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Sharitake Noodles

sancan Jan 23, 2011 04:18 AM

I searched using 3 spellings and didn't find anything here. Anybody tried Sharitake Noodles? Any good? Do you get them locally or order on line? Saw the Hungry Girl expounding on them and thought I'd try them, but looks like they're going to be difficult to find in my neighborhood.

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    MikeG RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 05:24 AM

    The most common spellings in English are "shirataki" and "shiratake". :) I get them locally (which is pretty easy since I live in NY City). I don't usually see them in generic "Asian" supermarkets, but at Japanese markets. Since they need to be kept refrigerated, I imagine mailorder with appropriate packaging would get expensive...

    1. a
      arp29 RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 05:27 AM

      Not sure if you have either of these chains close by, but I've seen them at Whole Foods and Price Chopper.

      1. The Dairy Queen RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 07:28 AM

        Here are some old threads referencing shiritaki noodles. http://www.chow.com/search?query=shir...

        I found them at Whole Foods in the fridge case. You have to rinse them repeatedly to remove a fishy taste. I think they are best in Asian applications where you might use, say, fish sauce, but to be honest, I thought they were vile. Yucky, rubbery texture. If I'm looking for a healthful noodle substitute, I'd rather make "noodles" from zucchini or summer squash, or this time of year, from spaghetti squash.


        14 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          sancan RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 23, 2011 07:45 AM

          Many thanks, guys. I think I'll stick with Zucc noodles and spaghetti squash, too. :-)

          1. re: sancan
            spinachandchocolate RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 03:23 PM

            Sanca, don't let one negative comment stop you from looking for the noodles. I have found them at Whole Foods and Asian markets.

            I actually really like them and enjoy the texture in different dishes, not only Asian ones. I also don't find them to have that fishy scent others mention. Remember, just because they look like pasta, they are not going to taste like it 100%.

            1. re: spinachandchocolate
              sancan RE: spinachandchocolate Jan 24, 2011 02:50 AM

              You know, you have a point there. I really want them because Bourdain has me aching for an Asian style breakfast bowl, with a great broth, noodles, and whatever add-ins I feel like that day. Have been hearing about them for a while. I asked at my local (south of Atlanta) Asian market, but didn't know to ask for konnyaku and they had no clue what shirataki was. I am going into town today, so I could swing by Whole Foods. Many thanks for all the info, guys.

              1. re: sancan
                paulj RE: sancan Jan 24, 2011 07:34 AM


                1. re: paulj
                  The Dairy Queen RE: paulj Jan 24, 2011 07:44 AM

                  Now, see, that actually looks and sounds good.

                  It's the House Foods Tofu version I found at Whole Foods and found had the unpleasant fishy aftertaste/odor I disliked. http://www.house-foods.com/Tofu/tofu_...

                  (Scroll down to point #5 where House Foods gives you the rinsing directions to remove the "aroma" from the noodles).

                  I wonder if I'd find the plain ones (just of yam) better. GHG, do the plain yam noodles have the same "aroma"? And are you saying some WF's carry the plain (ie., 100% yam) in addition to the House Foods Tofu version?

                  Here seems to be a pic of the 100% yam version. http://www.japanesefoodshop.co.uk/shi...


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 24, 2011 09:06 AM

                    i've never had the tofu ones since i can't eat tofu. the plain konnyaku noodles do have an odor, but i imagine it may not be quite as strong, and it rinses away pretty easily.

                    House Foods actually makes *one* non-tofu konnyaku noodle product. i've seen it at a couple of random WF locations, but they don't all carry it:

                    the product you linked to is more like what you'll find at a Japanese grocery. here in LA i usually buy mine at Mitsuwa or Nijiya.

