Make this quick and easy Chinese Zucchini Stir Fry in under 15 minutes. It is a great healthy side dish that goes well with any meal (vegan, keto, and can be easily made gluten-free).
Try my No Breading Air Fryer Zucchini, Oven Roasted Zucchini, and Zucchini Bread if you like this vegetable.
About Chinese Zucchini Stir Fry
Chinese Zucchini Stir Fry is a healthy and delicious side dish that combines in under 15 minutes using pantry staples.
This dish is vegan, keto, and can be easily made gluten-free.
Serve it on the side with a Chinese-style meal or use it as a filling for wraps or sandwiches.
This zucchini stir-fry recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Stir fry in batches; otherwise, the zucchini will steam instead of frying.
This dish can be served to people on a keto diet.
Health Benefits Of Zucchini
Zucchini is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent food for people with diabetes or weight loss, or weight management. The fiber helps promote healthy digestion and prevents constipation.
It is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help protect the body against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals and help reduce inflammation. They are also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and promoting healthy skin.
It is also a good source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and maintain healthy heart function.
Zucchini – Get fresh, firm zucchini. Do not peel the zucchini; peel helps to hold it once it gets cooked.
I have used green zucchini, but you can also use yellow zucchini (yellow squash).
Dry Red Chilies add the right amount of spiciness to zucchini stir fry. Add some red pepper flakes if you want the zucchini stir fry to be extra spicy.
You can increase or decrease red chilies as per your taste and preference.
Sesame Oil – For the best and most authentic flavor, use sesame oil. Otherwise, use any cooking oil.
Sauces – I have used dark soy sauce and hot sauce in this recipe. Use low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your salt intake.
You can also add oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce, or shaoxing wine to the recipe.
Others– You will also need onions, garlic, salt, ground black pepper, and toasted sesame seeds.
Add a little dark brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup to balance the taste.
If you want to make a saucy stir fry, add 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in ¼ cup water at the end of the cooking and cook until the sauce thickens (2-3 minutes).
This Asian-inspired dish can be made vegan as I did, or you can add meat protein of your choice like chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp.
You can also add tofu cubes to the recipe.
How To Make Chinese Zucchini Stir Fry
Start by preparing the zucchini. Wash 2 zucchini and wipe them with a kitchen towel. Cut them into half and then into ¼-inch thick moon shapes. You can also cut the zucchini into cubes. Make sure to cut it into even size pieces for even cooking. Do not peel the zucchini.
Now keep all the other ingredients near the cooking area. Zucchini stir fry cooks very fast. You have to be swift once you add the ingredients to the pan. You don’t want to overcook the zucchini as it gets mushy in no time.
Make The Stir Fry
Heat 2 tablespoon sesame oil in a large wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon minced garlic and 2-3 whole dry red chilies (broken into 2-3 pieces) and fry for 5 seconds.
Add ½ cup of thinly sliced onions and fry for 10-15 seconds.
Add the sliced zucchini and cook for 4-5 minutes on high heat, stirring frequently.
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
and cook for another minute.
Note – If you want it saucy, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water at this stage and cook until the sauce thickens (2-3 minutes).
Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
Garnish the zucchini stir fry with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds or chopped green onions and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
I do not peel zucchini when I make recipes using it.
It is good not to peel it, as the peel helps hold the zucchini together so it doesn’t become mushy while cooking.
In addition, the peel also holds a lot of nutrition, so keep it on!
Yes, you can make the same stir fry by adding other vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant, broccoli, pumpkin, carrot, sugar snap peas, and tofu. You can cut the zucchini into noodles and stir fry in the sauce.
Shrimp, beef, pork, and chicken can be added with zucchini to make a non-veg version.
Cut the meat into thin slices against the grain to ensure it is tender. Freezing the meat helps to cut it into thin, even slices easily.
Soak the sliced meat in soy sauce and vinegar for 15 minutes before sauteing.
If adding shrimp to this stir fry, do not overcook it; otherwise, they will turn chewy.
Another trick to tender the meat is to coat the slices with baking soda and keep them aside for 10 minutes. Now wash well to remove the soda, pat dry using a kitchen towel, and use in the stir fry.
Cook the meat until cooked through before adding the zucchini to the pan.
Sesame oil gives a very authentic Asian taste to this zucchini stir fry, but if it is unavailable, do not worry; you can even use vegetable or olive oil instead.
Pro Tips By Neha
Stir fry means adding ingredients one after another and cooking on high heat. So prepare all the ingredients beforehand and keep them near the cooking area.
Choose firm zucchini, and avoid the soft ones.
Zucchini should be appropriately cut, neither too thick nor too thin, and the pieces should be even in size.
Do not overcook the zucchini, its needs to have that slight crunch.
Do not peel the zucchini; the skin is essential to hold the zucchini while cooking.
Red chilies add smokiness and heat to the stir fry. You can adjust the amount as per your taste.
Soy sauce already has a lot of salt. So keep a check on any extra salt that you add.
Replace soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free version.
This vegan and gluten-free stir-fried zucchini can be served over rice or quinoa for a simple meal. It also pairs well with Asian Cauliflower Rice.
You can also serve it with spicy noodles such as Chilli Garlic Noodles, Schezwan Noodles, or Peanut Sesame Noodles.
I like to serve it as a side dish with my Asian meals.
Fill it in your wraps or sandwiches.
This stir fry will last 2 -3 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
Reheat the stir-fried zucchini in a pan or microwave. If you feel it has become dry, sprinkle water on top while reheating.
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Quick And Easy Chinese Zucchini Stir Fry Recipe
- 2 whole zucchini
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2-3 whole dry red chilies (broken into pieces)
- ½ cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
- Start by preparing the zucchini. Wash the zucchini and wipe them with a kitchen towel. Cut them into half and then into ¼-inch thick moon shapes. You can also cut the zucchini into cubes. Make sure to cut it into even size pieces for even cooking. Do not peel the zucchini.
- Now keep all the other ingredients near the cooking area. Zucchini stir fry cooks very fast. You have to be swift once you add the ingredients to the pan. You don’t want to overcook the zucchini as it gets mushy in no time.
Make The Stir Fry
- Heat oil in a large wok over high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add garlic and dry red chilies and fry for 5 seconds.
- Add onions and fry for 10-15 seconds.
- Add the sliced zucchini and cook for 4-5 minutes on high heat, stirring frequently.
- Now add soy sauce, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper, and cook for another minute.
- Note – If you want it saucy, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water at this stage and cook until the sauce thickens (2-3 minutes).
- Check for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
- Garnish the zucchini stir fry with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know!