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Sep 2, 2008 10:14 AM

Zucchini - salt and drain before cooking?

Before sauteeing zucchini (grated), should it be drained in advance of cooking?
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  1. I salt(kosher) and then let it drain for about 30 min. Then put in towel and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible. This will make your grated zucchini nice and crispy and also more flavorful when cooked. I don't add any more salt when cooking since it's already salted.

    1. The answer might depend on how the zuke is cut prior to sauteeting as well as how you're going to use it after sauteeing.

      However, I would say no, you don't need to salt & drain prior to sauteeing. The key is to use high heat, cook in batches, and don't overcrowd the pan. That way, any moisture that leaches out will evaporate quickly. If you overcrowd the pan, the water never evaporates and you'll effectively boil rather than sautee and that's when you end up with wet nasty pulp.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Professor Salt

        I agree. The only reason to salt and drain zucchini is if you're going to be mixing it with something else that you don't want to get watery during cooking (most particularly, if you're going to be mixing it with eggs to make frittata, put in a quiche, etc.).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I made delicious zucchini fritters this weekend which definitely benefited from salt and drain.

        2. re: Professor Salt

          I agree with the Do Not Salt and Drain school of thought. Equally important is not to salt during the sauteeing process, but just before the end. Obviously, the salt will draw out moisture...which you do not want at that stage....

        3. In the end, it didn't really matter. Sauteed grated zucchini (in olive oil w/garlic) just really wasn't all that great...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sarah

            That's too bad, Sarah. Next time try just slicing the zucchini in rounds and dry-frying it in a little EVOO till it's golden/slightly crispy. Serve with S & P and some grated Pecorino Romano. Another way is to cut the veggie in spears, dredge in a light batter and fry till golden.