DFJ is still away and while he was gone I have finished reading a book, worked out for three hours on Saturday, wrote a blog post, had a nice dinner at my friends’ house, caught up on emailing friends, did yoga for two hours straight yesterday, watched two movies in a row while folding three loads of clean laundry, and baked this tart (see picture below).
Enough about the whining though! Let’s talk about good stuff… like these fritters! I veered a little from the original recipe to use up the ingredients that I already have at home. Instead of corn and scallions, I used zucchini and onions.
These sweet potato and zucchini fritters are delicious and oh-so-pretty! Earthy, juicy, sweet, and savory. Not to mention crispy, crunchy, and oily… but way better for you than French fries! The fritters are just simply seasoned with salt and pepper and although they are good eaten alone, they certainly liven up when you pour a good amount of the sauce over them. The lime juice-fish sauce-soy sauce-garlic-ginger combination tampers the oiliness and adds so much flavor to the fritters! You must not forgo making the sauce, ok?
NOTE:The fritters took some preparation and that included grating the sweet potatoes and the zucchini, which was a really good arm workout. The frying also took some time, so patience is necessary here. It is kind of tricky for these fritters to hold together well, so make sure you drain the liquid out of the grated sweet potatoes and zucchini. You can either press them against a strainer or do what I did. I simply covered the sweet potatoes and zucchini with a heavy duty paper towel and pressed it until the liquid soaked the towel. I only did it once, but maybe do it twice to make sure most of the liquid is gone.
After the initial grating and dicing, the rest of the process is pretty easy. Mix everything in a large bowl, heat up some oil, and fry away!
Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters with Thai Dipping SauceAdapted from Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce, The Food Matters Cookbook, Mark Bittman
Fritters2 cups grated sweet potatoes, packed and drained of liquid (see note above)
1 cup grated zucchini, packed and drained of liquid (see note above)
1 bell pepper, diced (1 heaping cup)
1 cup onion, diced
3-4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
salt and pepper
canola oil for frying
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
pinch of chile flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 pinches of brown sugar (more or less to taste)
Fritters:Place the sweet potato, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and pinches of salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. (I added 6 pinches of salt and 2 generous grinds of the pepper.) Mix everything well with a fork.
Add the flour a tablespoon at a time and mix well. Pour in the beaten egg and mix some more until everything is well incorporated.
Cover the bottom of a large pan with oil, about 1/8 of an inch. Turn the heat on to medium high. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan. Before dropping a spoonful, make sure to pack it tight with your fingers to make the fritter hold together better. Make sure to space them out so they do not get too crowded. This will make it easier for you to flip them when they’re ready. Slightly flatten the fritters very gently with your spatula. Cook each side until it turns brown, about 4-5 minutes, turning only once.
Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce:Pour in the lime juice, fish sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir well. Throw in a pinch of chile flakes, then add the minced garlic and ginger. Add the brown sugar a pinch at a time until your desired taste is reached.
Cooking ain’t perfect! So, do not be discouraged if some of the fritters fall apart. Just carefully scoop them off the large pan and move to a smaller one. Continue cooking them in another burner. They are just as good and instead of the crunch that the whole fritters give, the fallen-apart ones are chewier. I served them on top of rice, poured on some sauce, and voila… a simple and delicious meal!
Have a great week everyone!