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How to grate zucchini (sayonara sogginess!)

Grating a zucchini is more than just cutting its ends and rubbing them against the side of a box grater. As you’d come to know later, there’s more to it than that.

Grated zucchini is used often in baking bread or muffins. You can also grate zucchini to put into a pasta dish or lasagna.

One of the biggest complaints I often deal with when cooking with shredded zucchini is that the dish can come out a bit on the soggy side. This is why it’s vital to get as much excess moisture out of the grated zucchini as possible. 

Don’t worry, though, as getting that extra water of the zucchini is uber darn simple. You’ll learn more below. 

What you need to grate zucchini

You don’t need to get fancy equipment together when you want to shred zucchini. Sure you can pull out the food processor and use the grating attachment and that works fantastic. But in my experience, I can already be done with grating the zucchini and drying it out in the same amount of time that putting together my food processor takes. 

Don’t even get me started on the clean up of said food processor!

You only need the following. 

  • Cutting board
  • Chefs knife
  • Simple grater
  • Dishtowel
  • Bowl

How to grate zucchini

Step 1: Wash and dry your zucchini. 

Give your zucchini a good scrub with a vegetable brush because it likely has a light wax coating. If you plan to peel your zucchini, you can skip the scrub but don’t disregard the wash.

Step 2: Cut the ends of the zucchini.

Cut about ½” off of each end of the zucchini. On the root end, it may require a bit more than a ½” until you see the zucchini flesh.

Step 3: Cut the zucchini in half

This is not a required step, but depending on your zucchini’s length, it may make grating the zucchini easier. I cut mine so that it was about 4 inches in length.

Step 4: Grate the zucchini 

Use the biggest opening on your grater. If you use the smaller holes on the grater, the zucchini will turn into mush.

Step 5: Squeeze the zucchini

Place the shredded zucchini on a kitchen towel.

Then ball the zucchini up in the towel. Hold the balled up zucchini over a bowl and start squeezing and twisting. Keep twisting and squeezing until you can’t get any more juice out of the zucchini.

Step 6: Unwrap the zucchini

What kind of towel do I use?

Now if you’re especially curious about the impact of this on my kitchen towel, that is a reasonable question. We buy kitchen towels in bulk. They are thin and made out of cotton. 

We use them for things like this and then wash them with Oxiclean after we use them. The stain rarely fully comes out, but at least we know that they are clean. 

We go through so many towels on a daily basis. It’s a bit nutty, but it’s better than trying to buy paper towels for every single thing. We love paper towels and use them a lot, but some tasks are just better with a towel, and drying zucchini happens to be one of them.

Should you peel zucchini before shredding it?

You don’t need to peel zucchini before shredding it. The zucchini peel generally breaks down when cooking and is perfectly fine in the dish. However, if you’re worried about the texture, there’s no harm in peeling it before grating zucchini.

Do you need to remove the zucchini seeds?

I rarely, if ever, remove the zucchini seeds before grating zucchini. If you need your zucchini to be super dry, then this would be an advisable step.If you don’t remove the seeds, be extra vigilant when you squeeze the zucchini after grating it. 

The bottom line

Grating zucchini, as opposed to chopping it, allows you to make use of its nearly-dissolved version, one that’s also in baked goods. This very version is also quite a nifty addition to sautès and salad. Meanwhile, grated zucchini is an excellent way to freeze it. But as you would have gleaned from our little discussion already, grating zucchini is more than just cutting its ends and rubbing them against the blades of a plank grater or box grater. While simple, no doubt, this one requires patience. And a little bit of art sometimes.

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