Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Be Lucky Konjac Shirataki Isn't Sucky

Konjac Shirataki noodles made for a healthy low-carb pasta dish

Last week I blogged about a product called shirataki noodles that contain ZERO net carbs, ZERO calories and are made from fiber. The response from my readers has been incredible when I inquired what people thought about this interesting pasta product.

Here's what one of my readers wrote to me:

Dear Jimmy,

I discovered your blog about a month ago and read it regularly. Thank you for your time and effort in putting out all this information on the low-carb lifestyle.

About your request for information about shirataki noodles--I first learned about them in an article in Low Carb Energy magazine. There were several low carb recipes by Karen Barnaby, an awesome low-carb cook, and my husband and I tried them all. We loved them.

The article tells you how to treat shirataki. You have to drain them, cut them into desired lengths, boil them for one minute in salted water, then add them to your dish. We loved the noodles so much that I tried them in my Italian sausage and tomato sauce dish, while my husband tried them in his American Chop Suey. We were delighted with the results.

The noodles do not soak up sauce like regular pasta, so you can use less sauce. They do soak up the flavor however. You can cook them longer if you wish. It does not seem to change them much. However, you cannot freeze them. They come out exactly like cotton twine!

We are now regulars at the local Oriental market. The noodles come in plastic packages packed in a liquid. They keep indefinitely in your refrigerator.You can buy them white (called tofu style) and natural. The natural looks kind of disgusting. It's clear with brown dots. However they taste exactly the same. I looked up Konnaku (the stuff shirataki is made of) on the Internet, and it has a host of health benefits.

Keep up the good work.

After this helpful advice from my reader, I received my own shipment of the Sunnyvale, CA-based Konjac brand of shirataki noodles in the mail on Monday and I had the angel hair variety with my favorite pasta sauce tonight.

First I drained the noodles (which did smell a little fishy) in hot water for about 2 minutes and then I poured a little extra virgin olive oil on top, sprinkled some Garlic AlsoSalt directly on the shirataki noodles, and mixed some sugar-free Hunt's spaghetti sauce in until all of the noodles were completely covered.

I let that sit in my refrigerator for a couple of hours for the noodles to soak in the flavors and then heated it up in the microwave for a couple of minutes melting mozzarella cheese on top just the way I like my pasta.

When it came time for me to take a bite, I didn't really knowing what to expect. With a little trepidation, I spun my fork round and round in what looked like a normal pasta dinner. As I moved the fork closer to my mouth I was bracing for what might not be the best-tasting food I've ever eaten.

But then it happened.

WOW! Can you believe this stuff has ZERO net carbs?! Unbelievable. I guess you can say I'm hooked now. What a creation these Konjac shirataki noodles are. While there are "other" low-carb pastas out there on the market, NONE of them can claim to not have any net carbs at all.

However, like my reader said in her e-mail, these things are VERY healthy for you, too!

The Konjac glucomannan shirataki noodles are made of a water-soluble dietary fiber, which is the only known food component to lower total blood cholesterol when you add it to your diet. How about that?!

Additionally, soluble fiber like what is found in Konjac shirataki noodles is very low on the glycemic index and actually keeps your blood sugar from rising too rapidly after a meal by keeping the food in your stomach longer, thus, keeping triglycerides and free fatty acids from becoming elevated.

Healthy benefits abound in this amazing product and I urge you to continue learning more about how eating more Konjac shirataki noodles can do for you as part of your low-carb lifestyle. Visit for more information.

As I sat there eating bite after bite of this stupendous dinner until it was all gone, I noticed something. This stuff is so filling, too! It's now been over an hour since I ate my dinner and I'm STILL full. Whoa, now that's a pretty cool thing, eh? What a satisfyingly, healthy way to get to eat pasta without the negative side effects of overconsuming on carbs!

Just to see what happens to the noodles when you boil them for a minute or two, I'm gonna try them that way next time to make them softer. I can't believe I've been missing out on this outstanding low-carb product until now. You can add this to my regular grocery shopping list now!

We all should be lucky Konjac shirataki isn't sucky! Hee hee! ENJOY!