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      mcf RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 26, 2011 01:23 PM

                      It's very easy to get rid of the fishy smell with rinsing, no residual stink. Only the unpleasant rubber band texture. :-)

                      1. re: mcf
                        The Dairy Queen RE: mcf Jan 26, 2011 02:00 PM

                        I didn't mind the texture, but I swear to you, I rinsed my House Foods Tofu Noodles in a colander under cold running water for several minutes and the "fishy" odor never went away. When I tried to use it in Italian-esque dishes, I could still taste the fishy odor.

                        Now, I see according to their website that you're supposed to boil them for several minutes or microwave for a minute to get rid of the "authentic aroma." I don't know if I did that. Maybe I should give it another go.

                        But, maybe I'll just try the yam ones that don't have the "authentic aroma."



                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 26, 2011 03:27 PM

                          But, maybe I'll just try the yam ones that don't have the "authentic aroma."
                          go for it. i've never had the tofu noodles because i can't eat tofu, and i've found rinsing to work just fine on the plain konnyaku noodles.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            mcf RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 26, 2011 04:15 PM

                            The pure yam shiratakis definitely have the smell. Must be in the liquid. I never had that problem with the smell not rinsing off, though.

                            1. re: mcf
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: mcf Jan 26, 2011 04:36 PM

                              it is the liquid, and i suspect it's the calcium CaOH that cause the odor. maybe the tofu noodles just absorb it.

                  2. re: sancan
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: sancan Jan 24, 2011 07:36 AM

                    when you go to Whole Payckeck, just know that most started out by stocking just the tofu variety made by House Foods...depending on the location, they may or may not have the plain ones.

                    good luck!

                2. re: sancan
                  Heatherb RE: sancan Jan 24, 2011 02:38 PM

                  I HATE fish and won't eat anything that tastes remotely fishy. Yet when I've stir-fried these noodles with veggies I've never noticed it. It's a nice ingredient to have in the kitchen - I like them sauteed in sesame oil with spinach and mushrooms, a little soy sauce and some chili sauce for a quick meal.

                3. re: The Dairy Queen
                  MikeG RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 23, 2011 12:18 PM

                  I've never had the tofu variety, just the konnyaku ones and I like them quite a bit, especially in very brothy-y dishes, but I'd agree that no way are they are a general substitute for regular flour-based noodles...

                4. goodhealthgourmet RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 07:53 AM



                  you can find the ones with tofu in the refrigerated section (near the tofu!) in most major grocery stores. for the plain ones that are just Japanese yam flour & water, you need a Japanese or Korean supermarket. your profile says you're south of ATL, but i don't know how far...Super H-Mart or one of the places along Buford Highway would be your best bet.

                  1. paulj RE: sancan Jan 23, 2011 08:02 AM

                    There are 2 versions of these noodles. One has been around for years, and used by Japanese to add an interesting texture contrast to their soups and hot pots. It is often described as edible rubber bands. In block form it is called konyaku. A more recent version attempts to imitate Italian pasta, with a softer texture, and more noodle like shape. None have much flavor of their own. They are low calorie because of a high soluble fiber content, i.e. bulk without nutrition.

                    1. l
                      looz RE: sancan Jan 24, 2011 08:20 AM

                      If you do find them, the thing to remember is that they absorb a *lot* of water. This isn't an issue if you're putting them in soup, but if you're using them in a non-soup capacity, remember to dry them well with a towel, or you'll have very watery sauce.

                      I actually like the texture of shiratake, but it definitely isn't like pasta. However, for that matter, neither is zucchini or spaghetti squash.

                      I'm increasingly finding the tofu-shiratake noodles in health food stores. First just the House Foods brand, but I've also seen another one whose name escapes me... Slim-pasta, maybe? For plain shiratake I still have to go to Japanese grocery stores.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: looz
                        paulj RE: looz Jan 24, 2011 08:26 AM

                        The pure Japanese yam version does not absorb water. It comes packed in water, and can be simmered for a long time without change in shape or texture. It does, though, slowly absorb flavor from the broth.

                        1. re: paulj
                          gnomatic RE: paulj Jan 26, 2011 08:55 PM

                          The tofu ones doesn't absorb water either in my experience. That's why I prefer them in asian soup noodle preparation.

