Another recipe that makes use of that most wonderful of ingredients – the zoodle.
For the uninitiated, zoodles are created by taking a humble zucchini (or courgette, or even squash, if you’re that way inclined), and giving it a bit of due care and attention with a spiralizer.
The result is a drop-in replacement for wheat based products, that, if treated with a bit of respect and TLC, more often than not will have those sharing your creation firstly asking where you bought this delicious pasta, and then staring wide eyed with disbelief at their plate when you inform them that the “pasta” is in fact cut vegetable spirals.
Chow (stir-fried) Mein (noodles) made with wheat noodles can be a bit on the heavy side, but this Paleo version made with zoodles really breathes new life into this old classic, leaving it with all the taste of the original, but also giving it a lightness that was missing before – you feel full and satisfied, but not bloated.
With the combination of meat, fish, vegetables, and zoodles you’ve got all the makings of a truly great one-pot meal.
There are, of course, almost endless possibilities in mixing and matching ingredients according to your tastes, whims, religious and cultural sensibilities, wallet size, and seasonal availability.
Feel free to experiment, and please report back with news of interesting and unusual combinations.
Having said that, if you want to try something like banana, fugu, and cobra heart, you’re on your own, muchacho. Rest assured, though, that I would send a card and lots of fruit as you recovered in hospital.
I was feeling a bit decadent (it was Friday, after all), and so abandoned the green tea I usually drink as an accompaniment to food in favour of a pot of Oolong, which worked very well, actually.
Zoodle Chow Mein
- 1 medium zucchini / courgette / squash
- 1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 100g cooked prawns (shrimp)
- 3 spring onions (scallions), sliced into ½ inch lengths on the diagonal
- 1 Jalapeño chilli, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, halved lengthways and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- ½ a red pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- ½ a green pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- ½ a yellow pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 stick of celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- fish sauce
- 5 spice powder
- tapioca flour
- coconut oil
- sesame seed oil
- Peel, top, and tail the zucchini. Using a spiralizer, cut it into noodles. Set aside.
- Place the chicken in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp Saké, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp tapioca flour. Mix well, and set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.
- Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick wok over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken pieces until they have taken on a golden colour, and are cooked through, about 4 minutes or so. Remove from the wok, and set aside.
- With the oil back up to temperature, add the chilli, garlic, and ginger to the wok. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the carrot, celery, and red, green, and yellow peppers to the wok. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the spring onions, and continue to stir fry for a further 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are just cooked, but still crisp.
- Return the chicken to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp of fish sauce, and 1 tbsp of Saké to the wok. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the zoodles and the cooked prawns to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Remove the wok from the heat. Serve, dressed with a drizzle of sesame seed oil.
- Depending on your own personal Paleo preferences, you may not want to use the Saké. If you don’t, simply substitute water for it in the marinade, and omit it altogether in the main dish.
- To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt only. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.