Kung Pao Chicken with Gluten-free “Noodles”
After a day struggling to study Mandarin (or a hard day at work, as the case may be), I have found that one of the best rewards is a big, steaming bowl of noodles. It’s difficult to find anything as satisfying as a bite into a springy yet soft wheat noodle, hand-stretched in Beijing. But recently, I’ve tried to limit gluten when possible and stick to veggies and protein. Luckily, I’ve discovered a way to get my noodle fix (though I’ll never promise it’s quite the same as a bowl of Beijing mian). Thanks to a “spiralizer,” I can now transform zucchini into bouncy curls, ready to stir fry and accept any sauce I put together. If you’re trying to cut out the carbs, but still want the feeling of a big bowl of Chinese flavor, try this dish.
Adapted from Skinnytaste
- 4 zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 1 lb skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions along diagonal
For the sauce:
- 5 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 2 tbsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- sichuan peppercorns (optional)
Using a spiralizer fitted with a shredder blade for a thicker noodle, cut the zucchini into long noodles.
In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients; set aside. Heat oil in a wok over high heat and cook peanuts until brown (watch them, they’ll burn quickly!)
Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the bell pepper, stir in 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 to serve, topping with peanuts and scallions.
Enjoy! How do these “noodles” rate for you? Tell me!