Basically, if you don’t know about Shirataki noodles, you need to. I use them all the time as a pasta substitute, and they really come in handy if you want a pasta dish, but don’t want the bloat (or carbs) that come with them.
Shirataki noodles are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles that are made from the Konjac yam, also known as the Devil’s Tongue yam or Elephant yam (thanks Wikipedia!).
Essentially composed of water and a water-soluble dietary fiber, they are very low in carbohydrates and calories, and have little flavor on their own – as long as you prepare these properly, you can substitute them into any dish!
I’ve always purchased Shirataki noodles in their “wet” form (packaged in liquid), and you can find them in most grocery stores in the produce/tofu section.
To properly prepare Shirataki noodles (for the wet version), always make sure to drain the noodles and rinse them. Initially, they have a slight odor, but don’t be scared, just rinse them really well.
Additionally, these noodles have a slightly unique texture. The first time I attempted to prepare them, I treated them just like regular noodles and immediately added them to water to boil, or immediately added them to a sauce. In their initial form, they do not firm up very well, and the sauce won’t really bind to them the way you want.
I always put them in a hot pan for at least a few minutes (again, to cook out any remaining odor), and to firm up their texture. Go ahead and cook the shit out of these noodles – like on medium or high, and let them cook until they thicken and even change color just a bit. After you’ve done this, you can add a sauce directly to the pan so they absorb it, or you can add them to your broth, etc.
What I love most, is how versatile these noodles can be. I have made them into ramen, spaghetti, white pasta, etc. Pretty much, if you could use traditional noodles, you can use Shirataki noodles. Because they have negligible nutritional value, I will also sometimes mix in zucchini noodles so that I get a full serving of vegetables – ALL WHILE I’M EATING PASTA. It’s just the best thing ever.
Below, I have a few casual photos of some of my Shirataki creations including ramen, lemon shrimp pasta and an eggplant parmesan bake. I got the one-pot lemon shrimp recipe from Tasty (full recipe here), and I substituted Shirataki noodles in place of the linguine, and added bacon….because, bacon.