With the new year, and after all the holiday eating, we are trying to eat lighter. A couple of zoodle (zucchini noodle) recipes came to mind. Scott and I like them both – he favors this one a bit, but really, they are both good. Stay tuned for Shrimp Scampi, for now, here’s Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles. Think tasty and less calories! You will need a spiralizer or mandolin to make the zoodles. More on that in Sweet Notes. This recipe comes from Skinnytaste, a blog I follow and like, and serves two. Enjoy!
Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed (I use three)
1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil (I’ve also used Avocado oil)
1 chicken breast
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I use a whole bell pepper)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
2 tablespoons crushed dry roasted peanuts (I use unsalted)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
2 1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade (this makes a thicker noodle), or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 8 inches long so they are easier to eat.
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set chicken aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry, the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and divide between two bowls. Top with peanuts and scallions.
Sweet Notes: If you’d like to try a spiralizer, I found my first one on Amazon but have heard Bed, Bath and Beyond is another good place to look for one. My first spiralizer was the Paderno 3-blade Vegetable Slicer, on Amazon. I have since upgraded and bought the attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. Yet another option. There are many vegetables that make great noodles – you may want to give it a try!