When I tasted pad thai for the first time, I remember the sauce's subtle peanutty flavor and savoriness with the noodles. But, even though I was already vegan at the time, I almost fell off my chair when I discovered the calorie amount in a single serving. And, trust me, the serving I ate at the restaurant was way more than a serving. Although I eat noodles, I wanted to enjoy Pad Thai at home, so I decided to make a zoodle pad thai recipe with zucchini noodles.
A typical pad thai with tofu, at a restaurant, for instance, contains 940 calories. My zoodle pad thai recipe, however, has approximately 292 calories per serving. Since becoming plant-based, I don't count calories, but I'm not eating 940 calories when I can eat 292 calories instead, without losing flavor or taste.
In fact, I love cooking with zucchini noodles more now that I cook with them often. Although my family adores pasta, everyone in our family has raved about my zoodle pad thai. In fact, my son called recently to find out when I was making my zoodle pad thai recipe again. If it takes food to lure him home, I am all for it.
Did I mention this is another one of my one pan 15-minute wonder meals? It all happens in the wok in 15 minutes!
WHAT ARE ZOODLES, AND HOW DO I MAKE ZUCCHINI INTO ZOODLES?
“Zoodles” are zucchini noodles or spaghetti-like strands made from spiralized, raw zucchini. Low in calories and carbohydrates, zoodles contain no flour or wheat, making them gluten-free. Not only are zoodles healthier than regular noodles, but zoodles are also easy to make.
To make zoodles, all you need is 4 small to medium-sized zucchinis. Despite the idea that bigger is better, large zucchinis are best for baking in bread, muffins, or stuffing. Instead, smaller zucchinis create the best zoodles. Larger zucchinis are often flavorless and watery. Also, zucchini is in season, which means zucchini costs a mere $.90 a pound, which is a bonus.
HOW TO PICK AND STORE THE BEST ZUCCHINI AT THE MARKET TO MAKE ZOODLE PAD THAI
- Choose zucchinis 6-8 inches long
- Zucchini should feel heavy
- The skin should be dark green without pocks or blemishes
- Avoid and shriveled skin
- Do not wash zucchini until ready to use
- Stores well in a loose plastic bag, refrigerated for up to one-week
USING A SPIRALIZER TO MAKE ZOODLES FOR ZOODLE PAD THAI RECIPE
One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my spiralizer! For about $20, this spiralizer has 5 different blades and a lifetime replacement guarantee. As a result, it takes minutes to make beautiful noodles such as sweet potatoes, turnips, baking potatoes, harder root vegetables, and of course, zucchini.
For example, I spiralized the zucchini using the spaghetti blade, which produces zoodles similar to the thickness of a spaghetti noodle or fettuccine noodle.
Another suggestion is to cut the ends off each side of each zucchini. Then, cut each zucchini in half to spiralize one-half zucchini at a time. Also note, you will have round pieces of zucchini leftover after each spiraling cycle for other recipes.
Another tip is to spiralize the zoodles ahead of time and refrigerate them until you are ready to use them. Some people, however, suggest using them immediately, but if you notice, you can now buy zoodles, as well as spiralized squash, zucchini, and sweet potatoes in the store. Of course, you can also buy zoodles at the store, but the cost of buying zoodles is astronomical compared to making your own.
COOKING ZOODLES FOR ZOODLE PAD THAI RECIPE
Because Zoodles take minutes to prepare, cooking zoodles for zoodle pad thai properly demands particular attention. For instance, many people make the mistake of cooking their Zoodles too long, creating soggy noodles. As a matter of fact, zucchini contains so much water; the amount of time you cook them and how much sauce you use is detrimental. Too much sauce, for example, creates a soupy, undesirable consistency.
Although many people suggest not cooking the noodles, I prefer to cook zoodles to maintain heat throughout the dish. It literally takes 3 minutes to cook the Zoodles in a wok. So, for example, zoodles cook perfectly in a high heat wok without making them soggy. But, if you prefer raw zoodle pad thai, this dish can be served raw as well. Sometimes, it is so hot in Arizona that I prefer to eat zoodle pad thai cold.
WHAT OTHER VEGETABLES ARE IN ZOODLE PAD THAI?
- White onion
- Purple cabbage
- Red Bell Pepper
- Fresh Ginger Root
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THE ZOODLE PAD THAI LOW-FAT PEANUT SAUCE?
A small amount of sauce goes a long way, however, because the zucchini contains so much water. Therefore, less is more, which is quite beneficial in terms of calories and taste. Although most of the water evaporates from the other vegetables, everything comes together when you add the Zoodles and sauce last.
- Homemade Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (or peanut butter of choice) or PBFit or PB2
- Lime Juice
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
- Pure Maple Syrup, agave nectar, or date syrup
- Fresh Ginger Root
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Rice vinegar
- Peanuts (optional)
- Green onions
So, if you are looking for a quick, easy, and scrumptious meal, give my zoodle pad thai a try!
IF YOU LOVE ZOODLE PAD THAI, WE HAVE YOU HOOKED UP WITH THESE RECIPES!
- Yum Yum Noodles
- Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Spicy Tofu Asian Salad with Skinny Peanut Dressing
- Kale Asian Pasta Salad
- Garlic Noodles
- Vietnamese Noodles
- Vegan Poke Bowl Recipe
- Tofu Satay
- General Tso Cauliflower
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