Sesame-soy sauce spaghetti squash
October 16, 2010 § 3 Comments
Usually when I cook spaghetti squash, I take it in an Italian-ish direction, with Parmigiano cheese and basil and sometimes even bacon (the Midwestern version of pancetta), as this squash is often treated like pasta. But, this time I decided to take spaghetti squash in a completely different direction, but still being inspired of the spaghetti squash’s namesake by thinking of Asian flavors and, more specifically, Chinese noodles. I like the contrast of the spaghetti squash’s nutty taste and the bright, energetic flavors of sesame oil and soy sauce, but taken up a notch with fresh ginger, scallions, peanuts, and garlic.
I opted for crushed peanuts as garnish, but you could top it with sesame seeds, roasted squash seeds, or cashews. Of course, this is great on its own, but adding in shrimp or pan-fried tofu would also be tasty, and turn this into a heartier dish.
First, you will need a spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and get ready to slice this thing open.
Cut it in half lengthwise (I recommend a sharp knife and lots of care), and remove the seeds. You can reserve these and make roasted squash seeds later on.
Coat the insides of the squash with some vegetable oil.
Then flip over and bake for 35 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, mix together three tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, three tablespoons of brown sugar,
1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce, one teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce (add more if you like it spicier), and three tablespoons sesame oil.
Then, grate in about three tablespoons of garlic (I used one clove because it was giant),
and a piece of ginger that’s approximately the size of your thumb (about two to three tablespoons).
Stir it around and set aside.
Then, slice up four scallions and chop up about one half cup of peanuts.
It’s only now that I realize I could’ve just stuck the peanuts in a bag and smushed them that way. Anyways, I used kettle-roasted peanuts, since apparently there are different kinds of ways of preparing peanuts.
When the squash is cooked, let it cool for about five minutes before handling.
Then, using a spoon or your (clean) hands, begin pulling at the squash flesh. Generally it’s easiest to pull across the squash (from long side to long side), rather than parallel to the long sides.
If your squash is looking a bit watery, press on it after placing in a colander. Otherwise, just plate it up, drizzle with the dressing, and top with the scallions and chopped peanuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can serve it hot now, or if you plan on serving it at room temperature, as a sort of salad, refrigerate the dressing, peanuts, scallions, and squash separately and combine right before serving.
Sesame-soy sauce spaghetti squash
- One spaghetti squash
- One tablespoon vegetable oil
- Three tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- Three tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- Three tablespoons sesame oil
- One teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
- Two to three cloves of garlic (for approximately three tablespoons of grated garlic)
- One thumb-size piece of ginger (for approximately two to three tablespoons of grated ginger)
- Four scallions, dark green portions discarded
- 1/2 cup kettle-roasted peanuts, crushed or chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the squash open lengthwise into two halves. Remove seeds and reserve for roasting, or discard. Rub the interior of the squash halves with the vegetable oil. Place on a baking sheet upside down and then roast for 35 minutes, or until squash is cooked through but not browned.
2. Meanwhile, make dressing by combining the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili-garlic sauce. Using a fine grater, grate in the garlic and ginger. Stir and set aside.
3. Slice the scallions into thin rounds and crush the peanuts into pieces. Set aside.
4. Once the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and let cool five minutes before handling. Then, using a spoon or your hands, pull at the squash flesh to separate it from the skin. Pull across the squash from long side to long side. If the squash strands are particularly watery, place in a colander and press gently to remove excess water.
5. Serve squash by drizzling over the dressing and adding the scallions and peanuts.
Note: If serving at room temperature, store the dressing separate from the peanuts, scallions, and squash, and assemble just before serving, or the squash will turn the color of soy sauce (the flavor won’t be affected, but you will lose the beautiful golden hue of the spaghetti squash).
Gluten-free note: The brand of soy sauce I use, Kikkoman’s, is not gluten-free, so if you wish to make this truly gluten-free please be sure to read your brand of soy sauce’s label.