Kid-friendly Zucchini Zing Slaw Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Zucchini Zing Slaw

Recipe: Zucchini Zing Slaw

Zucchini Zing Slaw

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Ailisa/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Zucchini Zing Slaw

Zucchini Zing Slaw features grated zucchini, grated carrot, and julienned bell pepper tossed in an earthy miso dressing, adding color and crunch to your table!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Grater
  • Medium bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Small bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon


Zucchini Zing Slaw

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 T white miso paste **(for GLUTEN/SESAME/SOY ALLERGY sub coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt)**
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Food Allergen Substitutions

Zucchini Zing Slaw

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt for white miso paste.
  • Soy: Substitute coconut milk-based yogurt or other dairy-free/nut free yogurt for white miso paste.


Zucchini Zing Slaw

grate + slice

Start off by grating 1 zucchini and 1 carrot into a medium bowl. Cover with a paper towel and then squeeze gently to remove a bit of the liquid in the bowl. Then, slice 1 bell pepper into long sticks (julienne) and add that to the bowl as well.

measure + whisk

Next, measure 1 tablespoon white miso paste, 1/2 lemon, juiced, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper into a separate bowl. Whisk the ingredients until smooth.

toss + serve

Toss the zucchini mixture with the miso dressing until all the veggies are well coated. Serve immediately or chill overnight. The slaw goes well with Wacky Wok Miso Noodles (see recipe).

Surprise Ingredient: Zucchini!

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Photo by BearFotos/

Hi! I'm Zucchini!

“I'm very fond of summer, aren't you? After all, I'm a summer squash! I have beautiful, tender green skin, so don't peel it off before cooking, or you'll lose some of my fiber and nutrients. I may be a small gourd, but you wouldn't like my taste as much if I got too big. You can do all sorts of things with me to fit your recipes: slicing, dicing, grating, and even making spaghetti-like noodles out of me using a vegetable peeler or a fancy device called a spiralizer!"


  • Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) is a summer squash of the same family that includes cucumbers and melons. Summer squash is a squash that is picked when immature, while its peel is still tender. 
  • Like many other veggies we've seen, zucchini is technically a fruit, not a vegetable! 
  • Central and South American people have been eating zucchini for several thousand years. However, the zucchini we know today is an Italian variety of summer squash developed from those of native Central and South America. 
  • Christopher Columbus brought squash seeds to the Mediterranean region and Africa. 
  • The Native American word for zucchini is "skutasquash," which means "green thing eaten raw." 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Zucchini grow on vines just like cucumbers do.  
  • Zucchini plants produce male and female flowers on the same plant, with the female flowers directly attached to the fruit and the male flowers attached to a long stem on the plant. Therefore, insects must pollinate the plants for the fruit to grow. 
  • Zucchini can rapidly grow to several feet long, but the smaller ones taste sweeter. 
  • The record for the longest zucchini is 8 feet 3.3 inches. The heaviest zucchini was 64 pounds 8 ounces!
  • It's "zucchini" in the US, Canada, and a few other countries. The word is a plural of the Italian "zucchino" (masculine form—the feminine form, "zucchina" is preferred), which is a diminutive (smaller version) of "zucca" or "gourd." 
  • In France, they say "courgette" (koor-ZHET), which the British also use. It's a diminutive of the French "courge," which also means "gourd."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Harvesting zucchini when they're between 6 to 8 inches long and 3 to 4 inches in diameter ensures they will be more tender and sweet.
  • A "bumper crop" of zucchini is an overload of zucchini that grows faster than a home gardener can cook and eat it! 
  • When buying zucchini, choose firm and heavy ones for their size. In addition, fresh zucchini should have bright, glossy skin free of bruises or nicks. Zucchini stay fresh for up to a week when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. 
  • Zucchini is very versatile, and you can use them in both savory and sweet dishes, like ratatouille and zucchini bread.
  • Fresh zucchini blossoms can be cooked and eaten raw. You can remove the pistils from the female flower blossoms and the stamens from male flower blossoms, but you don't have to. Both have flavor and are edible.


  • Potassium: helps reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow to and from our hearts. 
  • Manganese: helps wounds heal and bones grow.
  • Antioxidants: help keep us healthy and healing faster when we're sick.
  • Fiber: helps us digest our food and absorb nutrients from our food.


Let's Learn About Japan!

