This Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles recipe is inspired by one of my favorite cold pasta salads. I first discovered this dish in a local health-food market, and I loved the simplicity of it. It’s also one of those dishes you can eat anytime without having to reheat it. The best part: it comes together in less than 15 minutes! Are you ready? Here we go!
It’s as easy as starting with good-quality shrimp. In my opinion, it’s crucial to purchase fresh, sweet shrimp for this dish. Then, season them simply with soy sauce (or, coconut aminos if you’re going gluten-free), and stir-fry it up until they’re just cooked through. Then, you make a simple salad with the zucchini noodles (or zoodles) and cool, crisp cucumbers. Finally, bring everything together with an umami-filled light salad dressing created by mixing earthy toasted sesame oil with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Spice things up with some red chili flakes and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Easy and delicious!
Zucchini Spirals = Zoodles
What a fun word! Zoodles are quick and easy to make if you have a spiralizer. Read our instructions and tips for using a spiralizer here.
Don’t have a spiralizer? No problem! You can still make these Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles. The easiest way is to purchase pre-made zucchini spirals, which are available at most local supermarkets. If you prefer, you could also make your own using a vegetable peeler.
To make your own zoodles with a vegetable peeler, first wash and dry the zucchini. To create wide noodles that resemble pappardelle, simply peel the zucchini lengthwise. Then, continue to create zoodles by peeling off 1- to 1-1/2-inch sections of the zucchini, rotating it as you move along. Repeat until you reach the soft core of the zucchini.
Simple Ingredients, Endless Possibilities
If you’re allergic to shrimp or shellfish, you can make substitutions. Use extra-firm tofu that’s been pressed and marinated in soy sauce or ponzu instead of shrimp. You can also use pre-cooked, boneless skinless chicken breast, like this Slow Cooker Everything Chicken.
Create additional texture and flavor by adding any or all of the following veggies:
- Thinly sliced sugar snap or snow peas
- Sliced spring onions
- Shaved carrots
- Bamboo shoots
- Fresh cilantro
- Minced ginger
Whether you stick to the original recipe, use some of the suggested variations, or add your own signature ingredients to this Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles recipe, you’re sure to end up with culinary magic!
Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles
For the shrimp:
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound extra large wild shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
For the veggie spiral salad
- 4 cups zucchini spirals 4-5 medium zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups seedless cucumber halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced into half-moons
For the dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cook the shrimp:
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil, and toss in cleaned shrimp
- Pour in soy sauce and saute for 5-6 minutes, until shrimp is opaque and firm, but not overcooked.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Prepare the salad dressing:
- In a small mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and red chili flakes.
- Set aside.
Assemble the salad:
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the zucchini spirals with the cucumber.
- Add shrimp and toss.
- Pour in salad dressing and sesame seeds. Toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later.
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