Kolokythakia Tiganita: Batter-Fried Zucchini

Fried zucchini
Sabrina Pintus/E+ / Getty Images
Ratings (10)
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 8 appetizer servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
244 Calories
27g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 appetizer servings
Amount per serving
Calories 244
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8341mg 363%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 7mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crispy, batter-fried zucchini—Kolokythakia tiganita, pronounced koh-loh-kee-THAHK-yah tee-ghah-nee-TAH—is a Greek favorite often served in taverns. It is usually part of a meze platter, perhaps alongside batter-fried eggplant and accompanied by a cooling cucumber yogurt sauce (tzatziki). This recipe serves four as a side dish or six to eight as an appetizermeze in Greek. 

There are a few tips you need to follow to assure that you get crispy zucchini instead of soggy zucchini. First, make sure the zucchini is cleaned and dried well, and be sure to slice it evenly so all pieces cook at the same rate. The key to great crispy zucchini is to slice it thinly and fry it at high heat so it has time to cook without absorbing a lot of oil. If the oil isn't hot enough, the zucchini will soak it up and come out greasy. It is important the oil reaches—and maintains—the correct temperature for frying (which is usually between 350 F and 375 F). 

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • For the Batter:
  • 8 ounces bottled soda water (club soda)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • For Frying:
  • 1/2 inch olive oil

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Zucchini

  1. Wash the zucchini thoroughly in cold water and pat it dry. Trim the ends.

  2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into strips about 1/8- to 1/16-inch thick.

  3. Cut the zucchini slices in half if they're long. Slices measuring about 3 inches work best.

  4. Place the slices in a bowl with the salt. Let them sit for at least 20 minutes, and up to 1 hour.

  5. Pour off the accumulated liquid. (The salt will draw the water out from the squash.) 

Make the Batter

  1. Pour the soda water into a bowl. Slowly stir in the flour and salt, using a whisk or a fork to mix.

Fry the Zucchini 

  1. Bring the oil to high heat.

  2. Coat the zucchini with the batter. Use a fork to place the pieces in the oil.

  3. Fry for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy on both sides, flipping them over about halfway through. The batter will puff up and the zucchini center should be soft when they're done. 

  4. Drain the zucchini on absorbent paper toweling just long enough to remove the excess oil. Serve hot. 

Tips

  • Use a cheese slicer, a mandoline, or a long-blade knife to get uniformly thin zucchini slices.
  • Fry the zucchini slices in a single layer to avoid sogginess. Use more than one frying pan, if necessary. 
  • Add any favorite herb to the batter, like oregano or thyme. Minced garlic will give it added spiciness if that's your preference. 
  • Serve this dish hot! The zucchini will turn to mush when cooled to room temperature.