Serves: Makes 4 servings
Asian Dipping Sauce:
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup Asian fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced jalepeño or serrano chile
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 3 small zucchini
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1-inch wedge yellow onion
- ¼ cup cracker meal or matzo meal
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Canola or other flavorless vegetable oil, for frying
Procedures:Serve these tiny pancakes for a snack or hors d’oeuvre during the summer when zucchini are abundant at farmers’ markets. They are delicious with a chilled glass of pinot gris or other crisp white wine. Use the wide (¼ inch) shredding blade on a box or flat grater for the zucchini—they are soft and shred quickly and easily—and carrot, and a rasp grater for the onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Make the Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, water, fish sauce, sugar, chile, and garlic. Whisk to blend. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to serve. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before serving.
- Make the Pancakes: Trim the stem and blossom ends from the zucchini. Working over a large bowl, rub the cut end of the zucchini over the wide shredding blade on a box or flat grater. You should have about 2 cups. Repeat with the carrot. You should have about ½ cup. Grate enough ginger on a rasp grater to yield about 2 tablespoons. Then grate the onion on a rasp grater to yield about 1 tablespoon. Add the ginger and onion to the zucchini, along with the cracker meal and cilantro.
- Add the eggs and salt to the zucchini and stir with a rubber spatula until well blended. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Place a wire rack on a rimmed sheet pan. Add oil to a depth of ½ inch to a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy skillet. heat over medium heat until a small crust of bread dropped into the hot oil lightly browns on contact. Drop rounded tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the hot oil, forming pancakes about 1½ inches in diameter and being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry, turning once with a slotted spoon or spatula and adjusting the heat between medium and medium-low as needed to keep the pancakes gently sizzling, for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the pancakes to the rack. Repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture in 2 or 3 more batches. (The pancakes can be cooled completely, arranged in a single layer in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and frozen for up to six weeks. To serve, transfer while still frozen to a rimmed sheet pan and place in a preheated 300°F oven for about 20 minutes, or until sizzling.)
- Serve the pancakes while they are warm, and accompany them with the dipping sauce.