Are you crazy about spaghetti, pasta, and noodles? Do you have a love/hate relationship because they make you feel weighed down? Or maybe you just wish you could find an alternative that is gluten-free, low carb, and quick? While something like ramen noodles prepare fast, they are usually very unhealthy. They're super high in sodium, fat, and calories.
Well, have you heard about Shirataki/Yam/Konnyaku noodles? These are clear japanese noodles made from yams, and are also known as "white waterfall noodles". They are pretty much tasteless, but the great thing is that they take on whatever flavor you season them with! You can use them in any way you would use othe rpasta noodles. In tomato sauce, in a curry sauce, in a ramen noodle soup, in a stir fry, the possibilities are endless!
Since they are also made up of about 97% water, they usually only contain around 20 calories per serving, or 40 calories per pouch. Despite them being mostly water, I find shirataki noodles to be quite filling. I enjoy adding a halthy serving of vegetables, with the last quarter of my meal made up of the noodles, since it they aren't very nutrient dense. After all, I want to make sure I'm eating mostly high-nutrient foods.
These wonders can usually be found in a plastic pouch at your grocery store. The pouch is filled with a liquid, which you drain out before you use the noodles. They can often be found in the Asian section of supermarkets, though some are in the refrigerated section and other types often grace the shelves. Shirataki noodles are already cooked, so all you need to do is drain them and give them a good rinse.
Making the Shirataki Noodles Have a More "Pasta-Like" Consistency
If you would like your noodles to have a more pasta-like consistency, you can try dry roasting them, by playing them on a non-stick skillet for a few minutes on medium-high heat.
Different Kinds of Shirataki Noodles
You can get gluten-free yam shirataki noodles, as well as tofu-based shirataki-style pasta. Some are plain, but you can also get others that contain herbs, spices, spinach, and other flavors. You can also find fettucini-shaped shirataki noodles, angel hair, spaghetti and even rice-style shirataki.
"Do Shirataki Noodles taste exactly like regular spaghetti?"
Well, no, they do not taste exactly the same. It is more similar to spaghetti squash. If you have ever tried spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti, you'll know it is not exactly the same. The same rings true for zucchini pasta, if you use a spiralizer to make spaghetti-like noodles out of a zucchini. Some people might be put off by the change in texture, but if you are open-minded and don't mind it not tasting exactly the same, you should be perfectly content with it and so happy to have it in your life!
Tips on Preparing Shirataki Noodles
I sometimes cut the noodles in half before cooking them, since they can be quite long. I find it just makes them easier to eat if I pre-cut them. Also, I make sure to really drain and rinse out the noodles and run some water over them for a few seconds. I also make sure to have the noodles quite warm, to slightly hot before serving, since I am not a fan of them if they are cold.
And again, I recommend not having these noodles make up the majority of your meal. Make a yummy stir fry full of mostly veggies, and then add in some of the noodles, but don't eat just the noodles for dinner. You won't be getting enough vitamins and minerals that way. They are great for spaghetti/ramen cravings though! And they usually have quite a long shelf or fridge-life, so you can always keep one or two packs in the fridge for when a craving strikes.
Where Else to Buy Shirataki Noodles
I've found them on iHerb.com. If you don't see them on the isles at your grocer, check or ask someone if they carry them. If they don't, they can perhaps order some. If that fails, you can always do a google search and either find a location that does, or order online.
Here are some Shirataki Brands:
- Miracle Noodle
- Wild Wood PastaSlim
- House Foods Tofu Shirataki
And here are a few Shirataki Recipes for good measure:
- Shirataki Fettucine Alfredo
- Shirataki Pad Thai with Scrambled Tofu
- Shirataki Tofu Noodles in Sesame Peanut Sauce