Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Zoodles with Shredded Chicken and Sesame Sauce | 涼拌雞絲意瓜偽粉皮

Zoodles! Besides being a fun word to say, zoodles (zucchini noodles) are an incredibly fresh, healthy, nutritious, gluten-free, and low carb alternative to pasta or noodles. Zucchini takes on flavors easily, thus making zoodles a remarkably versatile base for a wide range of dishes.

I picked up a bag of zucchini at the Heart of the City Farmers Market in San Francisco last weekend. Back at my penthouse kitchen, just as I was craning over these dark green summer gourds, sweat dripping down my forehead under the unrelenting summer heat, a sudden craving for 涼拌雞絲粉皮 hit me.

A gorgeous zucchini, also known as courgette
A familiar and massively popular appetizer in Northeastern Chinese cuisine, 涼拌雞絲粉皮 traditionally consists of translucent mung bean sheet noodles (粉皮), hand shredded chicken (雞絲), crisp cucumber julienne (青瓜) and a lip-smacking sesame dressing (麻醬) that always tickles my taste buds.

Now, who says zoodles only works as pasta? With zucchini in my hands, I decided to swap out the mung bean noodles and cukes and swap in zoodles for a twisted, "greened up" version of this classic Manchurian starter. No fancy spiralizer, no mandolin needed; just your good old fashioned vegetable peeler and a knife!

晶瑩通透 又滑又爽口!

When cut to the right width, those thin, slightly opaque ribbons of zucchini frankly does a marvelous job mimicking mung bean noodles. As for the main ingredient of the dressing, sesame paste is hardly the only choice either. Peanut butter is also commonly used in restaurants and will similarly knock the ball out of the park. Heck, I even made once with sunflower seed butter. Delish!

So here is a fun, light, and super easy twist on this popular Northeastern Chinese cold dish using zoodles. It is about time that you, too, jump on the zoodle bandwagon!

What you'll need...
Zoodles and Chicken:
2 zucchini
Choice of 4 chicken tenders, 1 chicken breast, or 1 chicken thigh

2 tablespoons sesame paste
3 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, grated (optional)
Dash of soy sauce

Choice of garnish:
Toasted sesame seeds or peanuts
Small bunch of cilantro
Cucumber matchsticks 

For the dressing...
Firstly thin out the sesame paste by stirring in warm water. Add all other ingredients and stir until the dressing reaches a smooth, heavy cream-like consistency. Make ahead to allow the flavors to mingle.

For the zoodles... 
1. Start by cutting off the ends of the zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zucchini into long ribbons. The more pressure you apply, the thicker your zucchini noodles will be. Peel all four "sides" of the zucchini until you reach the core with seeds (reserve the cores for other uses such as ratatouille, casseroles, or stir-fries - don't let it go to waste!).

2. Stack the strips on top of each other. Cut the strips to 1/2 inch strips or as desired.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, blanch zoodles very briefly - no more than 60 seconds! Immediately drain and dunk into an ice bath to cool and stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain and set zoodles on paper towel or a clean kitchen towel to absorb excessive moisture.

For the chicken...
Steam or boil your choice of chicken. Once cooked and cooled, shred chicken into thin strips using your fingers.

Now, all that is left to do is to put everything together.
Layer the zoodles on your serving platter. Top with shredded chicken, sesame dressing, and your choice of garnish. Enjoy!!


由意大利翠玉瓜(zucchini, 簡稱意瓜)刨成絲
製成的低熱量「偽意粉」Zoodles 在外國已流行多時,
Zoodles 其實用法甚多,現時天氣轉冷,更可作為熱食沙律,
更可 fusion 做成「涼拌雞絲偽粉皮」!


意大利翠玉瓜  2 隻
雞肉  可選用雞柳、雞胸、或雞腿肉

1. 首先將意瓜兩端切除。
2. 用削皮刨,下點力於意瓜的四面刨出寬條狀,直至到達瓜中見籽的地方為止。
3. 把一條條的寬條叠好,用利刀切成一條條約半吋闊的「 偽粉皮」。
4. 煮沸熱水,把偽粉皮快速地灼一灼,撈起並立即浸冰水,以保其爽嫩。
5. 瀝乾後放一旁備用。
6. 隔水蒸熟雞肉。略涼後以手搣成雞絲。

芝麻醬  2 湯匙
溫開水  3 湯匙
鎮江醋  2 茶匙
砂糖  2 茶匙
麻油  1 茶匙
蒜末  1 大茶匙
薑蓉  約半吋薑
老抽  適量

1. 芝麻醬先用溫水稀釋,加入其他調味料拌勻再作調味。

芝麻 / 花生

1. 接下來最後一個步驟,先把意瓜偽粉皮置碟,在粉皮上放上適量手撕雞肉和自選配料,之後再淋上拌勻的麻醬即成。

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