Photo by yamasan0708/
  • Japan is an East Asian island country with more than 6,800 islands! However, there are five main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu (called "Hondo" or "mainland"), Kyushu, Okinawa, and Shikoku. 
  • The country is governed by a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with an emperor, a prime minister, and a legislature. 
  • Japanese is the official language, with English becoming more widespread in business and education. 
  • Japan lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," contributing to its island geography. There are more than 111 active volcanoes, and Japan has the most earthquakes every year. Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain and volcano in Japan at 12,389.2 feet. 
  • Tokyo is Japan's capital and largest city. Japan's total area is 145,937 square miles, and its population is over 125.5 million. 
  • The Japanese word for Japan is "Nihon" or "Nippon." The Japanese or "kanji" characters used for its name mean "origin of the sun." This is the source of Japan's nickname, "Land of the Rising Sun." The red circle in the center of the Japanese flag represents the rising sun, or "circle of the sun." 
  • "Kanji" is a Japanese writing system that uses characters derived from Chinese writing. Each character represents a word or words. 
  • Ancient warriors of Japan were known as Samurai and were highly skilled swordsmen and fighters. 
  • Japan's national flower is the cherry blossom. The symbolism of the cherry blossom is abundant in Japan. The cherry blossom tree is also known as the Japanese cherry or "Sakura" (which means "cherry blossoms").
  • Haiku poetry originated in Japan. Haiku consists of just three lines, with the first line being 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the 3rd line 5 syllables. 
  • Shigeichi Negishi, a Japanese engineer, created the first karaoke-like machine in 1967, using 8-track tapes and booklets for the lyrics. However, he was not successful in distributing his "Sparko Box" machines. 
  • Then, in the early 1970s, a Japanese musician, Daisuke Inoue, marketed tape machines, taped music, and amplifiers to bars to accompany regular people who wanted to get up on stage and sing, and his karaoke business model took off. 
  • Japan produces the most robotics globally. The ASIMO is a human-like robot created by Japanese engineers of Honda Motor Company in 2000. The acronym stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.
  • Sumo wrestling is Japan's national sport, and like sumo, other martial arts originated in Japan, including karate, judo, kendo, jujutsu, and aikido. Western sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer are also popular.
  • Since the 8th century, Coming of Age Day has been a holiday to celebrate a young person reaching the age of maturity—20 years old in Japan. Their special day serves to encourage them as they realize their adulthood. 
  • The Japanese tea ceremony is considered a traditional art in Japan, and some practice it as a hobby to share with family and friends. Tea was brought to Japan from China in the 9th century by a Buddhist monk. It is said that the ritual of drinking green tea began as a way for the monks to keep awake during meditation.
  • Japan has about four million vending machines, the highest per capita worldwide. The machines sell everything from hotdogs to underwear and soup to umbrellas!
  • In addition to sushi, other Japanese dishes include "soba" (thin buckwheat noodles), "teriyaki" (broiled or grilled seafood or meat with a soy sauce glaze), "tempura" (battered and deep-fried seafood, meat, and veggies), and yakitori (skewered grilled chicken). 
  • Many kids and adults enjoy bento boxes, which are lunch boxes filled with sushi and other snacks. Bento boxes are an experience with texture, shapes, and flavors!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Japan?

  • Most school children in Japan wear uniforms, and their school breaks are shorter than in other countries. 
  • Kids have to learn 1,026 basic kanji characters by the time they finish sixth grade.
  • Parents and schools teach kids to respect their elders, teachers, and each other.
  • Primary school kids eat lunch together in their classrooms. A few students are assigned to get the lunches, serve them to their classmates, and return the dirty dishes to the school kitchen. Every student prepares themselves for lunch by cleaning their desks and washing their hands. In some schools they even put on a lunch uniform—a white garment and hat—to protect their clothes.
  • Some of the sports and martial arts kids participate in are baseball, soccer, swimming, judo, kendo, and karate.
  • School lunch may consist of rice or noodles, soup, fish or meat, fruit, salad, a cup of tea, and always a bottle or carton of milk.  
  • Two popular sweet treats kids in Japan like are "mochi," a molded cake made of rice, sugar, cornstarch, and water, sometimes with a sweet red bean filling, and "Pocky," a brand of chocolate-coated biscuit sticks.

Lettuce Joke Around

What kind of vegetable likes to look at animals? 

A zoo-chini!

THYME for a Laugh

What did one bowl of soup say to another bowl of soup? 

"You make miso happy!"

Lettuce Joke Around

What does a vegetable wear to the beach? 

A zoo-kini!

THYME for a Laugh

What's Jar Jar Binks' favorite soup? 

Miso soup!

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