that I set up a production crumbing line. With the overriding condition that the oven would not be turned on until the kitchen was spotless. A win-win situation whichever way you approach it.
Oven Baked Panko and Parmesan Crumbed Zucchini Fries
1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 cups Japanese panko crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil for baking, or cooking spray
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
lemon wedges to serve
TRIM the ends of the zucchini and slice into even sized batons, no longer than 10cm. About a dozen batons per medium sized zucchini.
BLANCH the zucchini batons in a pot of boiling water, drain and pat dry. Blanching helps the crumb better adhere to the zucchini. Allow to cool before crumbing.
LINE an oven tray with baking paper and very lightly coat with a tablespoon of olive oil. I use a pastry brush to evenly distribute the oil. Non-stick cooking spray can be used as an alternative. Set aside.
BEFORE you start crumbing, arrange the ingredients you’ll need for the coating in the order you’ll be using them. Place the flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into a bowl with a splash of water and a generous pinch of salt and lightly whisk with a fork. Combine the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan on a separate plate.
WORKING with a small batch at a time, dip the zucchini batons in flour, shake to remove excess and then dip into the egg mixture, making sure to remove any excess before rolling in panko and parmesan crumb mixture.
PLACE the crumbed zucchini in an even, well spaced layer on the prepared baking tray, to ensure even browning.
WHEN all the zucchini batons have been crumbed, cover the baking tray with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest before baking.
FIFTEEN minutes prior to baking preheat the oven to 200 C. Remove the baking tray from the fridge and drizzle (or spray) a tablespoon of olive oil over the crumbed zucchini.
BAKE for an initial 10 minutes in a hot oven. Turn the zucchini fries over and bake for a further 15 minutes or until they are crisp and golden. Season generously with sea salt and serve immediately with a good squeeze of lemon.
Another delicious-sounding recipe, thanks. Will definitely try this when my courgettes finally grow.
These are fabulous with home grown, just picked zucchini. A great way to use up a glut of produce when everything is in sason and needs to be eaten.
I’m always looking for interesting ways to cook courgettes – like buses, they all come at once.
This might be a good way to get kids to eat their veggies? I’m going to try them with whole wheat flour and bread crumbs as I’ve sworn off the refined products. Will let you know!
My children will eat anything with a crispy crumb coating.
That looks fabulous!! Anything crumbed is great, but zucchini would be amazing.
They were good. Such a pity zucchini isn’t in season over here at the moment. We could eat them by the plateful.
That looks awesome. I’ve got a few zucchini now. Might take a crack at this! YUM!
You definitely should. They are delicious.
I made these for dinner tonight. Your instructions were flawless and I pretty well followed them to a T,.. except for using whole grain flour and bread crumbs… and baking them in a hot barbecue with the lid down. We tried it with zucchini and Chinese eggplant, both of which I blanched.., and apple slices. Loved them all!
Wow. Love the idea of using the bbq. The eggplant variation sounds delicious.so does the dessert options with apples. Thanks for the feedback.
The apples came out kind of savory and were great with our pork curry
Pingback: Wheat is not satan… but look out for those sneaky little sugar devils | Cook Up a Story