3-7-06 UPDATE: Oh, this was absolutely hilarious. Within 2 minutes of posting this, I got the following e-mail from one of my regular readers:

I just ate some shirataki noodles and wow, they are fabulous! I first discovered them via your blog, and decided to give them a try. BTW, I love your blog. It gives me my daily dose of encouragement in a less-than-encouraging world.

My husband and I stir-fried some beef strips, peppers, the noodles, and several Asian odds-n-ends from the cupboard. I used the Konjac brand noodles, rinsed well. Since the noodles don't absorb liquid that much, I let my stir fry cook a few minutes longer than normal. It didn't seem to affect the noodles. They absorbed the flavors beautifully.

I also bought a bag of House Foods brand tofu shirataki fettucini style noodles, which I'll try later this week. I'll report back how they are:)

Have a low-carb day!

WOW, that's TWO FOR TWO on the Konjac brand of shirataki noodles! I haven't tried the House Foods brand, but would love to see if there's a difference at all. I'll report back my findings if I do. In the meantime, if anyone else has tried shirataki noodles for the first time since I blogged about them last week, feel free to share your comments here. Did you like them?

8-30-06 UPDATE: LOOKING FOR MORE ABOUT SHIRATAKI NOODLES? I have compiled ALL of my best posts on these amazing Japanese wonder noodles in this blog post to provide you with LOTS of great recipes, reviews of the various kinds of shirataki noodles, specific places where you can buy shirataki, and MUCH MUCH MORE! Check it out and THANKS for visiting my blog!


Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Jimmy, I am going to try them. I'll let you know what I think. Thanks.

3/13/2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Blahsay said...

After much research on the konjac noodles, I finally tried them tonight for the first time. I was already expecting a fishy smell (I am NOT a seafood lover)and a rubber band texture. When I opened the package, the smell wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, although I already had a colander ready and water running to rinse. I decided to try them for the first time the same way that I cook regular spaghetti noodles when I'm in a hurry and just want something quick, with a bit of butter, garlic powder and parmesan. I dropped them into boiling water that I had added chicken boullion to for about 3 mins and then drained them and added the other ingredients.
Expecting a rubbery texture, that's exactly what I got...only, it's a bit different because they do chew through. The taste was decent. I noticed that after a few bites, the texture seemed not so rubbery to me and more palatable. The taste was very similar to the regular noodles that I fix and it did fill me up. For 0 calories and 0 net carbs...I'm a believer and will be eating these frequently and trying all sorts of recipes with them other than the typical soup or stir fry.

9/14/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was standing in the grocery store line and picked up the magazine "FIRST" They had a terrific article about the Shirataki Noodles and how much weight women had lost. So after several unsucessful attempts to find them, I finally found them in the Asian market. I came home and followed directions. They did have a fishy smell but as soon as you rinse them it goes away. I added sesame oil and hot chili oil to the noodles and pan fried them with cut up vegetables. WOW - I loved them and I am now hooked on them. I have been eating them everyday as a meal or side dish and I'm finding that I am losing weight. They are so versatile you can use them for any type of dish. Good luck to everyone they are a wonderful alternative to high carb noodles.

9/21/2006 3:42 PM  
Blogger wc said...

I discovered these noodles a couple of weeks ago and have been enjoying them various ways since. I do not know if it is just me, but after I eat them, I get quite a belly ache(lots of gas,actually). Has anyone else had this experience?

10/03/2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

It's the fiber, wc. These things are LOADED with it and that's why you feel full after eating them. Try eating less so you don't get that feeling. THANKS for writing!

10/03/2006 5:54 PM  
Blogger stilllooking said...

I bought 2 bags of these at Whole Foods all gung ho for this Gluten Free Low Carb Noodle. I was stunned finding not what you described as a "fishy" smell but what I found to be a smell that was more like ammonia. WHEW!!!

After cooking... it was NO better. I was so repulsed by the stringy, snotty mouth feel of these noodles I dumped the bag I cooked, in the garbage and brought the other bag back to WF's!

All I can say is I do not care how low carb it is, or that it has the added benefit of being Gluten reminded me of Phlegm in my mouth that I cough up every winter from chronic bronchitis!
If you can swallow this mucous textured noodle and rave how delicious it was..God Bless!!!

