I find that the trick with zucchini is not to overcook it. Since zucchini is naturally pretty watery, it turns into a mush if you cook it down too much. This is especially true for zucchini noodles. Also note that zucchini doesn’t need too much heat; all you want to do is soften it a bit.
2 tbsp neutral oil, divided
1/2 lb large shrimp, deveined (and peeled, if desired)
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced lengthwise, fronds saved
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 lemon, seeds removed, very thinly sliced, divided
2 small zucchinis, spiralized using the smallest blade
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until slightly charred, pink, and cooked through. Season generously with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and set aside.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the fennel slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and soft, 10-12 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and half of the lemon slices. Cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the zucchini noodles, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until tender and cooked through, 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness of “zoodles.”
5. Add the shrimp back into the pan and toss to combine.
6. In a small bowl, toss the cilantro, fennel fronds, and remaining lemon slices with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve on top of the shrimp and zucchini noodles.