03 Sep2007

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Deep Fried Kalabasa (Squash) Blossoms are a house favorite. I figured that I could just as easily eat fried chicken, so my version of “dieting” was to scale back from that possibility to deep frying vegetables and protein instead… Can you tell I have very liberal dieting rules? At any rate, following the spectacular squash blossoms by Ms. Fores at my birthday dinner, and my subsequent failed attempt to get a crisp coating to my fried zucchini, I decided to revisit our previously posted recipe for fried stuffed squash blossoms (a Mrs. MM specialty) and experiment a little…

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The first step was finding these utterly wonderful squash blossoms at the market last Saturday. At PHP40 a bunch, they were a bargain. I chose the bunches with closed flowers because I intended to stuff them with a cheese mixture, though I notice from my photos now that the ones served by Ms. Fores’ crew were already opened blossoms…and here is why… The opened blossoms have a much bigger surface area to be coated with whatever batter they used so they cook up bulkier. The closed flowers are excellent as a vessel for stuffing of some sort, but fry up tighter and denser.

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For the stuffing, I tried two different versions, one made with small mozzarella balls (boconcini) and anchovies, blitzed briefly in a food processor, or alternatively chopped finely. And the second variation was mozzarella and semi-dried tomatoes. I stuffed each squash blossom with one or the other filling and then dipped them in a batter made of rice flour, salt and soda water. I had previously put the batter in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill it as suggested by several commenters on the post for fried zucchini.

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The results were pretty good but not a home run. The cheese melted inside the squash blossoms and adhered to the walls of the flower petals. The rice flour crisped up nicely but was probably thinner that it should have been. Some of the stuffing inevitably escaped and as a result, there were several browned and burned bits of cheese that made it all a touch unsightly. If you do this version, remember to salt liberally and only fry a few blossoms at any one time. I now appreciate why Ms. Fores only fried the blossoms, then served a tasty creamy dip on the side… it made for a nice presentation, more robust and crisp blossom and yet you still got the flavor punch from the dinalian (or bagoong) spiked cream dip… Yum!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. iya says:

    i’ve always wanted to try this. (influenced by iron chef america, hehehe) which was yummier, the one with anchovies or the one with sundried tomatoes?

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:41 am

     
  2. Lans says:

    yum yum yum… now im hungry…

    Sep 3, 2007 | 11:43 am

     
  3. Blaise says:

    Wow.. gotta try this one of these days.. ;)

    Sep 3, 2007 | 12:15 pm

     
  4. lee says:

    Eons ago we had a kalabasa overgrowth in our backyard. That was before Marketmanila or the Internet so i really had no clue whatsoever that the blossoms are good as food. Well that was a long time ago when Wordstar and Lotus 123 were king and queen.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 12:31 pm

     
  5. elaine says:

    I used to see a lot of these in Baguio and now in Manila but never knew how to serve them…checked out your linked post on fried kalabasa, seems easy to do and looks delicious…

    Sep 3, 2007 | 2:56 pm

     
  6. dizzy says:

    my husband is a vegetarian and although me and our two kids still aren’t, vegetables have always been a part of each of our meals. this would be a great treat! could you also include a recipe for the dip? thanks!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 3:16 pm

     
  7. MegaMom says:

    Sabong ti karabasa can also be used in: tossed Ilokano salad with kamatis and bagoong (blanche them first), mongo soup, ginisa with ground pork, an additional green to add to pinakbet and to dinengdeng. I absolutely love this blossom, it is crisp when blanched right or added at just the right time to a dish. While I also learned to like the European versions by MM and by Gaita F, I prefer the more austere Ilokano offerings.
    Lee, Wordstar and Lotus 123: gawd! Blast from the past! Hahaha!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 4:55 pm

     
  8. Mangaranon says:

    May I invite myself to eat at your home? I will be there in December and mine is close to yours. I will bring a friend who knew your parents. Ka namit!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 6:16 pm

     
  9. sister says:

    You might try filling the squash blossoms with a piece of feta, fold tops closed and secure with a toothpick, dip in flour and water batter and fry briefly at 350 F. Serve with a dollop of tapenade and a ratatouille, peperonata or pickled eggplant. Daughter liked it when we made it for a first course.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 9:16 pm

     
  10. allen says:

    If squash the fruit (or vegetable) makes terrific okoy, I’m sure deep-fried squash blossoms would taste great too! I think this will become another family favorite. Thanks again!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:51 pm

     
  11. nikita says:

    ooooohhhhh… marketman, where did you purchase your boconcini?? i’ve been searching for those! ü

    Sep 4, 2007 | 8:00 am

     
  12. gerri says:

    I yummily agree Megamom! Grew up eating this vegetable as part of pakbet/dinengdeng together with bunga ng malunggay.

    Sep 4, 2007 | 8:11 am

     
  13. Maria Clara says:

    I use a mixture of mozzarella, strained-ricotta (by keeping it in a strainer lined with coffee filter sitting in a bowl and keep it in the refrigerator overnight), grated parmesan cheese and eggwhite as a binder seasoned with salt and pepper. Stuff it in the cavity not too much and dip in a batter made out of iced water, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika and baking powder. Note to keep the cold temperature of my batter – I keep my batter sitting in a bowl of ice. Just drop three stuffed flowers at a time over high heat oil deep kawali and drained them in paper towels lined with newspaper. Anything deep fried with moisture filled stuffing turns soggy after an hour or so. They are better fried just before serving them. I love them with ranch dressing dip. There are two kinds of squash flowers the female and male. You have the male flowers in there. The female flowers taste better and they are the ones that turn into squash so they are rare out in the market.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 3:01 am

     
  14. bedazzle says:

    nice to know there’s a fellow ilocano out there who enjoys sabong ti karabasa the ilocano way. we usually cook dinengdeng with the squash bloosoms, talbos ng sitaw and patola. if i wrote the ilocano names of these veggies, non-ilocanos will surely have a blast. MM, with this recipe on squash blossom, i’d have a new way to serve them to my family, although i’d like to know where i can get the mozarella balls. hope they’re not too expensive because i’ve got a limited budget.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 7:50 am

     
  15. Marketman says:

    bedazzle, it doesn’t need to be the balls, just get any mozzarella in the supermarket. Alternatively, this could work with some quesong puti as well… Maria Clara, yes, the female flowers are typically only available from home gardens, as you are otherwise killing the fruit… nikita, S&R sometimes carries boconcini, so does Santis and Galileo Enoteca. MegaMom, I HAVE to get to Ilocos posts, I had a salad there that I just loved!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 8:03 am

     
  16. Edik says:

    boholanos have never included squash blossoms in their cuisine for the simple reason that these flowers will become kalabasa soon and can be used as food or commodity. sayang naman.

    i wish i can try this recipe and let my parents in bohol try the gustatory delights of squash blossoms.

    Sep 5, 2007 | 12:39 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    Edik, only the female flowers turn into squash, so you don’t reduce the productivity of the squash plant if you eat the male flowers… trust Mother Nature to create male flowers with no use except to be eaten fried or boiled…heehee. :)

    Sep 5, 2007 | 1:06 pm

     
  18. Aileen says:

    Hi Marketman! i stumbled upon this magazine that featured the recipe for stuffed kalabasa blossoms and it was great! the magazine’s name is Asia’s In Good Taste. Its contents are really intresting have you heard of it?

    Sep 5, 2007 | 11:43 pm

     
 

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