In this Post: Learn how to take zucchini from your garden and transform it into a healthy Thai-inspired meal!
A few days after the last frost, I decided to grow some zucchini in my garden. Like many urban gardeners, I plan to go garden to table by utilizing my harvest to make some yummy zucchini chips, zucchini lasagna, or some zucchini noodle recipe. However, little did I know that my little seedlings would be HUGE by summer and that I would be running out of recipe ideas! Every day, I produced roughly four to five fully grown zucchinis in my little garden.
I am a big believer in not wasting food, so I had to think of a way to use up my veggies before they all went bad, and I knew that I had to do it ASAP. Take a look at my harvest from just yesterday!
I’ve already made and consumed many quick zucchini treats and have now craved dishes with more complex flavors. I scoured the web looking for a delicious meal that could use up my zucchini hoard while meeting a flavor profile that would make my taste buds sing. There are many recipes online for zucchini chips, grilled zucchini, and stuffed zucchini, but I was looking for something different.
Specifically, I wanted a wholesome meal that would fill the tummies of my household, be on the spicier side, and would be something that I could make over and over again. Then, it hit me! I could spiralize my zucchini and make a delicious Asian-inspired dish! So, that is when I decided that a Thai zucchini noodle recipe was the way to go!
I was recently given a hand spiralizer and thought– well, how hard could this be? While the hand spiralizer worked and was a nice hand-me-down, I would recommend getting a high-quality spiralizer as they are quite affordable and save SO much time and effort.
Don’t get me wrong, this tool worked in spiralizing my zucchini, but it was far more effort than I liked, especially since most of my zucchini were of various sizes, and most did not fit well (at all!).
I have to also plug in that I come from an Asian background, and I tend to cook many Asian-inspired meals. Most of my meals are usually of South Asian influence, but I decided to go more Thai as I was desperately craving a spicy peanut sauce! If you enjoy spicy meals, don’t have a nut allergy, and love Asian food, then try out this Zucchini Noodle Recipe:
Prepare Your Zucchini Noodle Ingredients
To begin, I recommend cutting and preparing all of my ingredients. I started by spiralizing three zucchini and, in the process, decided to add one more (it is completely up to you if you want more noodles or not!). Then, I cut 2 lbs of chicken into nice little cubes and then started with my veggies and garnish! I chopped up: 2 cloves of garlic, ½ cup of cilantro, 2 green chilis, ¾ cup of green onions, and ½ cup of lightly salted peanuts. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, I would replace the chicken with the firm or extra firm tofu!
Next comes the peanut sauce! You can not have a delicious Asian-inspired zucchini noodle recipe without some peanut sauce! I like my food spicy, but you can alter this sauce to your liking. To begin, you will need to take out a food processor and fill it with: ½ a cup of creamy peanut butter, ⅓ cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian!), 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of mirin, 2 Tbsp of sriracha, 1 clove of garlic, 1 green chili, 1 Tbsp of sesame oil. Turn on your food processor, and see a delicious, creamy, and flavorful sauce appear! I would recommend tasting the sauce to make sure it meets your flavor profile! However, note that the sauce will blend with your meal and become a more complex and delicious flavor as it cooks!
THAI-INSPIRED ZUCCHINI NOODLE
2 lbs of chicken (Vegetarian Option: Substitute w/ Tofu)
3 tbs sesame oil
2 green chilis
1 large carrot shredded
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup Chicken Stock (Vegetarian Option: Substitute w/ Vegetable Stock)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp sriracha (more or less to taste)
1 green chili
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1. Cut zucchini using a spiralizer to turn it into “noodles,” and place in a large bowl. Optional Pro-Tip: sprinkle with salt and leave alone for 10 minutes, and then use a paper towel to soak up all the excess liquid!
2. Next, Prep your Ingredients: shredded carrots, diced green chilis, chopped cilantro, peanuts, garlic, and green onions set aside.
3. Make Peanut Sauce: In a food processor, add ½ a cup of creamy peanut butter, ⅓ cup of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian!), 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of Mirin, 2 Tbsp of sriracha, 1 clove of garlic, 1 green chili, 1 Tbsp of sesame oil. Mix/Pulse the ingredients until you have a creamy peanut sauce!
TIME TO HEAT THINGS UP
4. Heat a pan with sesame oil (or olive oil), add garlic and chicken cubes (or tofu). Cook until the chicken is light golden brown, and add your peanuts, carrots, chopped chilis, and stir-fry for three minutes!
Your spicy, aromatic, and delicious zucchini noodle recipe is ready to be cooked! Heat a pan and add 3 tbs of sesame oil and two cloves of garlic. After hearing your pan sizzle, add your chicken cubes, and season with some salt and pepper.
When your chicken has started to brown and looks moderately cooked, add your peanuts, carrots, chopped chilis, and stir-fry for three to four minutes!
After your chicken looks just about cooked and your carrots have soaked up the delicious flavor, it is time to add your zucchini!
Pro-Tip: Zucchini is full of water so that you will see some liquid pooling. I personally did not mind, but if you want a thicker sauce, you can salt your spiralized zucchini in a bowl for 5 minutes to release the water before adding it to the pan!
After about two minutes, your zucchini will have released its liquid and will have cooked down. You can now add your peanut sauce to the dish and garnish the meal with green onions and cilantro. You can turn off the heat and watch your delicious meal come together with a spicy, creamy Thai flavor!
Plate your meal in a bowl, add some extra sauce or sesame seeds or sriracha (all optional) to fit your flavor profile, and enjoy! This meal takes roughly 30 minutes from start to finish and can feed up to two to three people! If your garden is blooming as mine (or better!), you can shred extra zucchini and make the meal for additional people!
Your spicy Asian-inspired zucchini noodle recipe is ready to enjoy! Share how yours turned out in the comments below!!