I am super excited about this recipe! Ever since I got my spiralizer I’ve been spiralizing the living crap out of everything, and I’ve been trying out a lot of different recipes. I came across this recipe for Kung Pao Zoodles and I couldn’t have been happier with it. Aside from being guilt-free, the asian flavors and succulent shrimp work perfectly with these healthy zucchini noodles. One bowl will definitely fill you up and you won’t even miss the carbs!
Since I’m relatively new to my spiralizer, I’ve been browsing Pinterest for some good zoodle recipes. Of course you can stick with traditional marinara and other classic pasta sauces, but since zucchini exudes moisture you have to balance the sauce so it won’t be too runny once the noodles cook. That’s one of the main things I like about this recipe is that the original sauce is pretty thick, but once you add the zucchini it thins out and coats all the zoodles. Total perfection!
I originally found this recipe on skinnytaste.com (original recipe here). I adapted it and added shrimp instead of chicken. I was very impressed with how it turned out; honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be bloggable and just wanted something to hold my dieting stomach over. I increased the portion sizes form the original recipe because even though two zucchinis look like a lot when you spiralize them, they actually cook down and don’t serve as much as you would have hoped.
A perk of cooking all the time is that you accumulate all the random ingredients that usually you’d have to dish out cash for at the grocery store every time you wanted to make a simple meal. To my satisfaction I had the majority of these Asian condiments already!
Lastly, this dish was much simpler than it looks. Once I spiralized and chopped the veggies the rest of the cooking took 5 minutes!
Kung Pao Shrimp Zoodles (serves 3)
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 zucchinis, spiralized on a thicker setting
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bitesize pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 tsp hoisin sauce
- 3 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Scallions, sliced, for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Spiralize the zucchini with a medium-thickness noodle setting. This adds a little more heartiness than with thin spaghetti zoodles. If you don’t own a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to get thin strips of zucchini. If spiralizing, make sure to trim the zoodles every 8 inches or so so it doesn’t result in one long 4 foot long strand. Set the zoodles aside.
In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, water, sugar, and cornstarch and set aside.
Salt and pepper the shrimp. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes each side or until pink and opaque throughout. Put back in a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, heat the sesame oil. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and sautee a couple extra minutes to soften the pepper, but making sure not to let the garlic burn. Add in the sauce and and simmer for about two minutes, or until sauce thickens. The sauce can get quite thick, but resist the urge to add water. Add in the zucchini noodles and stir to combine. The zoodles with release moisture after a minute or two and it will make it easier to coat the zoodles with the sauce. Finally, add in the shrimp and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls and top with scallions. Chopped peanuts also work well as a garnish with this dish. Enjoy, and feel healthy!