I love to find zucchini blossoms at the market, they make a great light snack before a meal with a glass of chilled Lambrusco. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you might remember i prepared zucchini flowers with fresh ricotta and aromatic vegetables in a similar manner around this time last year. You may also remember i caught on camera something really dirty that day. [cough-cough].. erck.. Just the thought of it makes me itch. You shouldn’t click on that link, really.
I chose to make another tempura with the blossoms i found at Union Square market this morning but this time i stuffed them with a mixture of peekytoe crab, some jalapeno peppers, lime zest and lime juice and a spoonful of mayo. I think some tabasco went in the mixture as well because i needed the extra heat. 95′ Fahrenheit in New York wasn’t goddamn enough! Peekytoe crab is a variety of atlantic rock crab highly sought by discriminating chefs around the world and rightly so, they’re absolutely delicious. The stuffed zucchini blossoms took a plunge in tempura batter before frying at medium high heat. Simple. Good. And no horny bugs were harmed in the process. I least i don’t think so.
Wait.. what is that on the picture!?
No, i will not tell you how many of those i ate myself. It’s a professional secret. Let’s just say i like to keep a close eye on quality control, so i taste often. It’s the part of my job that i take very seriously. [burps]
Another high risk operation that could send you to an hospital bed wrapped like a mummy, but the reward is worth every third degree burn splattered around your body. Just focus on the reward. Don’t sneeze. Keep focusing.
Warm peekytoe goodness wrapped in a crunchy, summery treat. Let me warn you that the kick from the jalapeno and the citrusy note from the lime makes these babies extra addictive. Make sure you enjoy them right away when the contrast between the tempura and the soft filling is at its best.
Zucchini Blossoms Tempura with Peekytoe Crab, Chili & Lime
- Serves 4
For the zucchini blossoms & crab salad:
- 8 to 12 zucchini blossoms
- 3/4 lb peekytoe crabmeat, picked through
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups canola oil, for frying
For the tempura batter:
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ice water
- 1 cup flour
- Brush the zucchini blossoms with a pastry brush to remove any sand. Do not use water. Using your fingers or a clipper remove the pistil, careful not to break the flower. Set aside with a wet paper towel over them.
- In a medium bow, combine the crabmeat, the chopped jalapeno, the lime zest and juice, the cilantro, the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine.
- Stuff each zucchini blossoms with a tablespoon of the crab mixture and close the flowers tightly around the filling.
- For the tempura batter: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg with the ice cold water, mix in the flour and whisk until smooth. Add more ice cold water if necessary. Keep mixture cold.
- Heat the oil to 350’F. Dip the zucchini blossoms 2 or 3 at the time in the tempura batter and fry until light golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and add salt to taste. Serve immediately.