How to Fry Squash Blossoms

1,750

27

12

Published

Introduction: How to Fry Squash Blossoms

About: Architect/designer based between Chicago and SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :)

Squash blossoms are fantastic! I hadn't realized what all the fuss at our local farmer's market was about until I jumped in with about 10 spaghetti squash plants in the garden. The plants provide a seemingly limitless supply of blossoms - and, hopefully a few baby squash.

Here is my first collaboration with a local blogger ChooChooCaChew. She and her partner are a constant source of inspiration. ChooChoo's blog showcases the best of Farm to Table Taiwanese Cooking. --thank you for the photos!!

The family recipe comes from a fellow Chicago hiker who grew up with an Italian father. Easy to see why this crispy appetizer was a favorite in their house.

Step 1: Prepare the Blossoms

The blossoms are sturdy for 4-7 days after picking so long as they are kept in the fridge. I don't trust them for four hours at room temp or even worse in the sun.

  1. Green Fibers - remove these sturdy fibers that run around the base of the flower
  2. Pistil - optional to remove the pistol. we aren't stuffing the blossoms but if that's your preference you'll wan to pull the pistol
  3. Wash - fill a bowl with water and aggregate the blossoms under the surface to free any dirt or insects

Squash blossoms are best harvested from the garden throughout the summer. Blossoms can also be purchased direct or found at most farmer's markets.

Step 2: Washing Step

Here's how I use a trusty bucket to wash the blossoms. I make sure to direct the water away from the blossoms.

Step 3: Batter

Ingredients

  • Egg Yolk - (1) backyard fresh egg ---here's how to get started with an A-Frame Coop for backyard chickens :)
  • Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Rice Flour - 1/2 cup (here's Bob's 2pack)
  • Chili Powder + Salt - to taste
  • Water - add water to create runny batter

Step 4: Mixing in Water

Photos show a walk through adding water to the mix. I slowly incorporate and make sure the batter is sufficiently watery. It helps that the wet squash will also add water.

Step 5: Battering Blossoms

The dipping process involved coating the blossoms and allowing the excess to run off along the side of a mixing bowl.

Step 6: Frying Blossoms

My approach is to use a wok. If you have a deep fryer or preferred approach it's probably better than my method. I prioritize using light oil and starting the blossoms with the petals in the deepest section of oil. My temp is set to 7/10 on the dial... medium high. Test oil by dropping some batter in the pan. If it fries it's ready... if it smokes lift the pan.

Oil Preference

  • Canola Oil - we just use a standard oil for most frying+ baking (amzn.to/2zolEJh)
  • Olive Oil (Pomace) - lesser quality for taste but a great option for healthy frying (amzn.to/2J6gi56)
  • Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) - a premium but note you don't get the full value of the flavor (amzn.to/2N2moFR) --noted in the comments that it's really not worth using olive oil... it breaks down when frying so flavor is lost
  • Peanut Oil - here is what I know to be the standard fryer oil. I've never wanted to commit to the bulk order but if you regularly fry this is likely the best option (amzn.to/2J7ipWj)

Step 7: Serving Blossoms

ChooChooCaChew prepared a far more elegant round of blossoms (see photos). We shared a recipe but my batter and frying approach created a denser product. Both are delicious and in the photos you see how I absorb excess oil using printer paper (much better than paper towel)

Step 8: Sriracha Mayo

Simple. Delicious. The name of this step says it all... I simply drizzle in sriracha to taste.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Squash Blossoms make a beautiful addition to any summer meal. As a first time 'squash blossom farmer' I can say this is by far the easiest crop in the garden to manage. Provided you have full sun and space for the vines to grow.

Here are a few recent baking how-to's.

  • Breadmaking- a complete walk through to remove hurdles from breadmaking
  • Perfect Pie - a framework for removing moisture and making a perfect pie every time
  • Italian Cheesecake... coming soon
  • Follow for more instructables!!

Oil Contest

This is an entry in the
Oil Contest

Share

    Recommendations

    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge

    12 Discussions

    Why not try them as we do them in Rome?

    In the flower place a piece of mozzarella and an anchovy fillet in olive oil, then put it in batter, then fry it.

    For the batter, if you use sparkling water, the fry is more crispy!

    2 replies

    Thanks for sharing! We had heard to use ricotta but hadn't considered adding the anchovy. Also find it easier to work with mozzarella. Will definitely try!!

    Massimiliano anticipated me :) The best filling in Italy is mozzarella cheese and anchovy fillet.

    I used ricotta for stuffing the blossom to cook them in the oven, for frying I think mozzarella is better.

    Also, you can avoid the egg in the batter and use sparkling water or beer for a crispier crust.

    As suggested, avoid using extra-virgin olive oil for frying: this oil can start fuming below 180°C (but it depends on the type of olives used, some olive oils have a lower fuming temperatures than others), while peanut oil resist above 210 °C and is indeed healtier for frying. Canola oil resist even above 240°C.

    Extra virgin olive oil is better used crude or when the temperature does not raise too much.

    PS: the blossoms can be used also for a "frittata", or for a nice sauce for pasta, with ricotta and anchovies.

    Two things: It looks like your friend fried them Japanese 'tempura' style, which makes for a much lighter consistency. It's a good method to read up on for a wonderfully light batter.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempura


    Also, never fry with extra virgin olive oil. It can't take frying temperatures and breaks down. (It's too expensive to waste.)

    1 reply

    Thank you - appreciate the notes on tempura and the oil!!

    They look delicious! We'll have to give those a try. Oh, and it is pistil, not pistol. Two very different things. ;)

    1 reply

    These look lovely.

    Yes these are common delicious fare among Europeans. Just make
    sure there aren't any bees in them. Sometimes they can surprise you.
    ;)

    But this year we have the type of squash vines that grows gourds. I
    wonder if those blossoms are edible for this purpose?

    1 reply

    Thanks! Do the flowers look similiar? I find all my squash blossoms look the about the same. Including the gourds I have growing up a tree!

    never thought of this!..your fried squash blossom seems delicious.

    1 reply

    Thank you! It's a great surplus coming off the garden that has me looking for more uses!!