Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Secret Ingredient - Shirataki Noodles

Did you know there is a noodle with zero calories? Shirataki noodles are made from the root of a yam (the konjac) and are almost all fiber. They are thin, white, chewy, and take on the flavor of a sauce or broth. I had used this Japanese ingredient in block form before, konnyaku, but had not tried the noodles until our recent low-calorie diet kick.

Shirataki Noodles

When you open the package, the liquid has a bit of a fishy smell. Rinse and drain the noodles several times before cooking, and after boiling the smell is gone. You can also use them in a stir-fry, but so far I have only tried them in soups. The texture is chewy, like the rice noodles you find in Pad Thai or Pho. There are also "Tofu Shirataki" variaties that mix in a little tofu to mimic the color and texture of egg and wheat pastas.

One word of warning ~ since these noodles are so high in fiber, eating too much at once can give you an upset stomach if you are not used to it. I tend to eat way less fiber than I should (like half of the recommended amount), but I used a 7oz. pack of noodles in a 4 serving recipe with no problems. When I ate half a pack my tummy got a little grumpy though! I should probably start eating these more often!

You can find Shirataki noodles at the Asian market (and some grocery stores) in the refrigerated section. At my store they are near the produce section, alongside the tofu, and only $1.50. Friday I will share a yummy soup that I made with these, so go grab a pack!

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