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Shirataki Noodles

  • m

As anyone used these tofu-based noodles as a substitute for pasta/egg noodles? If so - any suggestions for what they go best with? The one time I cooked them, they seemed to have an "odd" taste, that was not masked by the sauce (don't remember what it was). I have a couple of packs left in my fridge & would like to use them up.

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  1. Might want to rise with cold water first then boil it in hot water before putting in the sauce to eliminate some of the "odd" taste. The noodles are fresh soy based so it will spoil, make sure to keep it in the fridge. I like to use it in Asian soups.

    2 Replies
    1. re: theSauce

      I just found some at WHole Foods. The ingredients on the ones I have are: tofu, calcium sulfate and glucon delta lactone aqnd yam flour

      1. re: wardy

        As we discussed back in 2005, traditional Shirataki noodles are made from the konjac root. They are considered to be very healthy in Japan, and have virtually zero calories. The tofu based ones are fairly recent and present a different set of health benefits/issues from the traditional ones. The tofu ones can be used to some degree as a pasta substitute, where the traditional ones cannot. The calcium sulfate, glucon delta lactose and yam flour sound like what are in the traditional noodles - konnyaku (konjac) is often translated as a mountain yam. Here's the wiki page on the traditional shirataki - they mention the tofu ones you have. The base ingredients seem to be the same:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiratak...

    2. I use shirataki noodles often. First of all, they are not tofu based but based on a root vegetable. I believe it has zero calories and rich in fiber.

      So, has my nutritionist friend says, helps to fill you up and may help move things along the way.

      To get rid of the stinky smell, quickly run through some boiling water.

      I use it mostly in dishes similar to sukiyaki. Thinly sliced beef, tofu and shirataki noodles with a soy sauce, sake and sugar mixture.

      Also, can use in stir fries with vegies.

      May also want to try to use with some hot soups.

      Enjoy and happy eating!

      9 Replies
      1. re: Yukari

        Well, I cooked some up tonight - I rinsed them in cold water, par boiled per instructions for 3 minutes, with some olive oil in the water. I had made a pork stew with juniper and porcini (Marcella recipe) - when the noodles were done, I removed the pork from the stew, added the noodles to the sauce and boiled it down a minute or two. Then served it on a platter with the pork on top. The result was much better than when I poured Beef Stroganoff over the noodles the last time - no funny taste to the noodles, consistency still a bit slippery.

        Per package info - these noodles have yam flour in them. They are very low carb - which is why I identified them in the first place.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I use House brand tofu shirataki, rinse, parboil, rinse again and allow to dry well in the strainer. I put them in stir-fries with vegetables and sometimes meat or seafood. I don't notice any bad taste.

        2. re: Yukari

          Sorry, but they are tofu-based - thus the name "tofu shirataki noodles".

          I find that they are best suited to asian-style dishes - basically anything you might use rice noodles in.

          Just give them a good rince or a quick blanch before you use them to get rid of the aftertaste. That's what it says on the pack.

          Enjoy!

          1. re: piccola

            Unless they're specifically labelled as being tofu based, they're made from processed yamanoimo (I don't remember the English name, mountain yam, maybe or something like that.) I've seen the tofu ones in stores but never tasted them.

            I'm a little surprised the tofu based noodles are "no-cal," though. I guess something is done to make the soy proteins/carbs indigestible, as is the case of the starches in the yam-based shirataki.

            1. re: MikeG

              They're not no-cal, just really lo-cal - as in, 40 cal for the whole pack. That's 'cause they're mostly water.

              But tasty water! ;-)

            2. re: piccola

              Sorry, they are yam based.

              See the link below.

              Link: http://www.house-foods.com/our_produc...

              1. re: Jen

                The traditional ones are yam based - made the same as Konnyaku, using ashes. But on the very page you point to, right next to the traditional ones, there is Tofu Shirataki - so this does exist. I wonder if this is entirely from soy or if it is the base yam product with tofu added.

                The shirataki noodles are ok, but I've always favored oden and the whole chunks of konnyaku.

                1. re: Jen

                  shirataki noodles and tofu shirataki noodles are very different. tofu shirataki noodles are a mix of yam flour and tofu and are sometimes used as a pasta substitute.

                  regular shirataki noodles are too gelatinous and taste too different to be a pasta substitute. but they are very good stir-fried and in sukiyaki.

                  1. re: Jen

                    I know traditional shirataki noodles are made of yam, but the first post obviously referred to the tofu ones.

                    Besides, the tofu noodles are a better pasta substitute, IMHO - they hold up to handling and sauce better.

              2. There are pure shirataki noodles, pure tofu noodles, and then there are shirataki tofu noodles which are a mix of the Konnyaku (shirataki) yam flour and soy bean flour.

