Hamburger Hamlet's Zucchini Zircles

Hamburger Hamlet, how do I miss thee? Let me count the ways. Always one of my favorite restaurants, I frequented the one in Pasadena. My sister started taking me there when I was just a little kid back in the late '60s when the restaurant was almost 20 years old. There's no telling how many times I went there. That location closed in 2016 - talk about longevity! Here's a picture someone got of a menu from the National/Sepulveda location:

The menu - Zircles are under "Finger Foods For Two"

So I was thumbing through the internet looking for something to cook, and I came across the Pioneer Woman's recipe for Zucchini Zircles which she says is the Hamlet's actual recipe. Turns out since she graduated from USC, she was very familiar with theHamlet. I hope she doesn't mind, I just had to steal her recipe :-)

So, without further ado, here, ladies and gentlemen are the Zucchini Zircles!



  • 1/2 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoon Dry Mustard Powder
  • 1-1/2 cup Apricot Preserves


  • 2 whole Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • Salt For Sprinkling
  • 1 quart Vegetable Oil, For Frying

What to do with them

  1. Make the dipping sauce by mixing pineapple juice, soy sauce, and mustard powder in a blender. Pour it into a bowl and mix in the apricot preserves. Set aside (or make ahead of time and chill.)
  2. To make the zucchini zircles, slice the zucchini into rounds about 1/3 of an inch thick. One at a time, bread them by dredging them in flour, dipping them in the milk, and coating them in the breadcrumbs. Set on a wire rack over a cookie sheet as you do the rest.
  3. To fry them, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the zircles 3 to 4 at a time using tongs. (Oil should sizzle and envelop the zircles.) Allow to fry for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until deep golden brown, then remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest. Sprinkle with salt when they're out of the oil.