At our local Chinese buffet I don’t have a ton of options as a vegan. There’s some lo mein, some Buddha Delight, and the occasional random thing that happens to pop up.
There’s fried zucchini.
Don’t ask me why they have it. Don’t ask me why they serve Jell-O and pizza next to the baby octopus either (this is a magical buffet where the laws of food and possibly physics might not apply). The point is fried zucchini is magical, and stuffing my face with it there was my first introduction to it and the reason I grow it.
Speaking of growing it, it’s a fucking awesome year for zucchini. How awesome, you might wonder?
Really fucking awesome.
We have roughly 40 pounds of zucchini in our house. FORTY. POUNDS. Most of it is going off to our coworkers and family but the fact that a few plants can crank out this much food always amazes me.
Zucchini are production powerhouses and very much worth the space they might take up. They deserve their own raised bed on productivity alone. Our plants are pretty beastly, growing at least four and a half feet tall with monstrous yellow flowers and fruits the size of a strongman’s beefy arm.
Zucchini plants are pretty difficult to kill. The only reason ours were unsuccessful last year was that unsporting drought we had. I’ve had difficulty with blossom end rot in the past with zucchini and the biggest thing I can say is to make sure these get water. Blossom end rot is caused when the plant can’t soak up enough calcium and if you have extremely dry conditions, it may be hindering the plant’s ability to feed itself. Since we’ve had an absolutely stupid amount of rain, these fuckers have been losing their minds and cranking out giant green baseball bats that I can bread and fry.
In the past I used some generic seeds I picked up wherever, but this year I specifically looked into getting a quality seed because I was sick of watching these beautiful plants grow turds. I went with Black Beauty from Baker Creek seeds and this is the first year I didn’t have to deal with rampant blossom end rot (only one or two zucchini failed to grow on the vine). These plants were not only huge and robust compared to the shrimpy little fucks I normally grew, they seem rather resilient and don’t mind being planted too close together (it was hot, we were tired, we got lazy).
Now normally, you want to harvest a zucchini when it’s still about the size of a modest cucumber, if you don’t the flavor may be kind of meh and also what the hell do you do with a five pound zucchini?
FRY IT. FRY ALL OF IT.
Zucchini is awesome and you should grow some. There are even bush varieties you can grow in containers!
(For the record, I receive nothing from anybody. I recommend shit I like and I find works well for me.)