Beer battered zucchini and yellow squash is my shout-out to the beer-battered okra at Café on the Corner. It’s an update on a Southern classic!
Fried squash is about as classic as it gets for a June side dish, at least here in Tennessee. Just about any Sunday your can catch some member of my family getting their hand slapped by my mom as they steal a round of cornmeal-coated yellow squash from a paper-towel lined bowl by her stove, as she laments that there won’t be enough for dinner if we don’t stop (there always is, because like all Southern mama she always makes too much). I mean, what better way to combat the onslaught of squash coming from everyone’s gardens or from the local produce stand than to dip it in cornmeal and fry it? That’s right, there is no better way.
I always wondered why zucchini never got as much cornmeal-crusted cast-iron skillet love as yellow crookneck squash. It works just as well (and people love it just as much…oven-fried zucchini was my first viral recipe here on Chattavore). I’m proud to be an equal-opportunity squash fryer. I can never, never, ever get my fried squash to taste like my mom’s, though. The coating falls off, or the edges burn, or the squash comes out pallid. She just has more squash-frying experience than me is the problem, I suppose. Some day I’ll measure up.
Recently we dined at Café on the Corner on Lookout Mountain and Philip and I were both instantly drawn to the beer battered fried okra on the menu. It was every bit as good as it sounded, and I decided then and there that beer battering vegetables would be my claim to fame. Everyone will say, “I try and try, but my beer battered zucchini is never as good as Mary’s.” A girl can dream, right?
So…beer battered zucchini and yellow squash. I did both because, as I mentioned above, I’m all about treating my vegetables equally. And also because I bought a bunch of both and needed to use them up before they got goopy in my produce drawer. Whatever you have will work – beer battered zucchini, beer battered yellow squash, both. Beer battered okra, of course. Beer battered fried green tomatoes? Yes, I think I’m on to something here.
I’ve upped my beer battering came here lately, since I read Kenji Lopez-Alt‘s book The Food Lab. The beer batter recipe here is from that book, which I highly recommend that you buy if you want to cook anything well ever. It is honestly the best cookbook I’ve ever spent money on, and that is coming from a woman who currently owns over 115 cookbooks (yes, I counted). I’ve included Amazon affiliate links for this and my Lodge cast iron pan (this means that if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the cost to you. I appreciate any support you want to give my blog! For more information, please see my disclosures.).
Try my beer battered zucchini & yellow squash and tell me how you think it compares to traditional cornmeal coated fried squash!
Yield: 6 servings
The beer batter recipe was adapted VERY slightly from the book The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt.
15 minPrep Time:
15 minCook Time:
30 minTotal Time:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup light-flavored beer, cold (I used Lagunitas Pilsner because I am forbidden from purchasing mass-produced domestic beers)
- 3/4 cup vodka
- 1 cup vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound zucchini and/or yellow squash, cleaned and sliced into rounds
- Make the beer batter: combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl then whisk in the beer and vodka.
- Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat.
- Place the 1/2 cup of flour in a bowl. Toss the squash pieces into the flour then dip them into the beer batter (I dropped about 10 pieces into the batter then turned them to coat with tongs). Allow the excess to drain off then fry in a single layer, turning to brown both sides (this took about 2 minutes per side). I was able to fry about 10 pieces at a time. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all squash has been fried.
- Serve the squash immediately while hot.