Kohlrabi is one of those unusual vegetables that you don’t often see in your local supermarket. It grows well here in the Northeast, and is often found far into winter at farmer’s markets or in veggie shares.
Kohlrabi is another member of the brassica family, along with cabbage, and kale, and has a sweetness along with a pungent quality to it. This works for some people. For others, like my kids and husband, it does not. So, when kohlrabi appears in my vegetable order from Field Goods, I have to get creative to get them eaten without a fight.
Enter the magic of frying! When you turn unpopular vegetables into a tasty fritter (or pakora, or latke), sudden converts appear. Resistance to the crunchy, savory goodness is futile, and they will be assimilated.
My recipe also happens to be gluten, corn, soy and nut free, as well as vegan. The hard cases in my household who scoff at all things healthy and allergy friendly end up fighting over them, and I never have managed to have leftovers.
RECIPE: KOHLRABI FRITTERS (or latkes or pakoras) Kohlrabi Fritters
Makes about 2-3 dozen, depending on size
- 4 good sized kohlrabi (about like a flattened tennis ball size, give or take)
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 cup garbanzo flour (more or less, you’ll add it as needed)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt (homemade DIY veggie bouillon if you have some)
- Oil for frying (I use plain olive oil – not extra virgin. Canola, or other clear oils would work fine too)
- Food processor with grater attachment, or stand-alone grater
- Heavy cast iron or other heavy-bottomed wide pan
- Spider or tongs for removing the fritters from the oil
- Large platter lined with paper towels for draining cooked fritters
- Peel the kohlrabi, making sure to cut off any really woody parts – I find it easiest to cut off the top and bottom, then peel down the sides from there.
- Peel and grate the onion, then grate the kohlrabi. Toss everything in a big mixing bowl, and add the cumin, salt and gradually add the garbanzo flour, mixing thoroughly as you go. You will be using only the moisture that’s in the veggies, and no eggs or other binders.
- By adding a little of the garbanzo flour at a time and mixing, you’ll be looking to get a light coating of the flour that will allow the shreds to stick together and be formed into a loose patty. If you add a lot, it makes for a gummy consistency in the middle, but too little will be structurally unsound and you’ll end up with failtastic fried shreds instead of delicious and beautiful fritters. Test out a little bit to see if it holds together, without being a big gummy blob, like this:
- Heat the oil in your pan til nice and hot, I use a cast iron skillet and put in about ½ inch of oil. I don’t bother with a thermometer, but if you are using an electric skillet, 350 degrees should be good. To test without a thermometer, just toss in a small blob of the battered kohlrabi shreds and if it starts bubbling furiously, and rises to the top within several seconds, it’s good to go.
- I form the patties very loosely, about 2 inches or so in diameter, and between ¼ and ½ inch thick. The idea is to not compress it too much, to allow the hot oil to get into the nooks and crannies and make a nice textural result. If it’s formed too densely, you’ll have a lovely crisp outside and a gummy yuck inside. No one likes that.
- Keep an eye on everything, and as soon as you see golden brown along the outside edges, turn the fritters over to brown the other side. A deep golden brown gives the best taste, and texture.
- They can be eaten hot or at room temperature, though they will not be as crisp as time goes by. I like eating them with a bit of sriracha sauce, but the other members of my family scarf them down plain.
Protip: Other bulbous members of the brassica family, like turnips, would work very well in this recipe too.