Fried Zucchini Po Boy

Fried Zucchini Po Boy

A Good Po Boy is a thing to behold. To execute the most memorable of one, great seafood is typically a must. We think we've found a delicious alternative. For us in the midwest, this is an honest celebration of summer that draws inspiration from one of our favorite dishes. After making the recipe through once, consider varying the dish by opting for  a more traditional cornmeal breading.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Source: Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden


  • 2 Hoagie buns or 2 small loaves of New Orleans French Bread
  • 2 Qts Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups of Panko or other Japanese Breadcrumbs
  • 1½ Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾  cup  of flour
  • 1 lb baby zucchini
  • 2 heads baby lettuces
  • 2 toybox tomatoes
  • 10 pickled wax beans (see recipe!)
  • Mayonnaise, for assembly and serving
  • Hot Sauce, for serving
  • Salt TT


  • Slice the baby zucchini on a bias into pieces that are ½ cm in thickness and 2-3 inches in length.
  • Remove the end pieces of the zucchini and set these aside for compost.
  • In a medium bowl, season the remaining slices with the measured kosher salt and toss to distribute. 
  • Slice 10 pickled Wax beans on a bias and reserve for serving and sandwich assembly.
  • Wash, dry, then shave the baby lettuces into strips.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice the toybox tomatoes to your desired thickness.
  • Add the vegetable oil to a 3 or 4 Qt sauce pot and set aside. 
  • Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and toss. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne.
  • Add the flour to the bowl of zucchini and toss well to coat the slices evenly.
  • Working in batches, shake off any excess flour from a handful then transfer them to the eggwash. Ensure they are fully covered and that the egg wash adheres before gently allowing lifting them and allowing them to drain for a few seconds.
  • Transfer the now wet slices to the breadcrumb and cheese mixture.
  • Coat the slices and press the crumbs into the sides.
  • When all of the slices are coated, gently shake them in your hands to remove any loose crumbs before transferring them to a baking tray.
  • Repeat this breading process with all of the zucchini slices then clean the area and wash your hands.
  • Begin heating the frying oil to 385F.
  • While the oil is warming, use any method to toast the inside of the hoagie buns.
  • Once they are toasted, reserve them in a warm spot.
  • Prepare a tray with a rack or paper towels to drain the zucchini once it is fried.
  • When the oil has reached 385F, work quickly to pinch the breaded slices of zucchini, pulling the tips towards each other.
  • Drop the pinched pieces in the fryer and move on to do several more. As you pinch these pieces and fry them, they should hold their curled shapes.
  • Fry the pieces for about 1½ - 2 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.
  • Drain the pieces on the prepared surface then ensure the oil again reaches 385F before continuing with the next batch. It is helpful to skim the oil with a fine mesh strainer in-between batches so as to avoid burning crumbs that have fallen loose. 
  • To assemble the sandwich, generously spread mayonnaise on both sides of the buns.
  • Shingle the slices of tomato on one side then top them with the sliced lettuce and pickled wax beans.
  • Gently season this assembled salad with a pinch of salt. 
  • Transfer the still hot zucchini oysters to the sandwiches and serve immediately.
  • You can accompany the sandwich with additional mayonnaise, pickles, and your favorite hot sauce.

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