Healthy Ginger-Scallion Noodles
I’ve always been obsessed with Chinese stir-fried noodles. It didn’t matter what type: chow mein, chow fun, or just plain old ginger-scallion noodles. Any one would do. I loved the oiliness and the saltiness of the noodles. It was the perfect comfort food…when I was in my twenties.
When I first moved out on my own, Chinese delivery was on the menu at least 2 or 3 times a week. But the oiliness and the saltiness that I LOVED in the past made me lethargic and tired. But I couldn’t stop eating it! So I started making my own versions of my favorite noodles at home.
This week, I was in the mood for some ginger-scallion noodles. Sometimes, there is just nothing better than noodles dressed in simple and fragrant ginger-flavored sauce. I used a mix of gluten-free rice noodles and zucchini “noodles” for this dish. The zucchini noodles make it sound so much more difficult than it really is. Not only is it healthy and low-carb, it’s super easy to make. Just use a mandolin to cut them into noodle-like strips. I actually find zucchini noodles much easier (and faster!) to cook with than the real thing.
I made a huge batch to make sure I had enough for leftovers. It makes a great lunch the day after. It’s delicious chilled. So I usually mix it in a salad the day after for a hearty lunch. It’s my husband’s favorite salad. But don’t get me wrong. It’s the tastiest when it’s piping hot, right out of the pan!
Healthy Ginger-Scallion Noodles Recipe
Makes 2 servings
4 oz rice pasta, soba, or chow mein noodles*
6 oz zucchini (about 1/2 zucchini)
1 1/2 – 2 TB canola oil (any neutral oil)
1 + 1 TB tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
3 green onions/scallions, chopped white and green parts separated
chili flakes or gochugaru (Korean red chili powder) – optional
salt to taste
toasted sesame seeds – optional
- To make the sauce, stir together oil, 1 TB tamari, vinegar, ginger, white parts of the green onions, and chili flakes if using.
- Prepare noodles until they are VERY al dente. While the noodles are boiling, prepare the zucchini noodles by cutting them into long noodle-like pieces. Alternatively, use a mandolin with the appropriate insert.
- In a pan, heat the sauce from step 1 on medium heat. Allow the sauce to come to a boil. Lower the heat. Allow the sauce to simmer for a couple of minutes and the ginger to become fragrant. Add the noodles and zucchini noodles to the pan. Stir to combine. Once the noodles are heated through, add the remaining 1 TB tamari. Remove from heat immediately. Add the green parts of the scallions and stir. Salt to taste if necessary. Add some toasted sesame seeds and more scallions if desired. Serve immediately
If you don’t have a zucchini or just feel like noodles, use 8-9 oz (in TOTAL, so 4-5 oz to replace the zucchini) of whatever noodles you are using.
I used gluten-free rice pasta from Trader Joe’s for this dish. It’s inexpensive, and it does the job. If you aren’t concerned about gluten, you can used Asian egg (chow mein) noodles or soba.
If you are using rice noodles, RINSE with cold water after boiling. It will turn into a gooey mess if you don’t rinse off the excess starch.
Make sure you grate the ginger. You want the flavor of the ginger, but you don’t want to bite into chunks.
1 1/2 – 2 TB of oil gives it a nice richness, but using less will be fine if you are being strict with your oil intake. Just experiment. Just 1 TB works for me, although my husband likes it with a little more oil.
Don’t overcook the noodles and the zucchini in the pan. Remove from heat once heated through. Rice noodles will turn gooey and the zucchinis will become pulpy if overcooked.
I’m usually not a fan of raw scallions, but it’s great in this dish. I always mix in an extra handful whenever I eat this.
I used low-sodium tamari (soy sauce), and I didn’t need any added salt. Taste test first before adding any salt.