Deep Fried Zucchini (Κολοκυθάκια τηγανητά)

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With the warm weather here, I’m beginning to eat outdoors and my mind wanders to Greece: eating outdoors at a taverna with family & friends. Ordering two of everything off the menu is how we roll. I always make sure that some fried zucchinii chips are included in the parade of mezedes.

I’m a big fan of simple foods and I never tire of Kolokithakia Tiganita or Deep Fried Zucchini (courgettes). I always make sure an order or two of these appear on our table when at a taverna. Slightly sweet zucchini are thinly sliced and then dredged in seasoned flour and then deep fried until just golden.

A sprinkle of sea salt and simply serve them while still hot. These deep-fried zucchini never last long on the table. If you’re the kind that wants to avoid potatoes, try some zucchini. Deep-fried zucchini are often found on menus of both seafood and meat taveras alike.

They are thinly sliced in three ways: long thin strips, thin coins or my fave…on a bias. I use a mandoline to thinly slice the zucchini on a bias. The rounds can be too small and the long strips a little too big (depending of course on how long your zucchini are). The “chips” that are sliced on the bias are the perfect size and they are ideal for my favourite accompaniment for deep-fried zucchini – Tzatziki.

Ubiquitous in Greek cuisine, this dip made from strained Greek yogurt goes with souvlaki, gyro or other grilled meals and it’s great for scooping up with vegetables…like zucchini!

If you’re adept at thinly slicing vegetables with a knife, you may take that route or invest in a mandoline to get perfectly even and thinly sliced vegetables. Other kitchen equipment needed are a deep fryer and a candy thermometer and you’re set. The main reason people screw up frying food is the oil is either too hot or not hot enough. A candy thermometer will give you an accurate reading. The flour mixture that works best for me is a combination of all-purpose flour plus some corn starch (the stuff used as a thickener) for dredging. I also pre-season the flour with fine sea salt and ground black pepper.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper and corn starch with a fork and have a quick taste to see if the seasoning is to your liking. Simply dredge the zucchini slices and carefully drop them in your hot oil. Fry in batches, reserve on a paper-lined platter, sprinkle with some sea salt as soon as they are out of the oil and serve your guest with a side of Tzatziki.

Warning: you might be stuck at your deep-fryer, fulfilling more orders for deep-fried zucchini!

Deep Fried Zucchini (Κολοκυθάκια τηγανιτά)

3-4 zucchini, well-rinsed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 heaping Tbsp. of corn starch

Approx. 1 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying (I prefer sunflower oil)

  1. Rinse your zucchini well and pat-dry. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut into very thin slices (1/8 inch). You may cut long thin slices down the length of the zucchini, across to make thin coins or on a bias to make tongue-like slices.
  2. Pre-heat your vegetable oil in a medium pot, wok or dedicated deep-fryer. You will need enough oil to fill the vessel about 2-3 inches deep. Place your candy thermometer in the oil and wait/watch for the oil to reach a temperature of between 365-375F.
  3. In the meantime, Mix the flour, corn starch, salt and pepper in a bowl with a fork. Dab your finger in t he flour and taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Lightly dredge your slices of zucchini in the flour and reserve on a plate/platter.
  4. When your oil has reached 365-375F, remove your candy thermometer and drop your first batch of dredged zucchini slices. Fry until golden and remove with a slotted spoon or spider and place on a paper-lined plate or platter. Sprinkle with some salt and serve immediately with some homemade Tzatziki.
  5. Continue to fry in batches.

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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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38 Comments for “Deep Fried Zucchini (Κολοκυθάκια τηγανητά)”



Oh and the west coast rules, go hippies, and Toronto isn’t the east, its like… eastern-central. Halifax is east ;)


Love the looks of this treat. I love zucchini but do not often deep fry it. I’m prepared to break out the fryer for this recipe. Do you have to serve it immediately, or is it something you could make a bit ahead and serve it later in the day? – I was thinking of taking it to a picnic.


Peter, I have missed your site & chatting with you via Twitter. Enjoying your fried zucchini for lunch now …. thank you for another tasty post!


You’ve said it all…. fried zucchini and tzatziki!! next time I’ll add the corn flour, want to see the result…


And yes the best way ti enjoy them is to dip them in some tzatziki! Sorry I haven’t been around lately, but I had my first foodstyling job and was crazy busy until yesterday. All went well, but I need about a week to recover…


Looks good! I’ve had deep fried zucchini sticks with marinara sauce for dipping, but I think I’d like the thin rounds better.


Gorgeous shots, Peter. You have me drooling. Deep fried eggplant and/or zucchini are some of my favorite foods to nibble. It’s amazing the depth of flavor that the frying imparts… so worth the effort (and the calories!!)

michael bash


You’re right; they’re very fine and perfect with tzatziki. Don’t know why we need to complicate things with candy thermometers. A cook knows how to fry stuff; the beginners can be instructed re what to do. It’s not rocket science. The important thing is to be prepared for them to disappear as if by magic. BTW fine photos as usual.


believe it or not, french fries don’t really excite me. however, if a plate of zucchini fries or chips is placed in front of me, the plate will be empty before i step away from the table. :)


This looks like a nice light coating for the zucchini chips. I think I like them better sliced round like this than in strips, which is usually the way we find them here in restaurants.


These look wonderful! I always order zucchini fritters/chips when I see them on a menu, but they don’t often look as good as these! I like that it is a nice thin coating rather than a heavy batter.


Ah, I love these so much but I only ever order them in taverns because for some reason I’m too scared of making them myself. Maybe it’s time to give them a go. And aubergines too… yum. Man I miss home!


Fried zucchini and scordalia is one of my fav appetizers in Greek town restaurants! Yum!!! It’s fun smelling like garlic for a week :)