Many of my class attendees know that I love zoodles. The rest of you are asking “WHAT is a zoodle?!” It’s short for zucchini noodle: a spaghetti or fettuccine-like noodle made with that delicious green summer squash. I’ve been planning on making a zoodle recipe for Indigikitchen for a while but I was hesitant to do the classic “spaghetti and meat sauce” replacement (though I probably will some time in the future). While thinking about what else I could do with zoodles, I thought about Thai food and how many ingredients come from this continent or could be substituted for things from here. Even your basic Pad Thai sauce contains vinegar, red chilies, garlic, cayenne pepper, and fish sauce. I kept this recipe as simple as I could and used a store bought garlic chili sauce instead of individual chilies and wild garlic, but it could be done. I used maple vinegar even though your typical sauce uses rice vinegar. Use what you have on hand. Fish sauce was the part that I debated using for a while. Even though many nations did ferment fish, it’s not like the fermented anchovy sauce that you can buy in the store. That said, I’m not sure this dish would be the same without it. I used a store version and perhaps I’ll try my hand at fermenting fish later.
Indigikitchen Pad Thai
For the sauce
- 2 Tablespoons maple vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or to taste
For the zoodle pad thai
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil divided
- 1/2 pound peeled and de-veined shrimp or another protein you prefer
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and sliced thin
- 3 wild onions sliced
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (vinegar, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce), then set aside.
- Cut the zucchini into noodles or long pasta by using a spiralizer or even vegetable peeler
- Heat a large pan on medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon avocado oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zoodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the zoodles are tender. They should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.
- Let the zoodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow as much moisture as possible to release. Remove the zoodles from the pan and drain the excess water.
- Carefully wipe the same pan to remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium high heat. Add the remaining avocado oil and the shrimp and cook until shrimp is tender and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and wild onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetable until the egg is cooked.
- Add the zoodles back into the same pan, then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minutes or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the peanuts
- Serve the warm zucchini pad thai noodles with cilantro.