                The only shirataki tofu noodles that I have tried have been the House Foods brand. Looking at the ingredients, this is made predominantly of Konnyaku flour still, and although people have posted in (on Amazon.com and elsewheres) that this tastes different from pure shirataki noodles, to me, there does not seem to be much difference. It's a bit softer and less rubbery, but not much.

                Pure shirataki noodles have a gelatin-like, slightly rubbery consistency and the texture is very different from regular wheat flour noodles. They do not require much chewing, but the chewing "feel" is different. When you bit into them, there is the slight sensation of a bit of bounce-back, which is why some people think they are rubbery. But then the noodle cleaves right through, and the overall feel is very much like biting into a very dense jello.

                Mung bean noodles (or jelly noodles) have a somewhat similar chewing texture, so if you are used to eating these noodles, or similar types of Asian noodles, shirataki noodles will not seem so strange.

                Wheat noodles have a softer mealiness texture to them. When you bite into them, they give way quickly without the initial bounciness, and then as you chew, the whole thing turns quickly into a paste that has a mealy mouth feel somewhat like potatoes, whereas the shirataki and jelly noodles will have more of a slippery mouth feel as you chew on them.

                As for pure Tofu noodles - there's quite a large variety, and the taste and chewing texture all depend on at what stage of processing of the tofu that it gets turned into a noodle shape. Tofu comes in a bejillion textures and shapes, from semi-liquid to solid to puff fried. So do Tofu noodles.

                Here's a website that lists just a few of the various types of Asian noodles out there:

                http://www.foodsubs.com/Noodles.html

                http://www.foodsubs.com/NoodlesAsianO...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Gandalf

                  Gandalf - You have it totally right. The Combo Yam/Tofu just has a relatively small amount of Tofu. The one thing no one has mentioned yet is that the process by which they are made involves some sort of shellfish seafood "ingredient". That's the light smell you get when opening the pkg. I think on one of the pkgs they caution you that the noodles will soften alot (I read that fall apart) if you make them with shellfish and cook for extended period of time. I find that either the Full Yam veriosn or the combo, taste about the same and while oil based sauces tend to cling, the noodles don't pick up much flavor or hold other sauces (especially Tomato) very well. I think they're really good in soups. But use them whenever I want to save the cals.

                  1. re: Chas

                    Funny you say that, because they reminded me of calamari tubes.

                2. We discovered these in the past year. Either version (tofu or yam) is good with a sauce like tomato or alfredo or in a more traditional soy-based cold or hot preparation. They really take on the flavor of the medium they are cooked in. Package instructions indicate to par boil and then we simmer them in chicken stock for about 15 min. Delicious. Just don't think of them as "pasta" and you should be fine. They are their own thing.

                  Oh, and as someone above mentioned, they do have a sell by date and they do go bad, so be aware of that. When spoilied, they smell almost fermented to me. It is very different than the slight smell that you notice when you open the bag and it does not dissapate with rinsing.

                  Enjoy!

                  1. The main advantage for the shirataki noodles is that they are very low in calories and high in water soluble fiber. And so I'm eating them right now to try and lose weight, or at least not gain any more weight.

                    Looking at the package ingredients listing for the generic shirataki noodles that I have, for every 84 gram serving, the only food component listed is 3 grams of carbohydrates, all of which is water soluble fiber. That's a 27 to 1 ratio for water to konnayaky flour.

                    As far as I can tell, this water soluble fiber is not digestible, hence the claims for shirataki noodles having zero calories.

                    There are loads of benefits from eating lots of water soluble fiber also.

                    Here's some websites that I found that talk about the chemistry of the main ingredients of shirataki noodles as well as the health benefits of water soluble fiber:

                    http://www.worldfoodscience.org/cms/?...

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_...

                    The first reference mentions the need to put the gel mixture in an alkaline solution to get it to gel (by removing the attached acetyl groups)- perhaps this is where the ammonia smell comes from?

                    This is a pure ammonia smell, it does not actually smell like seafood - the smell of unfresh seafood comes from oxygenation of the fatty acids, and is a rancid smell.

                    Anyway, to sum it all up, shirataki noodles are basically a gel made up of mostly water and a small amount of a water soluble polysaccharide. The gel maintains its bulk as it wends its way through your GI tract, and this helps to give a sensation of satiety.

                    Last night I made a quicky vegetarian spaghetti sauce with two 8 oz packages of these shirataki noodles - instant Prego sauce, chopped garlic dressing, pesto, and a small can of mushrooms (all from Costco), Splenda sweetner, and some vegie soy hamburger.

                    It was late, and I was hungry and this was a huge bowl of food and I ate it all without gaining any net weight for the day!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gandalf

                      Doesn't Prego have corn syrup in it? That kind of defeats the purpose of using the noodles.