I remember years ago, when we had a garden overflowing with vegetables, that I was stopping the neighborhood children on the sidewalk and telling them they had to take some before they could pass by. Whether in your own garden or in a mystery box of CSA vegetables, zucchini is one of those abundant items that can have you searching for new and interesting ways to dispose of it. Fortunately, this dish is simple, fast, and in my experience, a crowd-pleaser.
2-3 medium zucchini (about 3 cups) cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 Tbsp. high-heat cooking oil, such as organic Canola oil
2 Tbsp. Sake (Japanese rice wine)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil on high until the pan is very hot. Add the zucchini pieces and allow them to sear for a minute or two, then stir and continue to cook on high heat for another couple of minutes (3-4 minutes total). You should see a few pieces starting to brown.
Pour in the sake (be careful of the steam!) and stir to encourage evaporation. Continue cooking on high heat for 2 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining ingredients*, then stir vigorously to coat each piece with the sauce.
Serve immediately, or transfer to a dish and serve at room temperature.
*Note: Don’t overcrowd the zucchini in the pan or it will steam instead of searing. If you are cooking a large amount of zucchini, prepare it in smaller batches. Cook as above, except don’t add the sesame seeds to the pan (they’ll burn). Remove the first batch from the pan to a large serving bowl and then add more oil to the pan and repeat the process for the next batch. Add the sesame seeds after all of the batches are cooked and you’re ready to serve them.