Man oh man, how I hate warm, watery, bland, zucchini juice! Whenever I sauté zucchini strips, they drip all over my lap every time I raise my fork and obscure the flavors of whatever unfortunate protein I’ve chosen put on top of it. When I try cooking them longer to reduce the juice, they just collapse from lovely noodles into a pile of brown mush. The lightly sautéed noodles are such a great looking thing, fat strings all green and pale yellow, and so easy to make! Get yourself a veggie peeler and bang, zuch noodles. Zucchini is inexpensive, easy to grow yourself, and widely available. How could I make this great alternative to wheat or rice noodles more toothsome and water free, something to look forward to instead of dread?
I knew that cooking the noodles on my stove top using direct heat wasn’t the answer. How about the oven? I could cook the strips for longer, using lower, indirect heat and rendering the noodles chewy and juice free.
Since evaporating the juice would reduce thickness of each noodle, I made sure to cut each noodle fairly fat. I found I wasn’t able to produce a thick enough strip with a peeler and switched over to a knife. I lined a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lined up the noodles. For a little flavor, I sprinkled them with kosher salt, pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
I cooked them for about 45 minutes at 325 and, voila! I had delicious, water free, chewy, savory noodles! My oven is pretty wimpy so just look in on your noodles from time to time. When they start to turn brown or feel dry to the touch, yank em out. These taste great on their own or can be the perfect backdrop for any protein.