Mood: This recipe is for one of those days when you want the perfect meal trifecta: healthy, delicious & extremely filling/wholesome. And if you often crave comforting Asian flavours like me, then this salad is just what you need:) If you’re new to Zoodles & you’re a tad bit skeptical about how it delivers on the taste & wholesomeness factor, then you’re just going to have to try it for yourself, won’t you?;) Trust me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, because these Zoodles have oodles of flavour:) Fresh. Healthy. Scrumptious. Wholesome. Umami Goodness:) #NomNomNom
Time: 20 mins
Serving Size: 2 people
Category: Side; Main Course
Author: Animagus Eats
• 4 Zucchinis (small to medium)*
• 1 Spiralizer (equipment)
• 2 cups Assorted Chopped Vegetables (fresh or frozen)
• 1 small Onion (finely chopped)
• 3 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
• 1-2 tbsp Sesame Oil*
• 1 tsp Ground Pepper
• 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
• 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder/Grated Ginger
• 1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder*
• 1/2 tsp Salt
• 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
• 1 tbsp Red Miso Paste
• 1/2-1 tsp Chilli/Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
• 1 tsp Organic Brown Sugar (vegan friendly)
• 1 tsp Corn Flour
• 1 cup Water/Vegetable Broth
• Fresh Cilantro
• Toasted Sesame Seeds
• Crushed Peanuts (optional)
• Vegan Hoisin Sauce/Sweet & Sour Sauce (optional)
For the Salad
1. First, spiralize the zucchinis using a spiralizer. Never done it before? Watch these quick tutorials about how to use table top & hand-held spiralizers. Try it:) It’s quite therapeutic, actually:) Once you’re done, keep the spiralized Zucchini Noodles, aka. Zoodles, aside. Fresh, firm & delicious:)
2. Next, heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped garlic & onions (& ginger, if using grated ginger) to the pan & sauté until they are light brown & the raw garlic/ginger smell has disappeared.
3. Add the assorted chopped vegetables to the pan & sauté for about 1-2 minutes. I used frozen peas, sweet corn, carrots & beans. You can use any vegetables that you like:) Also, while spiralizing, you might be left with a few odd pieces of zucchini (the ends/edges). You can use these pieces as part of the stir fried veggies as well.
4. Next, the seasonings:) Add the salt (not too much; the Miso sauce is quite salty!), pepper, Chinese 5 Spice Powder, ginger powder (unless you’ve used grated ginger earlier) & chilli flakes to the pan & sauté the vegetables for another 2-3 minutes, till they are all cooked & have a light char on them. Turn off the heat & set aside the pan for later.
For the Sauce
5. Add the corn flour (a thickening agent) to 1 cup of cool water/vegetable broth & combine well, ensuring that there are no lumps.
6. In a small saucepan, add the soy sauce, red miso paste & water-corn flour mixture and mix well till there are no lumps. Keep the gas on medium heat, & add the organic brown sugar & chilli/sriracha sauce & combine well again. Let the mixture boil & then simmer for about 9-10 minutes till the sauce reaches the desired thickness/consistency. It should have a thick dipping-sauce-like consistency (if it’s too thin, then the salad will be watery). Do a taste test & adjust the flavours based on your preference:) (Taste. Tweak. Repeat.) If it’s too salty, add more sugar (to make it sweet) and/or more chilli/sriracha sauce (to make it spicy). And if you need a stronger umami hit, add a tad bit more miso paste/soy sauce; but only a little, because this stuff is salty;) Once you’re happy with the flavours & the consistency, turn off the heat & set the sauce aside.
Assembling the Salad
7. First, add the Zoodles to the stir fried veggies in the large saucepan & mix well.
8. Next, pour the Miso Sauce over the salad & combine well again. Remember to only add the sauce & assemble the salad when you are ready to eat/serve. This is because the Zoodles can get soggy & release water, if they sit in the dressing for too long. Another way to avoid this is to serve the veggies, Zoodles & sauce separately & you can mix them on your own in your plate:)
9. Finally, transfer the salad to a serving bowl & garnish the Zoodles with some fresh cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, vegan Hoisin sauce and/or any other toppings that you like:) And there you go! Your healthy & delicious Miso Zoodles Salad is ready:) Happy Eating:)
*I like using spiralized Zucchinis because the texture is quite firm & similar to pasta/noodles:) You can also use other spiralized veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, etc. Here’s a list of all the vegetables that can be spiralized easily. I’m a huge Zoodles fangirl because they’re healthy, fresh & guilt free:)
*If you don’t have Sesame Oil, you can also use any other type of oil. I like using Sesame Oil because it adds that fragrant Asian flavour that we all know & love:)
*Chinese 5 Spice is usually available at large grocery stores, Asian stores & online. You can also be a boss & make your own 5 Spice at home, using this simple recipe by The Spruce.