Spicy Sesame Zoodles

Zoodles…I AM OBSESSED!!!

But let me back track a bit. For those of you that rely solely upon Sly Rooster for their “food news” (and for that, I thank you) and do not comb through endless sources for recipes and inspiration, you may not have heard about Zoodles, the latest food trend. Zoodles, or Zucchini Noodles (get it?) are long strands of squash that are made using a nifty tool called a spiralizer. The resulting zucchini ends up in a tangle, looking exactly like spaghetti.

Zoodle (if auto-correct doesn’t stop trying to switch “zoodles” to “noodles” and now “doodles” I may just lose my mind.) recipes are popping up everywhere. At first, I just skipped over them. I’ve said it several times before, I’m generally not a fan of the “one-trick-wonder” kitchen gadget. I would not run out to buy a spiralizer, despite the fact that I’ve been told it costs only $10 and takes up very little kitchen real estate. When it seemed as though I just couldn’t get away from these omnipresent zoodles, I started reading through the recipes. Zoodles tossed with Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese; Pesto Zoodles; Baked Zoodle Shoe-String Fries. Okay, I was beginning to get that this was “a thing” but truth be told, I’m not all that crazy about zucchini. I appreciate it for it’s versatility but the taste, meh.

It wasn’t until a recipe from Pinch of Yum for Spicy Sesame Zoodles and Crispy Tofu landed in my in-box that I really started to pay attention. I mean, I would eat cardboard in spicy sesame sauce so why not zucchini? But still, run out and buy a spiralizer? Well, by now you know where this is going but imagine my surprise when walking through Whole Foods I noticed a packed container of zoodles just calling to me from the produce shelf. I mean if you believe in signs, this certainly was one. Into my cart these zoodles went and well, the rest is history.

Go buy zoodles–and if you cannot find them, buy a spiralizer! These things are fantastic. Bye bye pasta, hello, no-carb vegetable dinner. This recipe is the bomb–a thick, spicy peanut sauce coats the raw zucchini strands leaving them rich and luscious. The accompanying tofu and the requisite “crisp bits” is absolutely delicious but I know that many of you will want to skip this step. That’s fine. I get it. The zoodles will still be delicious but realize that you will be missing out a little.

I wish that I could tell you that I went on to try Zoodles with Marinara Sauce or Pesto Zoodles but to be honest with leftover zoodles, peanut sauce and tofu (all stored in separate containers in my fridge) I couldn’t bear to stray from the original. My spiralizer is ordered from Amazon and I will certainly update you on my adventures. In the meantime, get on the zoodle bandwagon with  these Spicy Sesame Zoodles.

Spicy Sesame Zoodles

Spicy Sesame Zoodles

 

Spicy Sesame Zoodles with Crispy Tofu
Serves 4
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Zoodles and Tofu
  1. 12 ounces extra firm tofu
  2. 4-6 zucchini
Chili Sesame Sauce
  1. ½ cup peanut butter
  2. ⅓ cup sesame oil
  3. ⅓ cup light low sodium soy sauce
  4. ¼ cup rice vinegar
  5. 2 tablespoons chili paste (like sambal oelek)
  6. 2 tablespoons sugar
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Garnish
  1. sesame seeds
  2. sliced scallions
Instructions
  1. Set the block of tofu on a paper towel-lined plate with a weighted plate on top to press out the extra moisture.
  2. Let this sit while you spiralize your zucchini (if not store-bought) and prepare your sauce.
Spicy Sesame Sauce
  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in the food processor and give them a whirl.
  2. Refrigerate your sauce as you go back to tend to the tofu.
Tofu
  1. Cut pressed tofu into bite sized cubes.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick pan.
  3. Add the tofu and stir fry until golden brown.
  4. Add about ½ cup sauce and simmer until the sauce starts to evaporate, gets absorbed into the tofu and becomes browned in the pan.
  5. Keep gently flipping and scraping browned bits off the bottom.
  6. After awhile, you will end up with nicely golden brown tofu with some little yummy browned bits from the sauce.
  7. Toss your spiraled zucchini with about ¼ cup sauce per serving (amount of sauce will be dependent on the size of zucchini. You want the zucchini to be coated but not drowning and you'll likely have extra sauce--lucky you!).
  8. Top with tofu, sesame seeds, and scallions.
  9. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If you store the zoodles coated in sauce, they may get a little watery. So best to store any leftovers in separate containers and toss together just before serving.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
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