Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

My senior year in college, my roommates and I ordered Chinese takeout every Thursday night. With no class on Fridays, it was our kickoff to the weekend. We paired it with watching Grey's Anatomy and prepped for a night out. It was one of my most favorite nights in college!

I don't order Chinese food as much anymore and instead like to make it at home. That way I can keep it lighter and control how much sodium is in the sauces. I have been eyeing Gina's Kung Pao Chicken recipe with zoodles for weeks and finally made it this week. I was a bit hesitant about the zoodles and how much I would miss rice noodles, but honestly, I barely even noticed. There is so much flavor in this dish that the zoodles compliment it quite well. I also added a few more veggies like mushrooms and onions, which I definitely recommend.

This is perfect for a weeknight because it's quick and easy to make. And if you are sticking to your New Year's resolutions, this recipe will definitely abide by the rules.

Happy Thursday!

Prep: 15 minutes | Total: 45 minutes | Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each, ends trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 6 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp crushed dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal

For the Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Preparation:

  1. Using a spiralizer with the thickest noodle blade, or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade, cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips. If using a spiralizer, use kitchen scissors to cut the strands into pieces that are about 6 to 8 inches long so they’re easier to eat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about  30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, onion and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Then stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about two minutes until just tender and mixed with the sauce. If it seems dry, don’t worry the zucchini will release moisture which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with peanuts and scallions.

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