Zucchini Marinade

yield: 3 cups

Special Equipment

Most people don’t know this but Ben and I used to be competitive eaters.  It’s how we met, and more importantly, how we learned to develop recipes together.  I was on the “hot dog circuit” in upstate New York, and Ben was working at Nick Tahou’s in Rochester.  For those of you who don’t know about Nick Tahou’s, it’s a late night greasy spoon that is famous for serving a “garbage plate” that started “with a base of any combination of home fries, macaroni salad, baked beans, or french fries topped by your choice of meats and dressed to your liking with spicy mustard, chopped onions, and our signature Nick Tahou’s hot sauce.”

It’s fucking amazing.

Ben could eat 14 of them in 6 minutes.  He was a golden god and made the hot dog circuit look more like the “soggy bun jamboree”.  I was in awe….and I knew we would be great together.  I just needed to lure him out of Rochester and back to Nebraska in time to catch the corn while it’s still soft.  My mind, bolstered by several diverted grams of hot dog nitrates, heaved, raced, and turned while I soaked a few dozen buns to relax when…

I’m sorry.  This is too painful.  Here’s the zucchini recipe.  You’ll need a blender.


  • 4 large green zucchini, washed…not too starchy
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Thai bird’s eye chilies
  • 6 garlic gloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 cup mint, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 limes, juiced

For the dressing:

  1. Add the onions to a blender and puree until they release their water.
  2. Begin feeding the chilies, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger, followed by the herbs.
  3. Use a little of the fish sauce to loosen up the puree if needed, then add sunflower seeds, sugar and all remaining fish sauce.
  4. Slowly stream the sunflower oil.
  5. Add the sesame oil, and finally the lime juice.

The fish sauce should provide all the salt that is needed, but feel free to adjust to your own taste. The bright green color will fade in a day or two, but the dressing remains delicious for several days.


For the zucchini:

  1. Fillet the zucchini straight down the middle making two equal pieces.
  2. Salt the cut side lightly and let stand for an hour
  3. In a cast iron pan or on a grill, sear the cut side in vegetable oil until it is very charred
  4. Remove the zucchini to a large tupperware and cover tightly.  This will steam the zucchini and cause it to finish cooking while it cools.
  5. When you’re ready to dress the zucchini, slice it to desired thickness and season with salt and lime juice, then use the marinade liberally.  Let it sit at room temperature and check the seasoning right before serving.  It should be very acidic and balanced with salt.

Thank for reading everyone!  Let us know what you come up with.  We can’t wait to see you all and please let us know if there are other recipes that you’d like us to post in our down (but not out) time!