By Chef Sara
Spiralized zucchini noodles, fondly known as “zoodles”, make a veggie-licious base for an easy homemade Kung Pao sauce. Small, hand-held or larger hand-crank spiralizers can be found online or in stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Walmart, or Marshall's and TJMaxx. In addition to zucchini, you can use this gadget for sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, and carrots.
This dish is one of the quickest dinners I know and only requires a single pan. With a recipe this simple and tasty, you'll think twice before reaching for the takeout menu. Traditional Kung Pao dishes include peanuts, which I've added to my version for plant-based protein and crunch. If peanuts aren't your thing, substitute cashews or omit the nuts entirely.
One-Pan Kung Pao Zoodles
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini, spiralized into thin strands, about 4 cups
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
First, make the sauce. Using a fork, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl, then set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the sesame oil. When hot, add the green onion and cook for about 2 minutes until the white parts of the onion are slightly softened. Add the spiralized zucchini and a pinch of salt, then cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the sauce and continue to cook for another minute or so, until the sauce thickens and nicely coats the noodles. Stir in the peanuts, reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for garnish.
Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with the reserved peanuts and serve immediately.