Oodles and oodles of zoodles

Here is a post on what you can do with all of those zucchinis from this summer’s garden.

When I was at the farmer’s market buying peaches and basil for the smoothie that I wanted to try, I also picked up some beautiful zucchinis. I wanted to try to make the zoodles that I had tried at the local raw/vegan cafe that I ate at the other day. This is perfect for people who are following diet restrictions (for whatever reason), like vegan or raw food diets and for people who just want a fun way to eat zucchini besides zucchini bread. For this re-creation, I did not see what ingredients they used to make them with and just went with my instincts on what I thought I might like. I hope the owner of this cafe isn’t offended by my attempts at re-creating her delicious dishes. I hope she just remembers that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Here’s what I used in my version of zoodles:

zucchini, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds (I had white and black so I used both), sugar (not shown in picture)

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Here is what the zucchini looks like after it’s been attacked by the julienne peeler. Don’t they look like green noodles?

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Here is the delicious final product: Zoodles (They were so yummy that I ate them with 2 meals today and I can’t wait to get my hands on more zucchini.)

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niu rou mian_1st attempt: A-

Here was my first attempt at Taiwanese Beef Noodle soup. Recipe courtesy of R.

First, I pan fried all the seasonings.

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Then, added in the beef shank from our local butcher.

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Here is the finished product. I served it for lunch on Sunday (Taiwanese Father’s Day) for R and I and J and M (Taiwanese restaurant owners). I ate mine with egg noodles (the yellow colored ones) and everyone else had the white noodles. The kick from the peppercorns and dried chilis was delightful. Noone died, so I give myself an A-.

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Here are my recipe notes from R:

oil, star anise (11), dried chilies (12), peppercorns (small tablespoon), Chinese bark (2 pieces), salt (10 turns of the salt grinder), 4 scallions (break into 3rds by hand)–fry all this together, low heat

cut shank meat. cook in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes.

add meat to seasoning mixture. cook all on high heat until meat almost cooked (~5-7 minutes).

put meat and mixture into big pot with water and cook on high heat.

add 1 Corell-sized bowl of soy sauce and 1/2 the amount of rice wine.

add 1/4 c sugar

skim off the yucky stuff as it cooks. after soup boils, reduce heat to low-ish and continue to simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until meat is super tender.

taste broth before serving with noodles. if not salty enough, can add salt or soy sauce.

serve with preserved mustard greens and/or hot peppers/relish.

notes: added scallions (chopped up with knife) on top of noodle soup as garnish, but didn’t really like “raw” taste of scallions with this soup. next time will probably follow recipe and cook scallions. may add very small amount of really finely chopped green onions as garnish (b/c it is very pretty).

seasonings and amounts listed make a mild to medium hot broth. may want to decrease chilies and/or peppercorns (ma la) for guests who don’t eat spicy food.

made enough for 4 generous bowls, plus leftovers for 3 more servings.