chicken kung pao zoodles

This recipe makes enough for two people with leftovers. It’s got a tangy bite to it but I would ramp up the flavor with some Sriracha (pronounced SEE-rah-chah in Thai).
2 medium unpeeled zucchini, about 8 oz each, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon rice bran oil (substitute: canola or grapeseed oil)
6 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons crushed dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions along diagonal
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce (Substitute: reduced salt soy sauce or tamari)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2-1 tablespoon red chili paste with garlic (Substitute: Sambal Oelek) more or less to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional;  if a thickened sauce is desired)
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (optional) or to taste

Shred the zucchini. The yield will be about 6-8 cups.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch, if using; set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add sesame oil, garlic and ginger to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper, stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles and cook, mixing for about one minute until just tender and mixed with the sauce. The zucchini will spring water which helps create a sauce. Once cooked, mix in chicken and divide between 2 bowls (about 2 cups each) and top with 1 tablespoon each peanuts and scallions.


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