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
- Cast Iron Skillet (or other heavy skillet)
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.