Old-fashioned Fried Cucumbers Recipe

 

Fried Cucumbers 2

I had a problem – too many cucumbers to eat in salads, but not enough to make pickles. This sent me searching through my hundred-year-old cookbooks for cucumber recipes. One cookbook suggested dipping cucumber spears into a batter and then frying them. I decided to give it a try.

The Fried Cucumbers were delicious and easy to make with a lovely crispy coating and a delightful slightΒ  crunch when I bit into them. They are versatile, and make a great appetizer or side dish. Fried Cucumbers would be lovely with a dipping sauce – though it definitely is not needed.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Fried Cucumbers

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

3-5 medium cucumbers (number needed depends upon size)

shortening or oil

Prepare a batter by combining the flour, salt, eggs, and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat until combined.

Cut the cucumbers into spears that are approximately 1-inch wide.Β  Dip the spears in the batter.

Heat 1/2 inch of shortening or oil in a large frying pan. Carefully place the breaded spears in the pan in a single layer. Depending upon pan size, the spears may need to be cooked in several batches. Fry for about a minute or until the bottom side of each cucumber spear is lightly browned, then gently turn and fry until the other side is browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

And, here is the description in the old cookbook about how to prepare cucumbers. I didn’t try the suggestion for boiling and mashing them (there’s always another day), and just followed the instructions in the last paragraph about frying them.

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

45 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Fried Cucumbers Recipe

  1. I’m not much into deep frying but this sounds very interesting!
    I love the “if too old to serve in this way”. They really tried to make the best even out of limp vegetables back than. It’s so admirable. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, I like how they really tried back then to find ways to use the foods they had, including over-ripe vegetables and other “seconds,” in ways that would result in little waste.

    1. Until I saw Fried Cucumbers mentioned in the old cookbook, I wasn’t familiar with them either – but they were good and I’m glad that I made them.

    1. I think that a courgette is what we call zucchini in the U.S. Yes, this would work well with them. In fact, the Fried Cucumbers reminded me a little of Fried Zucchini – but the Fried Cucumbers had slight crispy, crunch when I bit into them, (and, of course a mild cucumber taste). πŸ™‚

    1. Makes sense to me that fried cucumbers were the inspiration for fried dill pickles. It’s interesting how this squash has two very different names.

  2. I, too, am in this predicament with cucumbers and zucchini. I was going to Google recipes but no need now. I’m still fairly new to growing and cooking so please pardon me but is 1/2″ of shortening or oil really needed? Could I just use a couple tbs of oil?

  3. What perfect timing! I’m having the same issue. Not enough for pickles… I never would’ve thought of this, but have had fried pickles. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. This is another recipe that sounds kind of icky at first but I trust you and you say it’s delicious so . . . maybe I’ll try it! Have you tried any of these old recipes and really simply hated it?

    1. With the exception of a couple hundred-year-old candy recipes (which can be very tricky to interpret), I don’t think that I’ve ever had a total failure when making old recipes. I’ve definitely liked some recipes more than others. Some I absolutely love- and they’ve become part the repertoire of recipes that I regularly make for my family, many are good and I may or may not make them again, and a few I definitely won’t make again. I always struggle with whether I should post the recipes that I didn’t particularly care for, and if I do how to describe them. Sometimes I’m very surprised how other people seem to really like recipes that weren’t my personal favorites. For example, I didn’t really like the hundred-year-old recipe for Beet Relish that called for lots of horseradish – yet it’s been a reasonably popular post, and I have sense that some people like it.

  5. I’ll pass on this one, since I’m trying to avoid most fried foods, and don’t like cucumbers to start with. But I suspect for cucumber fans they would be quite tasty, and yes, it is a good way to deal with just-over-the-hill veggies.

    1. It’s definitely part of the same genre of recipes as Fried Zucchini and Fried Tomatoes. My sense is that fried vegetables (with the exception of French Fries) were more popular in the past than what they are now. πŸ™‚

  6. That sounds worth a try. I’ve had fried pickles and fried green beans, but never cucumbers. I wonder if the taste is similar to fried zucchini, which I love?

    1. If you like Fried Zucchini, I think that you’d really like these. In many ways they are similar, yet they are also different. Both have a delicate taste- but the Fried Cucumbers have a slight cucumber taste. The Fried Cucumbers also have a slight crunch when you bite into them.

  7. I think these would taste great on a hot summer night with a dipping sauce similar to what I use for Chinese dumplingsβ€”soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, etc. I’ll give it a try!

    1. Fried Cucumbers are tender- yet also crispy. They have a delicate cucumber flavor. If you like tangy, serve them with a dipping sauce. πŸ™‚

  8. We cut courgettes into chips, batter and deep fry them to serve with fish and chips. They are really addictive and the whole fried dinner is really naughty! It’s definitely a once a year treat. I guess that a hundred years ago everyone grew their own and had to find different ways to make them interesting! I certainly put sliced cucumber in stir fries if I need extra veggies.

  9. Mom used to serve cucumbers by slicing them into a bowl of vinegar. We used vinegar much more than I do today. As for batter frying them, I’ve eaten other vegetables done this way. Battered fried dill pickles are a delicious treat at a pub-type restaurant I know.

    1. Your mother’s way of serving cucumbers sounds similar to how my family always made (and I still make) Cucumbers and Onions. We mixed 1 part sugar, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part water in a bowl, and then put sliced cucumbers and onions into it. I did a post on it several years ago: Cucumbers and Onions.

    1. It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this post. Fried pickles are a popular state fair food here, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen them in a restaurant.

  10. I made these ,of course , me being me I tweaked the recipe just a little . I used old bay seasoning,and a little onion salt in the flour then fried like the recipe. Then I served it with a sauce that one would use for blooming onions.
    1 cup of mayo
    1/4 cup of ketchup
    1/2 teaspoon of paprika
    1/8 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
    My family loved it!!

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