In Burma, this fried treat is made most often with bottle gourd, but chayote is more available in North America, so that’s what I use. Chayote is a pear-shaped gourd that originated in central America. Substitute zucchini if you wish.
These are easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser, crispy and tender at once, with a hint of ginger. Be sure to get your condiment sauces ready before you start cooking, because like any deep-fried snack, these are best eaten hot.
Serve as a snack or appetizer or to accompany mohinga.
If using chayote or gourd, peel it lengthwise, cut into quarters, and scoop out the seed. Thinly slice lengthwise. If using zucchini, cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths and slice into matchsticks. Set aside on a plate.
Combine the rice flour, turmeric, and salt in a bowl. Add the water and whisk to blend to a smooth batter. Add the ginger and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set out tongs, a spider, or a slotted spoon by the stove. Put out several more plates to receive the cooked vegetables.
Stir the batter. Pick up a clump of 2 or 3 slices of chayote; drag them through the batter to coat and then slide into the oil. Once the batter starts cooking, it will hold the slices together in a bundle. Repeat with 3 or 4 more bundles, without crowding. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, until golden all over, using tongs to move the bundles around so they cook evenly. When they’re done, lift them out of the oil, and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining vegetable slices and batter.
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