Zucchini is a vegetable that can be easily grown in temperate climates. It can multiply quickly to the point you run out of time to use it before it goes bad. In these instances, freezing zucchini for later use has its advantages.
Freezing zucchini for stir fry when it is crisp and fresh will give you a freezer stash of this vitamin-rich vegetable to use during all seasons. You can freeze zucchini for stir fry in many ways, including chopped, sliced, and spiraled. Just be sure to get as much water as you can out of the zucchini before freezing.
There really is no difference between using frozen zucchini from the store or your own frozen zucchini from home for stir fry. In fact, your own produce may have less pesticide exposure and be deemed healthier than store-bought versions.
Methods of Freezing Zucchini
When your garden has granted you more zucchini than you, alone, can eat, consider freezing and storing it for use at a later time. Here are a few common ways people like to freeze zucchini for a great-tasting dish later:
Resembling pasta, spiralizing zucchini can be used in a stir fry that resembles pad thai or another noodle dish. It does take a special kind of tool to be able to do this, but you can find them fairly cheap at your local supermarket. To follow this method, use these tips:
- Wash your zucchini thoroughly and place it in the spiralizer.
- Twirl the handle until all the zucchini has been made into “noodles.”
- Blanch the noodles, remove them from the water and squeeze them dry.
- Place into a plastic bag and freeze flat.
While this is a way you can freeze zucchini to use in a stir fry later, please note that using this method can result in mushy noodles that are undesirable to some. If you don’t mind a softened zucchini noodle, this is a way to change up the way you freeze zucchini.
Flat coin-shaped pieces of zucchini can easily be softened and frozen to be reheated for stir fry at a later date. This type of preparation doesn’t require any special tools, but a mandolin can help speed up the process if you have one. Otherwise, simply slice the zucchini with a sharp knife in the desired width. Blanch and freeze flat for easy freezer storage.
You can either chop zucchini in smaller pieces to use in a stir fry or cut them into longer carrot stick shapes for better texture. This can be done with a small knife or a french-fry maker. Whatever your preference, chopped frozen zucchini holds up better during freezing and thawing.
Tips for Easy Zucchini Freezing
No matter how you choose to freeze your zucchini, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to make it easier to thaw them later.
- Remove as much air as you can from the bag to create a secure seal.
- Label your zucchini appropriately with the date.
- Use frozen zucchini in 3-5 months after freezing.
- Before adding to a bag, zucchini on a baking pan and freeze individually.
- Use a heavy-duty freezer bag for freezer burn resistance.
Reheating Zucchini for Stir Fry
After you’ve frozen your zucchini, there is a process for thawing them that should be followed. Zucchini is a vegetable that is made up almost entirely of water, so its no wonder why it becomes so soggy when it is thawed. When you’re thawing and reheating zucchini for stir fry, remember the following:
- Lay noodles out to thaw on a paper towel to absorb moisture
- Replace paper towels in increments as they become saturated.
- Don’t touch the zucchini in the thawing process if it is in small pieces to avoid creating a mushy texture.
- Remove all the excess liquid prior to cooking.
In many ways, frozen and thawed zucchini noodles can be an excellent addition to a stir fry dish. With a little care and consideration, you can have fresh zucchini all year round.