1/07/2007 11:57 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Well, stilllooking, I'm sorry that's your experience, but you're the first person who has felt this way. If cooked right, then they are an excellent alternative to NOTHING when you are livin' la vida low-carb. But I do appreciate you sharing your comments at my blog. Come back again soon!

1/08/2007 7:24 AM  
Blogger BH67 said...

I just bought shirataki noodles and must say I LOVE THEM other than the fish market smell.. I just hope they can help me with my weight loss problem.. Can anyone tell me if they are losing weight since eating the noodles.
Trying to keep positive,


1/13/2007 10:56 PM  
Blogger Tanya said...

I also get a gas belly ache after eating them!

But neither the ache, the slight smell after opening the package, nor the slick rubbery texture have turned me away from the fact that they are no-carb, high-figer, lo-cal NOODLES!

As a carb-aholic, they are my amazing consolation.

2/21/2007 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The shirataki noodles are marvellous. It's a great alternative to people who are allergic to wheat like myself!

4/28/2007 2:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've been able to enjoy my favorite: Pho Vietnamese Noodle Soup. I simply order my pho with no noodles and add my already rinsed and boiled shirataki in (I come prepared). The Vietnamese Restaurant where I am a regular actually adds the noodles in the kitchen for me! It is delicious and I don't miss the rice noodles at all!!! Yay!

8/29/2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope by now that someone has pointed out the fact that you are confusing two entirely different noodle products. There are TOFU shiritake noodles, and KONJAC shiratake noodles--they are VERY different from one another, including taste, preparation methods, and nutritional value. The person who boiled the noodles and they came out rubbery was probably boiling the KONJAC noodles, which you don't do. they just need to be rinsed. I can't believe this was overlooked all this time.....

5/28/2008 7:42 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm well aware that Konjac doesn't have tofu in it as I very clearly stated in this and other posts I've written about shirataki. THANKS for your comments, though.

5/28/2008 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked by the people who complain about the fish smell. It takes as much effort to get rid of the smell as it does to make rahmen noodles. After two minutes in hot water there was no smell whatsoever.

I grilled some chicken while the noodles soaked in hot water. I drained the water and took the pan drippings with a 1/8 cup of water to loosen the bits and put that chicken water in a ziplock back and added the noodles. I let the noodles sit overnight in the fridge and absorb the flavor.

I chopped the chicken and put it in a good size Tupperware container. For lunch I heated the chicken and then added the noodles with some soy sauce and heated it another minute.

IT WAS AMAZING!!! I am 6'4 and 240lbs, and I ate that lunch around 1:30pm. It is almost 6 and I am still not hungry.

THE BEST NOODLES! I like them as much as any Chinese/Japanese style noodles I have tried.

Next...tomato sauce and cheese!

8/14/2008 8:53 PM  
Blogger HappyGrama said...

I just tried them and my husband and I both loved them! I have celiac disease and also have started getting high blood sugar due to all the rice and corn-based foods that I eat; these noodles are just as good as any pasta that I have EVER eaten--a life saver! Thanks for all the information on them!

3/04/2009 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Tony L (Martha's Vineyard) said...

I also just bought the noodles ( Miracle Noodles) And they are awesome - I have had them in a couple of meals and both were great. I also have found that if I add them to frozen low cal dinners (such as Healthy CHoice) they make those meals more filling and the juices and sauces in the meai are absorbed by the noodles making them taste great with no carb and no extra calories. Best of all I am full and satisfied.
I had no issue with smell, prep or texture. They are just plain good...

7/31/2009 2:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If you got a stomach ache, you are not alone! I ate some of the shirataki white noodles last night and became quite full very quickly. They were not at all bad, but not terrific. Later, I was trying to fall asleep, but kept getting these horribly uncomfortable, almost painful, feelings in my stomach. This morning I woke up and I still felt yucky! It was a killer stomach ache! Do you think it's indigestion?

4/14/2010 5:37 PM  
Blogger garry said...

I am the same had the bare naked ones from Holland & Barret. Made my stomach Gassy and could barely sleep and woke up feeling sick. It a shame cause they were really nice with veg stir fry. Will give it another go after i recover and will try and eat less.

1/08/2014 6:08 AM  

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