I have mentioned the wonders of shiratake noodles in a previous post, but there are steps that need to be taken in order to enjoy them. The first time I tried them it went horribly. Seriously, they were awful. That may sound negative, but I am just giving you the cold truth. DON’T BE AFRAID THOUGH! When they are prepared properly, they are extremely useful. I keep a few packages in the fridge for days when I am short on calories.
With some preparation these noodles are a low-calorie, super filling addition to your meals. Here is the quick background on shiratake noodles.
Shirataki (白滝?, often written with the hiragana しらたき) are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam (devil’s tongue yam or elephant yam). The word “shirataki” means “white waterfall”, describing the appearance of these noodles. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they are very low in carbohydrates and calories, and have little flavor of their own.— from Wikipedia
I found them at Safeway, but I have struggled to locate shiratake noodles at King Soopers. I would suggest searching near the egg roll wrappers, tofu, and/or asian cuisine. These were $2.99 at Safeway.
Once you have found your prize, it is time to get cookin! When you open the package you WILL be hit with an awful smell. Don’t back down; just make sure you rinse the noodles.
Thoroughly rinse the noodles under warm water.
The smell should begin to subside as you rinse the noodles out. You can boil them for 2 minutes after rinsing, but I have started skipping that step. It didn’t make a difference in the flavor or texture to me, but you may want to give it a try if you are more squeamish.
Pan fry for 10-15 minutes.
This is important. The noodles are better when they get a little crisp on them. I let mine sauté for at least 10 minutes in 2TBS of vegetable or olive oil— but even then the texture will persist. I also recommend cutting the noodles into smaller pieces. They are very long and can get rather unruly, plus you will get too big of a mouthful [small bites mixed with your other ingredients recommended] otherwise.
Add some sauce and enjoy your low calorie meal!
I recommend using a tangy and light sauce for the noodles. The texture would not mix with a heavy sauce very well (I don’t think). I tried pasta sauce once, and ended up throwing my meal out. Since then, I opt for a spicy soy-sauce variety. For this particular meal I mixed PB2, reduced sodium soy sauce, two squirts of miso soup starter, and garlic chile paste. Blend the ingredients with water to make it as thick or thin as you desire.
A few more notes:
These noodles are not delicious. That is the honest truth; however, they are 30 calories and add bulk to your meal. They don’t have much of a flavor, so they can be added to stir fry or soup easily. Because the gelatin components expand as you digest, if you eat too many or have never had them before you may experience some bloating, gas, and tummy grumbles (so don’t eat them the day of a big event or hot date).
Enjoy (or at least enjoy saving on the calories) and let me know creative ways that you use shirataki noodles in your diet!