Szechuan ZOODLES!

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Szechuan ZOODLES!

For the sauce:
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
¼ low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar (I use brown rice vinegar)
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon smooth peanut butter
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon finely minced or grated garlic (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon chili-garlic paste (or more to taste)

For the Zoodles:
5-6 medium-size zucchini about 3 1/2-4 lbs.
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

For garnish: (use any or all)
½ of a small regular cucumber peeled, sliced into 1” matchsticks
¼ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely diced or thinly sliced
1/8 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 small carrot sliced in matchsticks
cilantro leaves

Make the sauce:
In a medium size bowl, add all of the sauce ingredients, and stir to combine well.

Make the zoodles:
        Spiralize the zucchini, or use purchased ones. Place in a colander with the salt and toss to coat. Let the zucchini sit for 10 minutes. Rinse well and then using your hands or some cheesecloth, squeeze and squeeze the liquid out until very dry.
        Gently toss with the sauce until fully coated, and garnish with any or all of the toppings.

Makes 4 servings.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. You don’t have to stay up until 3 am to buy a fancy contraption to make the zoodles. A lot of supermarkets sell zoodles now.
2. If you do make your own, pick medium-size zucchini, large ones have way too many seeds.
3. Zucchini is very watery. So, the more liquid you can squeeze out of them, the better.
4. I like them raw. But... you can saute the zoodles in a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil first for about 5 minutes before tossing them with the sauce.
5. Make extra sauce!