Happy zucchini season! My friend, Dave, is harvesting a bumper crop this year and if I didn’t know any better I’d swear he’s been feeding his plants steroids or growing some kind of crazy GMO zucchini. Take a look for yourself…
Not that I’m complaining. I’m on a major vegetable kick right now and I’ve been eating a lot of zucchini. Usually I just stir-fry it and top it with salsa and fresh herbs, but last night I tried something different – Raw Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai. I discovered this idea in a cookbook from the Hollyhock Canadian Learning Centre – Hollyhock: Garden to Table. You get all of the flavors of Pad Thai and an extra generous helping of vegetables in this clever dish (omit the fish sauce to make it 100% vegan).
The Pad Thai “noodles” are actually long strands of thinly sliced zucchini, but the taste and texture are surprisingly very similar to real Pad Thai noodles.
A spicy, homemade peanut sauce transforms the “noodles” into an incredibly satisfying one-dish meal. Wow. I love this! What a great way to use up some of that bumper crop. Enjoy!
- FOR THE ZUCCHINI "NOODLES"
- 2 extra large or 12 small zucchini (enough to make 10 cups of noodles)
- 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
- 2 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
- ½ tsp. salt
- FOR THE PAD THAI
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted unsalted peanuts
- ½ cup chopped mint
- ½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
- ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp. lime zest
- 1 - 2" piece lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 Tbsp. lime juice
- 3 Tbsp. agave
- 3 Tbsp. tamari
- PREPARE THE ZUCCHINI NOODLES
- Use a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into angel hair threads, OR use the smallest setting on a mandolin, OR use a vegetable peeler to cut long strips of zucchini, then slice into thin noodles. You'll need a total of 10 cups of noodles.
- Place the noodles in a large bowl.
- Heat the coconut oil over medium heat just until it liquifies. Remove from heat and stir in the red curry paste, lime juice and tamarind concentrate.
- Sprinkle salt over zucchini, then toss in the coconut oil mixture.
- Set aside, covered, for 30 minutes.
- MAKE THE PEANUT SAUCE
- Place the peanut butter, water, lime zest, lemon grass, ginger, sriracha sauce, garlic, lime juice, agave and tamari in a blender and process until smooth. The sauce will be quite thick.
- ASSEMBLE THE PAD THAI
- Drain most of the marinade off the zucchini noodles. Reserve the extra marinade and set it aside.
- Pour half of the peanut sauce over the zucchini and toss to coat. Toss in some of the reserved marinade to thin the peanut sauce if it is too thick.
- Toss in the cilantro, peanuts, mint, onion and bell pepper and serve immediately (at room temperature) with the extra peanut sauce on the side.