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Has anyone tried SHIRATAKI noodles?

v
Veggielovah Jan 4, 2006 10:21 AM

I read a blurb in a food magazine the other day about these. They are "noodle shaped tofu" and only have, like 40 calories in 8 oz. They come in fettucine and speghetti shapes and can be used in stir fries or pasta dishes. They are made by House Foods America and sold on amazon.com.
I'm thinking of ordering a few packages, does anyone know if they're decent?

  1. g
    Gandalf Nov 3, 2006 03:15 PM

    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...

    1. e
      elaine majewski Jan 21, 2006 05:18 PM

      I bought them today, tossed them with spagh. sauce and then dumped the bowl. They are a little slimy in feel to my mouth. You have to parboil them for 2-3 min. as directions say do get rid of the smell.

      1. e
        Emme Jan 5, 2006 01:46 AM

        I like them- have two packs in the fridge now. I rinse them before putting them in a sauce to simmer; they smell horrible upon opening the package, but rinsing does wonders. Also, find that I have to cut them up a bit because otherwise they stick together in a big mass and don't submerge in the sauce. I like to grill eggplant with garlic salt, chop up and stirfry with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and the noodles as well as other seasonings. I also add chicken sometimes.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Emme
          c
          Chuck Jan 25, 2006 07:29 PM

          There seems to be 2 kinds of Shirataki Noodles out there.. One is Tofu and the other is made from Yam powder.

          Does anyone know the diference and which is tastier.

          thanks

          1. re: Chuck
            p
            paulj Jan 25, 2006 08:25 PM

            No taste - just texture. Taste comes from the broth or sauce.

            1. re: paulj
              b
              bibi rose Jan 26, 2006 06:07 AM

              >>
              There seems to be 2 kinds of Shirataki Noodles out there.. One is Tofu and the other is made from Yam powder.

              Does anyone know the diference and which is tastier >>

              Tofu shirataki contain yam flour as well as tofu. I think they are about 100 times better than the yam flour-only shirataki or konnyaku, which (IMO) have a very rubbery texture. However I think it's even more important to parboil tofu shirataki than the others because they have a smell like baking soda if you don't. (I rinse, parboil and rinse again.)

              1. re: bibi rose
                g
                galleygirl Jan 26, 2006 09:36 AM

                I also find it helpful to let them cook for a little while in the stew; it takes awhile for broth flavor to cling to them....

                Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

                1. re: galleygirl
                  b
                  bibi rose Jan 26, 2006 12:15 PM

                  Yes, cooking them in a sauce is a very good idea.

                  I have also discovered that you can pan-fry them. Allow them to drain after par-boiling (I even wrap them in a towel in the strainer after they have drained a while) and toss them in a big hot skillet with a soy-ginger or Worcestershire sauce or whatever, enough to get a nice glaze , and then add my other ingredients. I did this last night with shirataki, small shrimps and hot sauce.

        2. p
          paulj Jan 4, 2006 01:46 PM

          I use them mainly as a contrasting texture in soups and 'one pot' dishes such as oden. No matter how much you cook them, they retain a chewy texture. The block form reminds me of Knox blocks. The noodles also come tied in little bundles that remind me of leg-on shrimp, though in texture they are more like bundles of rubberbands.

          I can't imagine using them as a pasta substitute, at least not as a main dish with a marinara sauce of top :-) They are an interesting item to include in a dish, but not as the main ingredient.

          paulj

          2 Replies
          1. re: paulj
            v
            Veggielovah Jan 4, 2006 03:09 PM

            Thanks for the info, everyone!
            I am most interested in using them in Asian dishes, so I was surprised when a suggested use was to eat serve them with marinara and parmesean. Just didn't sound as appealing as stir frying, or soups.

            1. re: Veggielovah
              m
              MMRuth Jan 4, 2006 04:45 PM

              I investigated these noodles as part of a low carb diet - hence the idea of using them as a pasta substitute. They were pretty good in beef stroganoff.

          2. m
            MMRuth Jan 4, 2006 01:24 PM

            I've used them - always parboiled them, and then I find that I prefer the taste if I cook them a minute or two in the sauce, rather than just putting the sauce on top. Great in sesame cold noodle sauce.

            1. p
              piccola Jan 4, 2006 12:12 PM

              Yeah, I use them all the time! I like the fettucine shape better than the spaghetti one - better texture, IMHO.

              I find that if you use them in a sauce, you can get away with just rinceing. But for salads, etc, it's better to parboil them.

              You can buy them at D'Agostino's and most Asian markets, at least in NYC. The JASmart sells it for 1$ a pack.

              1. a
                Alan408 Jan 4, 2006 10:32 AM

                I don't know the brand you mentioned, but noodles made from Yam (konnyaku) have probably been around for hundreds of years. Very common in Japanese style cooking. Comes in "blocks" too.

                The Japanese style shirataki noodles are neutral in flavor and have a gelatinous texture.

                "noodle shaped tofu", not like the tofu (bean curd) I have experience with. Shirataki noodles resemble a rice noodle than bean curd.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Alan408
                  b
                  bibi rose Jan 4, 2006 11:14 AM

                  "Tofu shirataki" is a distinct product. It contains tofu as well as the yam flour found in konnyaku. I don't care for konnyaku (although many do) but I like shirataki just fine. I use the House brand. IMO, you really need to parboil it as recommended on the package. I also rinse it before and after.

                  Some use it in Western recipes such as alfredo but I don't. I'm making some tonight in a stir-fry with seafood in a soy-ginger sauce. If you pat it dry you can get it to crisp up nicely in the pan.

                  Give it a try, especially if you cook Asian.

                  1. re: bibi rose
                    s
                    socalgirl Jan 4, 2006 02:07 PM

                    I've only used them in soup dishes.
                    As a substitute for pasta, on it's own, it's too chewy even for me.

                    Give them a try, you might really enjoy them.

                    I also recommend purchasing at a Asian market. Under $1 per package.

                    1. re: socalgirl
                      a
                      abbye Jan 26, 2006 02:05 PM

                      does anyone know what major chains sell the noodles?

                      1. re: abbye
                        b
                        bibi rose Jan 26, 2006 02:58 PM

                        If you have a Mitsuwa (Japanese supermarket chain in US) anywhere nearby, do yourself a huge favor and makes its acquaintance. Otherwise, any place that carries Japanese food. Some Whole Foods carry them too.

                        1. re: abbye
                          p
                          paulj Jan 26, 2006 07:22 PM

                          If a store has a large selection of tofu and related products in the cooler section, it might have shirataki.

                          1. re: abbye
                            t
                            Tmblweed Feb 6, 2007 08:30 AM

                            If you have a Ranch 99 (Chinese supermarket chain in the US) near your place, they sell them there, too.

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