One of my favorite things about cooking spiralized veggie pasta (most notably, zucchini noodles) is that it’s quick. It takes 10-30 seconds to spiralize the vegetable and then it goes straight into a pan to cook. No waiting for water to boil, no preheating of ovens, no mushy noodles, no microwave. Just spiralize and cook!
Therefore, I don’t recommend y’all to do anything to “prep” the zucchini noodles, aside from perhaps a light pat-down to reduce the moisture that becomes present when the inside skin of the vegetable is exposed after spiralizing (especially with cucumbers – that’s a must!) After reading this article in the NY Times about a farmer’s experience with zucchini noodles, I decided to try his method of squeezing out excess water, using a cheesecloth. I thought, “perhaps this will be a great method for avoiding a runny pasta sauce.” Was I right? Let’s go through the process and then at the end, I’ll give you my Inspiralized opinion.
Removing Excess Moisture from Zucchini Noodles Using Cheesecloth
Step 1: Buy cheesecloth. I purchased one for $3.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond. You can find it here.
Step 2: Unravel the cheesecloth and lay it flat on a surface. Add in your zucchini noodles to the middle.
Step 3: Wrap up the zucchini noodles and twist tightly into a ball.
Step 4: Gripping firmly, squeeze the ball of zucchini noodles over a large bowl to catch the water that seeps out.
Step 5: Discard excess water and unravel the cheesecloth. Zucchini noodles are ready to use, just pat down lightly first to remove even more excess water.
There you have it. That’s how you can remove some of the water content from the zucchini noodles before cooking them. What do I think? Skip it. Zucchini noodles are firm because they are filled with water. Once you take out some of that water content, the noodles become a bit mushy. Also, the water is still seeping out once you’re finished and the noodles feel gooey and wet. Even after a light pat down, I found the noodles to be wilted and still very moist.
If you’re going to eat them raw or apply a sauce without cooking the noodles first (ie an avocado-based sauce), then this method would work. However, I love the crunchiness of the “zoodle” when eating it raw, it gives it more heartiness and texture! If you don’t like that crunch, use the cheesecloth first. It clearly does reduce excess moisture!
I hope this tutorial was helpful. Do you have any other questions about zucchini noodles or any other type of spiralizing you’d like to see me tackle?