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Spicy Hoisin-Glazed Zucchini

The following recipes require two quick and easy steps to accomplish the best tasting and best textured zucchini; first you salt it for 10 minutes which draws out the moisture and then you cook it over very high heat to caramelize the flesh before it has a chance to steam and get soggy. This treasured recipe is from Fine Cooking and is definitely a keeper!

3 small or 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
Pinch crushed red chile flakes
1/2teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Wash the zucchini well to remove any grit and dry them with paper towels; trim off the ends. Quarter each zucchini lengthwise, then slice off the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the soft seed core by running a sharp knife down the length of each quarter; its fine if some of the seeds remain. Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt (about 1/2 tsp. per 1 lb. of zucchini) and set aside for 10 minutes. Blot the quarters dry with paper towels and cut each on the diagonal into 3 diamonds.

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, hoisin, sherry, and sesame oil. Set a large (preferably 12") skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in the oil; when its very hot (it should shimmer and ripple), add the zucchini. Saute, stirring occasionally until the zucchini browns and softens but doesn't turn mushy, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chile flakes and saute for 15 seconds. Add the soy mixture and cook, stirring, just long enough for the liquid to reduce and coat the zucchini, about 20 seconds. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

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