Pan-Fried Lemon Asparagus Fritters Recipe

Many people view asparagus as a one-trick side dish pony, and to be fair, it's true — asparagus makes a beautiful side dish with its long, slender stalks that taper to a point with a delicate bud-like tip. But there are always ways to change things up and get creative with even the most seemingly straightforward vegetable out there; enter these crispy pan-fried asparagus fritters. With a blend of lemon zest, panko breadcrumbs for that perfect crunch, and a mix of herbs like curly parsley and chives, these fritters are about to become your new favorite thing to make.

These asparagus fritters are brought to us by wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn, who happens to love cooking with asparagus and finding inventive ways to use it. "Not only is asparagus bursting with freshness, but it's also packed with plenty of nutrients and fiber," Hahn says, adding, "I love to use it in a variety of ways and even though it is considered a Spring vegetable, it's easy to find year-round." If your grocery store also happens to be stocked with an abundance of asparagus bunches, give these fritters a try if the thought of side dish asparagus just isn't cutting it anymore.

Gather the ingredients for pan-fried lemon asparagus fritters

To make this recipe, hit up the produce aisle for asparagus, curly parsley, chives, lemon, and optional fresh dill for topping. "Curly parsley is a better option over flat leaf parsley here because it has a more robust and slightly tougher texture," Hahn explains.

Then grab some sour cream and eggs from the refrigerated aisle. If you want to make these fritters vegan, choose dairy-free sour cream and substitute 6 tablespoons of aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) for the eggs.

Finally, check your pantry for the remaining items. You'll need panko or regular breadcrumbs, avocado oil, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.

Step 1: Boil water

Fill a medium pot with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil.

Step 2: Add the asparagus

Once boiling, carefully drop in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Place asparagus in ice bath

Place the cooked asparagus in a bowl of ice water and let sit for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Drain the asparagus

Drain the asparagus and dry with a clean dish towel.

Step 5: Slice the asparagus

Slice the asparagus into thin ⅛-inch slices.

Step 6: Zest and juice the lemon

Zest the lemon and juice 2 teaspoons' worth.

Step7: Make the fritter batter

In a large bowl combine the asparagus, panko, sour cream, parsley, chives, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Step 8: Shape the fritters

Form the batter into 8 fritters.

Step 9: Add oil to a pan

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.

Step 10: Pan-fry the fritters

Place however many fritters will fit into the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes per side. Press each fritter firmly with a spatula to flatten it out. Repeat with the remaining oil and fritters until all are cooked and set aside.

Step 11: Serve the fritters

Serve the asparagus fritters, optionally garnished with fresh dill.

What sauces should you serve with these asparagus fritters?

Pan-fried asparagus fritters pair nicely with a variety of sauces, enhancing their flavors and adding layers of complexity. A classic choice is a creamy hollandaise sauce. Its richness complements the crispy exterior and tender interior of the fritters while adding a delightful tanginess.

Alternatively, homemade garlic aioli adds a robust and savory dimension, enhancing the earthy flavors of the asparagus while introducing a subtle yet distinctive hint of garlic. A spicy sriracha mayo will add a kick of heat, harmonizing with the savory elements of the fritters for a delicious flavor experience. "To make this type of sauce simply mix about ¼ cup of mayonnaise with a teaspoon or 2 of sriracha, depending on how hot you like it," Hahn shares.

For those seeking a lighter option, a simple balsamic glaze offers a sweet and tangy profile, elevating the fritters with its caramelized depth. This can be drizzled over the fritters for a beautiful presentation or served on the side.

Can you bake these fritters instead of pan-frying them?

You can definitely bake these fritters instead of pan-frying them for a lighter alternative that still yields delicious results. To bake the fritters, preheat your oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Shape the fritter mixture into small patties and place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fritters are golden brown and crispy on the outside, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Alternatively, these can be done in an air fryer for a quicker and crispier option. Preheat your air fryer to 400 F then lightly spray the basket with cooking spray or use parchment liners to prevent sticking. Place the shaped fritters in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Air fry the fritters for about 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Pan-Fried Lemon Asparagus Fritters Recipe
4.9 from 14 ratings
These pan-fried asparagus fritters come together in a breeze, though you could also bake or air fry them for optimal snacking convenience.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
plate of fritters with sauce
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus, halved, ends removed
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped curly parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped dill
Directions
  1. Fill a medium pot with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, carefully drop in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Place the cooked asparagus in a bowl of ice water and let sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the asparagus and dry with a clean dish towel.
  5. Slice the asparagus into thin ⅛-inch slices.
  6. Zest the lemon and juice 2 teaspoons' worth.
  7. In a large bowl combine the asparagus, panko, sour cream, parsley, chives, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  8. Form the batter into 8 fritters.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
  10. Place however many fritters will fit into the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes per side. Press each fritter firmly with a spatula to flatten it out. Repeat with the remaining oil and fritters until all are cooked and set aside.
  11. Serve the asparagus fritters, optionally garnished with fresh dill.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 179
Total Fat 12.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 88.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 2.6 g
Sodium 318.6 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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