These Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters are a GREAT way to eat your veggies, and are a budget-friendly choice since a little shrimp goes a long way. The lemon-garlic yogurt sauce they are paired with is creamy and addictive. And the zucchini and shrimp are a match made in heaven- their flavors stand out so well in the simplicity of this recipe.
Also, HAPPY EARTH DAY! Not only is this a budget-friendly recipe, but it’s also earth-friendly. One of my favorite things to do for the environment is to eat less meat. I’m not a vegetarian, but skipping meat or limiting it can really have an impact. These are meat free, and they stretch out just a half a pound of shrimp (wild caught) for four servings.
I’ve made fritters in the past… scratch that. ATTEMPTED to make fritters in the past. I’ve had them fall apart into a mushy mess, or added WAY too much oil to the pan when they seemed to not want to stay together. I was never very successful, but I wanted to be. Every time I came across a photograph of zucchini fritters on Pinterest I was practically trying to eat them off the computer screen. This time, I got it right!
Here are a few tricks to making fritters that won’t fall apart and that don’t use too much oil.
- Make sure as MUCH liquid as possible is squeezed out of the zucchini. After you grate it, place it in a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel out and wring it out like you would a washcloth in the shower. Do NOT use a paper towel for this- it’s just not sturdy enough (plus, you’ll help save the environment!). For extra credit, you can also pat the shrimp dry before adding to the bowl.
- Use TWO eggs. The eggs will cook while the fritters are frying, binding the batter together and ensuring it doesn’t fall apart. If it’s too liquidy, add more breadcrumbs.
- Scoop the batter into 2 tablespoons hot oil with a large kitchen or ice cream scoop (or a 1/2 cup measure if you don’t have one) loosely, rather than forming patties beforehand. Press down gently with the back of a spatula and let the bottom cook and brown for 3 minutes without touching them. Then, flip and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a paper towel lined plate. This will remove some of the oil and also allow them to settle and firm up a bit, so you can pick them up without them crumbling apart.
Time-Saving Tricks: You can make the mixture for these fritters ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. I recommend waiting to add the salt until just before cooking, since salt will draw out even more liquid from the zucchini.
Serving Suggestions: These are SO versatile. They are great on their own topped with the sauce with a side salad, or stuffed in whole wheat pita pocket sandwiches smothered in the sauce. Or, serve them for brunch topped with a poached egg. Make them smaller for a fun appetizer, or make them bigger to serve on burger buns. Make a big batch and eat the leftovers all week long for lunch!
Thanks Cooking Light for the inspiration- check out their Zucchini and Shrimp Cakes from their latest issue here.
Recipe for Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Sauce below!
Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Sauce
For the Fritters:
- 3 medium zucchini grated
- 1/2 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined and roughly chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (plus more if needed)
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more if needed
- lemon wedges for serving (optional)
- Spread grated zucchini out on a clean kitchen towel (preferably NOT a paper towel, as they are too fragile) with a pinch of salt sprinkled on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for liquid to be released.
- Using the kitchen towel, squeeze out as much liquid from the grated zucchini as possible.
- While you are waiting for the zucchini to sit, mix together all ingredients for yogurt sauce. Set aside.
- Combine squeezed out zucchini, chopped shrimp (1/2 lb.), 2 eggs, panko breadcrumbs (1 cup), kosher salt and black pepper to taste, lemon zest (from 1 lemon), and minced fresh parsley (2 tablespoons) in a large bowl. Mixture should hold together well- if it seems too wet, add some more breadcrumbs.
- Heat the olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Using a large scoop or a 1/2 cup measure, scoop mixture into hot oil. Flatten tops slightly with a spatula.
- Cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Continue until all of zucchini mixture is used up, adding more oil if necessary.
- Serve fritters with the yogurt sauce and lemon wedges, if desired. Great on their own or in a pita pocket sandwich.