Zucchini Blossoms Three Ways
My search for zucchini or squash blossoms has finally come to an at Union Square Market in NYC. Was really overjoyed at my find and had to literally stop myself from hoarding since I know it won’t keep well. I was in the middle of my vacation and still have to bring it back home to Jersey.
I bought two packages, the male blossoms which is attached to a thin stem and has fuller petals and the female blossoms which has a miniature squash/fruit attached at it’s base.
The male blossoms are typically the ones dipped in batter and deep fried. I used half of the package to make deep fried zucchini blossoms and the other half stuffed.
To make, prepare your zucchini blossoms by trimming the ends of the stem and removing the stamen inside the petals. Then fill a bowl with water and gently swirl and submerge the flowers to remove any dirt or bugs and pat dry with paper towels. What I did to remove excess water was line a strainer or colander with paper towels and lay the blossoms around it upside down.
Meanwhile, heat a pan with about 1 inch of vegetable oil.
In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. kosher salt and 3/4 cup chilled club soda. For an even crispier and lighter batter I folded 2 stiffly beaten egg white into it. Then take your zucchini blossom and coat it with batter making sure to shake off excess. Place it in the hot oil one at a time, do not overcrowd. Cook until golden brown on both sides, this will only take a couple of minutes. Drain in paper towels. Serve immediately.
For the stuffed zucchini blossoms, I just placed 1 tbsp of bourin cheese inside the folds of the petal and gently closed by twisting the ends before dredging it in the batter.
For the soup, I wanted to make a simple broth that won’t overpower the delicate taste of the zucchini blossom. Filipinos love to add shrimp paste or fish sauce into their vegetable dishes and I just find these to strong a flavor to add to this dish. I racked my brains and tried to think of an alternative flavor base for my soup and I came up with these — dried anchovies !!! Japanese and Koreans have been using these to make stocks and base for their soups. I placed 2 tbsp of small dried anchovies (make sure you get good quality ones) in disposable tea bags.
I added these in 5 cups boiling water and let this simmer for about 2 minutes. Then remove the pouch with your anchovies and add 1 small onion diced and 1-2 cloves garlic minced, continue cooking at a low heat until onions are tender. Then I added the zucchini blossoms and let this cook for about a minute. Then threw a couple of handfuls of baby kale and turned off the heat. P.S. you can season with salt or 1 tbsp of fish sauce to taste.