Are you a fan of zoodles but aren’t sure about how to prepare them? Don’t worry, because you’re not the only one. This innovative low-carb dish offers a fun way to present zucchini to anyone and can be cooked in many ways. But some end up overcooking or undercooking the veggies, resulting in an unpleasant experience for everyone. If you’re one of such people, then put your mind at ease because you’ll find a handy zoodle recipe time guide here.
Making the Zoodles
Zoodles, or zucchini noodles, are truly zucchinis cut into stringy, spaghetti-like strands. And the best recipes start with healthy, firm, and fresh zucchini; otherwise, the noodles would break or easily turn soggy during cooking. You’ll also want the straight zucchinis, so they can fit properly on the spiralizer. Once you’ve selected the zucchini, follow these steps for turning them into zoodles;
- Wash and dry the zucchini, then slice the ends off to trim it; if the zucchini is large, cut it into two halves.
- Fix a 1/8-inch-spaced blade onto the spiralizer.
- Fix the first end of the zucchini in the middle of the spiralizer’s spiky paddle and the other in the middle of the coring circle.
- Rotate the handle to operate the spiralizer, applying gentle pressures as the zucchini turns to zoodles.
Sometimes, you may notice the strands coming out as half-moons instead of spaghetti strings. If so, reposition the zucchini on your spiralizer.
It’s okay to chop the zucchini strands when they reach the desired length because if the strings are too lengthy, you may not enjoy eating them.
Zoodles are succulent, meaning the tissues carry a lot of water. And the whole point of turning zucchini into strands is to enjoy the texture, so it helps to first drain the moisture from the zoodles before cooking. Put the zoodles in a colander and sprinkle some salt over it. Then, toss and let it sit for 30 minutes so the salt forces the water out. At the end of waiting, gently squeeze any remaining moisture out of the zoodles with paper towels.
Cooking Time for Zoodles
Zoodles are quite easy to prepare and can be done in various ways. But the key to properly cooking zoodles is being mindful of the time; otherwise, you’ll wind up with watery noodles. That said, let’s explore the duration of zoodles in different cooking methods;
Place a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Heat the oil, then add the zoodles and cook for two to three minutes. You want the zoodles slightly soft by the end, so don’t extend this cooking time. Zoodles can also be stir-fried in a sauce, but only after the sauce is cooked. Then, stir the zoodles into the warm sauce and take it out to serve separately. Leaving zoodles can water down the sauce.
You can also blanch zoodles in hot water, but only if you’re adding them to the soup. Place a pot of water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Then, dunk the zoodles in the boiling water for one minute, take them out, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Afterward, transfer it into your desired soup.
Prep the oven to 350F, place the zoodles on a large baking sheet, and toss with salt. Then bake for 15 minutes for al dente, or longer if you prefer them soft. Once done, pat the zoodles dry with paper towels and serve.
Zoodles are best prepared using high heat, which is why the pan-frying and oven methods are considered best. Plus, they produce better results than work within the allotted time.
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Zoodles Cooking Tips
- It’s important to cook zoodles as dry as possible and dry them with towels after spiralizing.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan or skillet if you’re cooking zoodles on the stovetop.
- Only salt zoodles during the draining stage, but never as you cook, or it’ll release moisture into the pan and simmer the noodles instead.
- Always cook zoodles on medium-high heat so they’ll be done faster and release less moisture.
- Transfer the zoodles from the pan immediately after they’re ready so they don’t continue cooking.
- Toss the zoodles in spices before, during, or after cooking with any combination of powdered spices you desire.
- Put the zoodles in a colander and add a sprinkle of sea salt, then toss gently and let it sit to drain for 30 minutes. Afterward, gently squeeze the zoodles dry with paper towels to remove most of the remaining moisture, and set it aside.
- Place a large skillet over a medium-high stove and heat the butter in it. Then, add the zoodles and stir-fry for three to four minutes or until your desired texture is reached.
- Season the zoodles with black pepper and sea salt, then toss and serve.
Also, watch this video for more help.