Vegan Coconut Curry Zucchini Noodles
I have a confession to make. While I love to cook for myself, I absolutely hate to cook for other people. Cooking for other people has become an exercise in strength, as I normally am anxiously waiting to release a sigh of relief after getting a thumbs-up from my guest. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to cook for some friends and decided on a coconut curry noodle soup. The soup tasted amazing so I let the noodles and curry sit while I waited for my guests to arrive.
To my dismay, I came back to find only noodles and no soup. The rice noodles I had used completely sopped up the liquid, creating a creamy pasta dish. With a growing frown I placed the dish in front of my friends and hoped for the best. They ate one serving and then got up for another and another and another. Success!
Much like me trying out a new hairstyle on my unpredictable curls, sometimes the best styles or in this case, dishes, are born from accidents. I decided to file away this recipe for another time when I was craving something spicy, warming and relatively easy to make.
Fast-forward to today, its 25 degrees in Chicago after a whole week of unusual summertime warmth. I decided to break out my favorite Dutch oven (yep that’s right, I love this Target cheapy) and give this dish another go, only this time making it with zucchini noodles.
I’m not going to lie and try to convince you that any vegetable noodle is better than a solid pasta or rice noodle. It’s just not. Just like a black bean burger to a beef burger, I try not to compare the two and evaluate each in their own category. However, I will say that these zucchini curry noodles are fire flame. Crunchy, sweet and spicy, this is the perfect dish to warm you up and cut calories in a time of the year that’s jam-packed with them. The curry paste can easily be stored in an air tight container for other uses if you happen to have a bit too much, but I find the more flavor the better! Add a few fried shallots for an extra crunch and you’ll be on your way to a hearty and healthy noodle dish.
Vegan Coconut Curry Zucchini Noodles
(Makes 4 Servings)
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 large shallot
- 1 14oz can of coconut milk
- 1 lemon
- 15 cashews, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp of thai red curry paste
- 3 whole dry red chiles
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine garlic, 1/2 of the shallot, juice from the lemon, ginger, thai red curry paste, soaked cashews and sesame oil together in a food processor until smooth.
- In a dutch oven or large pot with lid, warm coconut oil. Add in paste made in step 1 to the pot, allowing to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour coconut milk into the pot and stir to combine paste and liquid.
- Mix in dried chiles, corn starch, brown sugar, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and salt and pepper and set pot to simmer with lid on.
- Stir occasionally and lightly add more corn starch if mix is not thickening. Allow flavors to combine and grow for about 30 minutes.
- While the curry is cooking, combine flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Slice other half of shallot into rings and coat with the flour mixture.
- Heat a small pot with vegetable oil and fry the shallots on medium until they are brown and crispy. Allow them to cool on a plate with a paper towel.
- Spiralize zucchini with skin on. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a large cheese grater and pat dry excess water from the shredded zucchini.
- Add zucchini noodles to the curry while on low heat, allowing them to soften a little for about 5-10 minutes and mixing to coat noodles thoroughly. Remove whole dried chiles.
- Serve zucchini with fried shallots on top.