Summer is the season for fresh vegetables and fruits, and for cooking and eating light. Therefore, I cooked these Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles or zoodles, as it is popularly known these days. This was such a scrumptious dish.
We try more and more to cook and serve fish, seafoods and vegetables regularly at home, for obvious health reasons. And, because I noticed I feel so much better after this kind of meal. I’m not a nutrition expert but I know zucchini has a rich nutritional profile and offers excellent health benefits. This type of summer vegetable looks like a cucumber. It is about the same size as a cucumber and some varieties have the same dark green outer skin. Inside, the flesh is light green and firm with seeds at the center. Zucchini grows in America but has origins that trace back to Italy. Though considered a type of squash that is grown in an American climate, my late father who was a farmer was able to successfully grow this vegetable in our warm, tropical backyard in the Philippines. I remember this well because when I was in elementary, I came home from school and my mother was getting ready to cook zucchini from the garden. It was a new word to me. I looked it up right away in the dictionary. My mom made a simple sauté with dad’s homegrown zucchini and served it as a side.
Today, in my American kitchen, I’ve found different uses for zucchini : in soups and salads, for main dishes as a stir fry, for sides and even as a dessert in a chocolate zucchini bread. Yes, you read it right – mixed with chocolate, zucchini blends in well with the rest of the ingredients and results in a moist, luscious cake loaf. But I digress. Back to this Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles. These noodles were sliced using a spiralizer. If you don’t own a spiralizer, you can use a mandolin. If you don’t have any of these kitchen gadgets, don’t worry. Look around in your vegetable aisle at the supermarket. Many of the organic sections nowadays sell pre-cut or pre-sliced vegetables. You just might find zucchini noodles. If you do, be sure to cook them the day it is purchased. Pre-cut vegetables do not have a long shelf life.
I mixed into the sautéed shrimp the long, languid zucchini noodles. The vegetable noodles tasted sweet and felt tender and silky. It was a good backdrop to the salty, succulent shrimps flavored in garlic, onions, butter and citrusy calamansi, the Filipino lime. If calamansi is not available, use lemon juice instead. The beauty of this dish is that it cooks fast and easy. Dinner will be done in no time. And so, you’ll have more time for the fun summer stuff with your family and friends.
Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles
- Large Skillet: 12 inches in diameter
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter unsalted
- 6 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole white or yellow onion sliced
- 1 pound fresh large shrimps washed, peeled, heads and tails removed
- 1/4 cup calamansi juice (or lemon)
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 10 ounces zucchini noodles about 1 1/2 cups, from 2 medium-sized zucchinis
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and butter. When oil and butter are hot enough, saute the garlic and onions.
- When garlic is fragrant and onions are translucent after about 1 to 2 minutes, add the fresh shrimps.
- Pour the calamansi juice and the broth. Mix well. Cover and let the shrimps cook for 8 to 10 minutes till they turn pink.
- Add the zucchini noodles. Incorporate the shrimps and broth well. Continue cooking for two minutes more.
- When done, arrange on a pasta platter. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese just before serving or at the table side. Serve warm.
- Noodle-shaped zucchini can be made using a spiralizer. If you don't have this kitchen gadget, try to find zucchini noodles or zoodles in the organic vegetable section of large supermarkets. If you do find some, cook the zoodles the day they are purchased for best results.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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