Fried Squash blossom stuffed with a ‘meaty’ mint-flavored potato stuffing, dipped in a light, almost tempura-like chickpea flour batter and deep-fried.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions, as always, are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Love is in my tummy.
Every morning, while the coffee brews, I walk up to this window that overlooks the garden bed, and for a little over a month now, I’ve been greeted with a flush of golden yellow squash blossoms. It brings me such unadulterated joy, to know that this beauty was not of my making.
Overwhelmed with work, I neglected this bed after the growing season ended last summer, and it was late November when I finally found the time to put this bed to sleep for the winter. I topped the bed with half finished compost and leaf mulch, in a blind rush to just get things done with and return back to the warmth indoors. As I was raking in the compost, I noticed that the ornamental gourds from the Halloween decor were only partially composted, and were spilling their ‘guts’ everywhere. I figured I could ‘weed’ later in the spring – it was tomorrow’s problem and today, all I wanted was to get out of the cold.
By the time spring came, I had forgotten all about it, and went ahead and planted the zucchini seeds. When they sprouted, so did the gourds, and I couldn’t distinguish one from the other. So here I am, left waiting to see which is gourd and which is zucchini. Until then, I have a nearly endless supply of squash blossoms – something I’ve always wanted and never had access to. And every time I look at this mistake, I can’t help but feel a little grateful.
Prepping your Squash Blossoms
So I collected a handful of blossoms one morning, and decided to stuff it with Idaho® Yukon Gold potatoes, flavored with mint, spices and shredded soy chunks [affiliate link], which I promise you, has a very meaty texture although it’s completely plant-based.
It is best to collect your squash blossoms early in the day, before the sun has fully risen, with a tiny bit of the stem to hold. With each passing hour after that, the blooms will begin to fade. Once you bring them in, wash them (there will be bugs, they love the taste as much as we do), and using scissors, snip off the pistil and stamen inside. Place blooms on a plate lined with paper towels and cover with a damp cloth.
If you don’t clean and store the blossoms this way immediately after harvesting, the petals will shrivel and close up, making it almost impossible to stuff/clean. But don’t worry. If that happens, you can always use them in stir-frys instead.
Refrigerate until you’re ready to stuff them, and do so before the end of the day. They don’t keep well for any longer.
To make this process much more pleasurable, I make the potato stuffing the night before, and stuff the blossoms as soon as I’ve picked them. Then I keep the stuffed flowers in the fridge until I’m ready to dredge them in batter and fry them.
Ensure the batter is rather thin – they’re only meant to serve as an extra crispy coating to the blossoms, whose petals will also crisp up in the hot oil. And that’s what we want.
These Fried Squash blossom are best served immediately after being fried – this way they will be delectably crisp on the outside and piping hot on the inside. Serve them with your favorite dip of choice, and in a pinch, ketchup will do the trick too.
- 22 squash blossoms
- Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
For the stuffing
- 240g (8.4oz) potato, about 1 medium, Idaho® Yukon Gold, boiled and mashed
- 1/2 cup soy chunks
- 1 1/2 cup hot water (see notes below)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 c red onion, chopped finely
- 1-2 green chillies, chopped finely
- 1" ginger, grated finely
- 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 10 mint leaves, chopped finely
- Salt, to taste
For the batter
Prepare the squash blossoms
- Wash the squash blossoms and using small scissors, cut and discard the pistil and stamen in the center.
- Keep the prepared blossoms fresh by covering them with a damp cloth and keeping them in the refrigerator.
- Squash blossoms are best harvested early in the morning, and cooked the same day.
Prep the Soy chunks
- Soak the soy chunks in hot water for 10-15 minutes, or until it softens like a sponge. Squeeze the water off and place in a blender, along with the fennel seeds and pulse until shredded like meat. Set aside.
Make the stuffing
- In a small skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil and sauté the chopped onion, green chillies, ginger until soft and fragrant.
- Add the shredded soy chunks, season with the ground spices and continue cooking until fragrant.
- Stir in the mashed potato, chopped mint, salt to taste and combine, adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Using a 1/2 tbsp spoon measure, divide the stuffing into 22 balls.
Stuff the blooms
- Carefully stuff one ball of potato stuffing into a flower, and seal the opening by twisting the petals closed.
- Continue stuffing the remaining blossoms in the same way.
Prepare the batter
- In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour, rice flour, turmeric and salt. Add water and using a small whisk, combine to form a smooth batter.
- Heat oil in a skillet for deep-frying.
- Test if the oil is hot by adding a drop of batter to it. If the batter sizzles, turns golden brown and floats to the top immediately, it is hot enough. If it turns a dark brown or chars, it is too hot.
- Dip each stuffed squash blossom into the batter, coating it on all sides evenly. Drip excess and carefully lower it into the hot oil. Use tongs, if needed.
- Working in batches of 4-5 blossoms, fry for a minute on each side, until golden brown on all sides.
- Drain on paper towels and repeat with the others.
- Best served immediately, when hot and crisp with a dip of your choice. Ketchup will do just fine, in a pinch.
- Instead of water, hydrate the soy chunks in vegetable stock for more flavor. Use the same stock to make the batter.
- The stuffing can be made ahead of time, divided and frozen. Refrigerate for upto a week.
- Stuffed blossoms can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for upto 8 hours. Fry them just before serving.
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