Bento filler: Zucchini flower blossom-end fritters
Zucchini or courgette flowers are beautiful things to behold at the market. The most commonly seen recipes using them seem to call for stuffing them with meat or cheese, but they are great just simply fried too.
When trying to come up with a fritter that would fit neatly into a bento box, I found that the floppy flower petals got a bit too messy looking. So I cut them off, ending up with just the round blossom ends. They look rather like giant buttercups.
These little fritters are good hot or cold. They are very easy to make, so I would suggest making them for dinner and holding back a few for your bento the next day.
Recipe: Zucchini or courgette flower blossom-end fritters
Each fritter is about 30-40 calories each, depending on how large they are and how well you drain the oil.
The batter (more than enough for a dozen flowers):
- 1 small egg
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 2 Tbs. water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 dozen zucchini flowers
- Oil for frying
- Additional salt or soy sauce
Trim the stem or small fruit off the end of the flowers (reserve the small fruit for another dish). Cut the petal ends off (you can just sauté them with the small fruit). Carefully wash the blossom ends - watch out for any insects caught inside. Dry on kitchen towels.
For the batter: Beat the egg and water together. Add the salt. Beat in the flour, but don't overmix.
Heat up about 1/2 inch / 1 cm or so of oil in a small frying pan. Dip the cleaned and dried blossom ends in the batter. Put them in the hot oil, 3 at a time. Tilt the pan slightly as you fry them, so that they become submerged as much as possible in the oil. Turn once or twice until they are a golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the blossoms.
Sprinkle with a little salt or a few droplets of soy sauce to eat.
To crisp them up the next day, pop them in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, or in a dry frying pan. Let cool completely before packing into your bento box.
Here's a display of zucchini in many forms, at a local market. Seeing things like this make me so happy to be alive.
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