                          For those who complain about the "fishy" taste... parboil & them drain them first, it gets rid of the smell and firms up the noodles.

                          1. re: gnomatic
                            looz RE: gnomatic Jan 27, 2011 08:09 AM

                            I made a mistake when I said they absorb water - I meant they give off water. So you have to dry them well if you aren't using them in soup, you can't just drain them.

                            As for the smell, I pour boiling water over them and let them sit in it for a few minutes before draining.

                      2. n
                        NicoleFriedman RE: sancan Jan 26, 2011 10:50 AM

                        I think they have the consistency of hard flavorless jello. To me, I'd rather just not eat noodles than to eat these. Keep in mind that originally these were not made for dieting; the Japanese love jello-like textures in savory food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: NicoleFriedman
                          mcf RE: NicoleFriedman Jan 26, 2011 01:26 PM

                          I'm with you; I never crave noodles badly enough to eat shiritake. I do like the dried tofu noodles in the Asian market fridge, though. Scroll down; they're the last noodle on the page:

                        2. gmm RE: sancan Jan 26, 2011 03:52 PM

                          I've also only had the yam version. The town I live in has a couple of Korean markets and they both carry the konnyaku blocks and noodles. I think I've only ever had them in sukiyaki, but I love the chewy texture. I can't imagine using them as a sub for pasta though. Attached is a pic of the brand my local store carries.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: gmm
                            paulj RE: gmm Jan 26, 2011 06:54 PM

                            There was a battle Konnyaku on Iron Chef. May have been a 30 minute tie breaker. One of the chefs cut slices of a block like this, made a blind slit in the middle, and twisted the block in on itself (as one might do with a rubber band). He stewed this with meatballs.

                            'oh, it's just like what we have in lunch boxes'

                            1. re: paulj
                              JungMann RE: paulj Jan 27, 2011 07:52 AM

                              That's how I cut the konnyaku when I braise it in nabe. It gives the konnyaku a superior texture.

                              1. re: paulj
                                looz RE: paulj Jan 27, 2011 08:12 AM

                                Thanks for posting this! I've never known quite what to do with the blocks of konnyaku. I'm going to try this twisty preparation!

                            2. s
                              sancan RE: sancan Jan 27, 2011 04:59 AM

                              Had my Asian noodles this morning for breakfast, and loved it. Many thanks to all. Ended up getting the tofu variety - surprise - at Ingles. Took all advice and rinsed and rinsed. They didn't seem to break up completely, so I used my hands to do that, and rinsed again until I couldn't smell an aroma (I admit to holding my breath when I opened them and rinsed). Nuked them for less than 30 seconds. I had some leftover braised beef with good broth, but I wanted more broth so I added a couple of cubes of frozen reduced homemade chicken broth from a rotisserie chicken, garlic, star anise, ginger and a touch of soy. My garnishes were pickled onions, fresh spinach, scallions and a dash or two of hot sauce. I had worried about it being too salty, but it was not. I liked the texture of the noodles, but my expectations were in line with Asian rather than regular pasta. I don't think it would have been a success without you guys. I'm going to try them on hubby tonight under a stroganoff. I think he'll like them.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: sancan
                                The Dairy Queen RE: sancan Jan 27, 2011 06:08 AM

                                I'm so glad they worked out for you. I know I rinsed them to death the time I tried them, but I really don't recall whether I nuked or boiled them. So, I might try them again. But, I think I shall aslo be on the lookout for the non-tofu variety.


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  waver RE: The Dairy Queen Jan 27, 2011 07:22 AM

                                  Maybe gIve them another try. I remember also using my hands to scrub them together under running water, then I poured boiling water over them and rinsed some more. It worked well enough for a strongly flavoured garlicky-soy preparation (and I'm pretty neurotic about fishy flavours). I remain a little up in the air about the texture though...

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