… and sure enough, she was right: There’s always a zucchini that gets away from you.
It was a stealthy sucker hidden in the deep abyss that I like to call the “squash patch”. It’s a place where small children should never venture, at least never alone. It looks pretty and lush with it’s beautiful bright yellow blossoms, but has teeny tiny thorns that’ll prick you and create a rash on your arm. It has hidden hollows were the local garden animalia gather to play cards, smoke cigars and drink whiskey. It’s a dark place with secrets.
Somehow I missed harvesting this particular zuke—we’ll call him Ed—when he was still a middling, which is, in my opinion, when the zukes taste best. I didn’t discover him until it was too late. He was HUGE. I would show you a picture of him, but I have momentarily lost my phone (with which I took his photo), a situation that is verging toward traumatic and I’m trying hard not to think about it. If I ever find the phone again (wah!) I’ll show you the picture of Ed placed next to a banana for scale. The poor banana, once confident and righteous about its size was made to feel puny and insignificant compared to the ginormousness that was Ed. Ed was BIG. And swarthy. Ed was intimidating and just a wee bit sexy if you know what I mean.
I stared at Ed and wondered, “How in the world am I going to use up all that zuke? It’s too much! It’s too huge!”
Snicker. (It is not often that a girl gets to say that with total dismay.)
Of course, Trudy’s recipe (and warning) came to mind. But I had a feeling that just one recipe wasn’t going to be enough. And I was right.
Ed yielded over 15 cups of shredded zuke. FIFTEEN CUPS!
The average GENEROUSLY proportioned zuke recipe calls for 2 cups. What the hay balls was I going to do with 15?
Well, it turns out … I was about to make a bunch of different dishes: muffins, bread, cobbler, casserole, kraut … and these fabulous Hobak Jeon, a Korean squash pancake/latke. They’re ridiculously easy, vegan and require only 5 ingredients. It doesn’t get better than that, eh?
First: shred your zuke. No problem for me. Too much zuke. I was dreaming up ways to use this stuff.
Two: To 2 cups of zukes add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Mix so zukes are nicely covered. Add a pinch of salt.
Then pile them onto a hot skillet with 2-3 T of vegetable or high fry oil, peanut would probably be fabulous.
While your cakes are frying whip up some dipping sauce: 2T soy sauce (Nama shoyu or Tamari), 1T vinegar (I used rice vinegar), 1 garlic clove minced plus chopped chilis.
The thinner your cake the faster they cook. Mine took about 5 minutes per side.
Gorgeous. And so, so delicious! Jack came home from a run and scarfed six of these babies down in no time.
serves 4-6 pancakes depending on size
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
3-4 T frying oil (vegetable, peanut or sesame)
1. Mix all ingredients together until zukes are nicely coated.
2. Heat skillet to high and coat with oil.
3. Drop a pancake of zukes in and flatten with spatula. Heat 4-5 minutes per side.
4. Drain excess oil on a paper towel and serve hot.