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Zucchini xào tôm khô - Zucchini Stir Fry

Zucchini xào tôm khô - Zucchini Stir Fry

4 Servings

00:15 Prep

00:05 Cook

Easy - You got this

It’s hard to beat an easy midweek stir fry with a 3-ingredient stir fry sauce. In this recipe, zucchinis are highlighted with a sauce containing dried shrimps, oyster sauce and anchovy salt. Expect zucchinis with a firm crunch but soft and sweet in the centre, and paired with a delicious umami-filled stir fry sauce.

Zucchinis are extremely versatile in the household kitchen setting. They can be prepared in many ways with popular dishes such as: zucchini fritters, zucchini bread and zucchini noodles. In Vietnam, they’re used to make vegetable fritters (banh chay), vegetarian pho, Vietnamese soups, braises and of course stir fries.

Zucchini was a very popular vegetable in our Vietnamese household and a regularly feature especially when it was on special. I always looked forward to this particular stir fry and my mum’s vegetarian pho when zucchini was in abundance. This was usually in the Summertime as my uncle, who lived not far away from us, grew them every year (they were humungous!). Our family would eat what felt like a year’s worth of zucchini in the space of a few months.  

Zucchinis can be tricky and a perfectly cooked zucchini dish requires a bit of technique, especially in the preparation stage. For a zucchini stir fry, it is critical that the zucchini is cut into rough chunks. This way there’s lots of surface area for it to caramelize and obtain that stir fry flavour we all love. In addition, it also minimises the chance of over-cooking the zucchini. To retain its firm texture and sweet flavour, stir fry at high heat and have all stir fry ingredients ready to go before you start  cooking. For more tips on preparing and cooking zucchini, make sure you check out my vegetable fritters recipe: banh chay with instant rice paper sheets recipe.

If zucchinis are already a staple in your household or you want to build your confidence in cooking them, do yourself a favour and give this easy recipe a whirl to experience the natural flavour of zucchini with a tasty Vietnamese twist.

Zucchini xào tôm khô - Zucchini Stir Fry
Zucchini xào tôm khô - Zucchini Stir Fry


  • 15g dried shrimp

  • 150ml hot water

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 

  • 3 zucchini, cut into chunks

  • ½ teaspoon anchovy salt or sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • ½ tablespoon potato/corn starch

  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper


How to prepare dried shrimp:
1. In a small bowl, rehydrate dried shrimp with hot water for 20 minutes.

Duncan’s tip: To save time, rehydrate with cold water the night before and place in fridge.

2. Remove dried shrimp but reserve the water.

3. In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound dried shrimp until fluffy and tender.

How to stir fry zucchini:
1. In a large fry pan or wok, on high heat add oil and garlic and cook until fragrant or lightly golden.

2. Add zucchini, anchovy salt, oyster sauce, sea salt and sugar and stir fry for 2 minutes or until zucchini is tender but remains firm.

3. Add dried shrimp and reserved dried shrimp water, then bring to the boil.

4. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon water with ½ tablespoon potato or corn starch and stir well until combined. Drizzle evenly into stir fry and cook for a further minute on high heat until sauce thickens.

Duncan’s tip: Potato or corn starch are both gluten free and great sauce thickeners. They are activated by heat, so make sure it gets to the boil to achieve the desired thickness.

5. Remove from heat, season with cracked black pepper and serve on freshly steamed rice.

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