I like zucchini even though it isn’t particularly tasty. In fact, the flavor is mild and rather bland. But it is a vegetable that is so quick to prep and so very versatile. Prepping zuke takes only a minute and it can be tossed into many things.
I get my zuke from the wet market. My green grocer usually charges me only a dollar for 2 or 3 zukes. It cost about 3-4 times more at the supermarkets. Usually when other customers see me choosing my zuke, they would ask me, how do you eat this? Some think it’s in the cucumber family coz of the similar shape and size. Not knowing what to do with it, most people just stay away from it.
There are 2 things I would tell them about zuke. First, it’s not from the cuke family. It’s from the squash family. Secondly, and more importantly, if it tastes bitter, do not eat it as it is then poisonous. I read recently that people have perished from consuming bitter zuke. You’d have to eat a lot of it to die, but I wouldn’t risk it. I have eaten a few slices of bitter zuke before. That was before I knew they were poisonous. Didn’t feel any ill effects from it though. So how would you know if the zuke you have is bitter? I’d usually cut a tiny sliver and taste it. No sense spoiling the whole pot.
So what can you do with zuke? This is how I would usually cook it:
- Slice them into 1/2″ pieces and stir-fry with garlic. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Easy and Yum.
- Cut them into chunks and toss them into spaghetti sauce/curry/soup. Boil until soft. Super simple.
- Grate 1/2 a zuke and squeeze out excess juice. Beat in an egg and pinch of salt. Pan fry for vege omelette.
- Grate them and use them as part of my fried spring roll filling.
- Grate them, squeeze out excess juice and toss into your muffin batter.
- Some people grate them into long strings and turn them into zucchini noodles.
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. The only way I haven’t eaten them is raw.