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This June I went back to “The Ranch” with my sisters Susan and Kay, and we three attended a cooking class with visiting chef Meadow Linn. Last year we experienced different cuisine and I posted another zucchini recipe: a raw zucchini vegetable dish that I continue to make and enjoy. But last year, if I recall correctly, Kay had a nagging back injury so she spent the class lying on the floor. This year? Kay’s back is healthy and not only did she make it through class upright, she was able to hike further, exercise, dance and definitely stand longer than me. Go figure… though I do need to point out that she IS is almost five years younger. I’m just sayin’…
But back to the class. During the instruction portion, stations were set up and Kay and I partnered to make spring rolls with dipping sauce…and we were a machine, filling, rolling and completing this dish faster than you can even imagine. We Klass girls have good hands in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Susan singlehandedly mixed, scooped and baked 60 gluten free, coconut chocolate chip cookies. Delicious.
At the end of the two hours, all the dishes we made were assembled on a buffet and we enjoyed eating every last bite. The zucchini pancakes I’m featuring today were one of my favorite items – they were lighter than most vegetable pancakes and a lot more flavorful too. Though I have made similar pancakes in the past, I must admit that this recipe tasted better. The dipping sauce was an especially nice addition.
No matter where you are this summer, I know you can grow or buy zucchini. Try these! You’ll like them. And, in case you’re interested, these are gluten and dairy free.
Note: the recipe below was adapted from The Mystic Cookbook by Denise and Meadow Linn (You’ll recall that Meadow was our teacher).
Summer Zucchini Pancakes with Asian Dipping Sauce
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Makes around a cup
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- ⅓ cup tamari
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 bunch white onions, white parts only – sliced very thin
- ½ tsp chili flakes or to taste (be sure to add slowly and taste since they make the sauce very spicy)
Makes about 10 pancakes (3-4 inches in diameter)
- 6 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 ½ lbs zucchini)
- ¾ cup grated sweet white onion (1 small onion)
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (I use a ginger grater for this)
- 5-6 large eggs
- 1 cup sweet rice flour (purchase in Asian grocery store or natural food stores)
- Vegetable oil to fry the pancakes
Dipping Sauce Instructions
Stir sugar, tamari, vinegar, mirin and sesame oil together. Add chopped garlic, sesame seeds and onions, then slowly add chili flakes to taste. Set aside. The sesame seeds float on top of the sauce.
Cut off both ends of the zucchini and grate (either with a food processor – using the shredding disc – or by hand with a box shredder. Put the shredded zucchini in a tea towel in batches and squeeze the liquid out so it is dry. Use a lot of muscle power or the pancakes will be soggy and fall apart. This is messy and easiest to do over the sink.
Put the dry shredded zucchini in a large bowl. Using the same disc and food processor, grate the onion. Use a ginger grater for the ginger but if you see fibrous, unchewable pieces of ginger remove them. Mix these three things together.
Heat a 12-inch skillet or griddle, then add two tablespoons vegetable until hot.
Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk and pour over the zucchini mixture, add the sweet rice flour and mix until fully combined.
Scoop about ½ cup of batter and flatten the pancakes with a spatula on the hot pan or griddle. Don’t crowd the pan – I make 4-5 per pan. Cook until golden on one side, then carefully turn over and cook until golden and crispy. Remove to a towel-lined plate. Add more oil and repeat.
Serve with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!