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Jan 4, 2006 10:21 AM

Has anyone tried SHIRATAKI noodles?

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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
I'm thinking of ordering a few packages, does anyone know if they're decent?

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  1. 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

      "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

        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

          does anyone know what major chains sell the noodles?

          1. re: abbye

            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

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

              1. re: abbye

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

        2. 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. 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. 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.


              2 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                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

                  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. 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

                  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.


                  1. re: Chuck

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

                    1. re: paulj

                      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

                        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....


                        1. re: galleygirl

                          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.