Quick and easy low carb shrimp and zucchini stir fry. This recipe is inspired by traditional lo mein, but instead of regular noodles, I use healthy and light zucchini noodles instead. The dish has all of the great flavors of the original dish, but without all of the heavy carbs.
Traditional stir-fried noodles (Chinese lo mein or chow mein) are a comfort food I grew up eating, but I don’t make it too often because it can be really heavy and leave me in a food coma. This low-carb zucchini stir fry version has all the great flavors of the original dish without all the heavy carbs. I especially love eating it for lunch because it fills me just enough and I don’t feel weighed down the rest of the day.
I like how light and healthy this stir fry is and it’s still super tasty even though it’s low carb. I added shrimp and carrots to mine, but other proteins and vegetables work as well.
- I’ve been making zucchini noodles for a few months now and have really enjoyed coming up with dishes to use them in like Zucchini Noodles Carbonara and Pad Thai Zucchini Noodles.
- You can make zucchini noodles by hand with a vegetable peeler, but I really love using my vegetable spiralizer* to make zucchini noodles. It’s a handheld spiralizer that doesn’t take up a ton of room in the kitchen like other kinds do. It’s easy to use and cuts the zucchini so it really looks like noodles.
Ingredients for Shrimp Stir Fry
- Olive oil
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Sesame oil
How to Make Stir Fry with Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook it, stirring frequently, until opaque and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan.
- Add more oil to the pan and, once heated, add the zucchini and carrots. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Stirring constantly cook the vegetables in the sauce until tender.
- Add shrimp back to the pan and stir a few times until everything is mixed evenly.
Tips for Making Stir-Fry
- Stir-frying is a quick-cooking method so you definitely need to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking. You don’t want to be spiralizing your zucchini while the shrimp cook because they don’t take long and can be easily overcooked.
- I like to prep all of the ingredients and place them in bowls before I start cooking. That way, it’s easy to just add them to the pan when it’s time to cook them.
- This stir fry tastes best served not long after it’s finished cooking.
How do you know when shrimp is cooked?
One thing I love about shrimp is that they are light and cook very fast, but they can go from done to overcooked pretty quick, too.
- Depending on the size of your shrimp the cooking time will vary, but they are usually done between 4 and 8 minutes (large ones take longer).
- Raw shrimp are grey in color and translucent. When they cook, they will become opaquer which you can tell because the color will turn pink. When they reach this stage, they are done!
- Remove them from the pan and only add them back right at the end just so you can coat them in the sauce and mix them with the vegetables.
Can I substitute other vegetables in this stir-fry?
Yes, you can use other vegetables – here are some ideas:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
- Snap peas
Depending on the vegetables you use they may need more or less cooking time.
What other proteins can be used for stir-fry?
The great thing about this stir fry recipe is that you can switch up the ingredients based on what you have on hand. You can use raw meat or you can use already cooked meat. If you use leftover meat that is already cooked just add it right at the end (after cooking the veggies) so it warms through. For raw meat, check out my tips:
- Chicken – just be sure to cut it into bite-sized pieces before you cook it. It will cook faster this way.
- Beef – a quick-cooking beef like sirloin, skirt steak, or flank steak. Thinly slice it before cooking it so it cooks evenly and quickly.
- Pork – some non-traditional but delicious ideas are to use bacon or ham. Depending on which one you use, cut them into bite-sized pieces before cooking them. Or, if you have leftover pork tenderloin or even pork chops (that aren’t heavily flavored with seasonings) you can cut them into pieces and add them to the stir-fry right at the end to warm them through.
- Vegetarian – want to skip the meat? Stir-frying meaty mushrooms like portabellos or tofu along with other veggies mentioned above is a great way to make this a meatless stir-fry.
What are other ways to use zucchini noodles?
I’ve been using zucchini noodles to make all sorts of dishes that normally call for pasta or noodles. I’ve made a delicious Zucchini Pasta and Skinny Bang Bang Zucchini Noodles. I also use zucchini noodles for meal prep recipes. I love experimenting with zucchini so you should definitely check out my whole Zucchini Recipes Collection for even more ideas.
*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
Stir Fry Zucchini Noodles
- 2 medium zucchinis spiralized (see note)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb shrimp (see note)
- 1 carrot thinly sliced or spiralized (see note)
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- In a large pan or wok, add 1 tbsp olive oil and turn stove to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add in raw protein. Stir fry until protein is cooked. Remove and set aside.
- Add in remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in zucchini, carrots or any other vegetables you are using. Add in soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil, stirring constantly so that noodles cook evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. When zucchini noodles are just about cooked, add protein back in and stir a few times until everything is thoroughly mixed. Serve while warm.
- Try to choose thin zucchini as they are easier to spiralize.
- I like to use shrimp, but you can opt for other proteins like chicken.
- Instead of carrots, you can also add other vegetables like string beans, broccoli, etc.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.