Recently I have been completely obsessed with shirataki noodles because they satisfy pasta cravings with none of the guilt. Shirataki noodles are made from the konjac yam, which contains a water-soluble fiber called glucomannan. Though they have been available in Asian markets for a long time, they are gaining popularity among people who must adhere to low carbohydrate diets. The folks at Quest Nutrition also made a brilliant move and came up with their own brand of shirataki noodles, so now people in the fitness industry are aware of these great pasta alternatives.
There are two different types of shirataki noodles available, both of which I enjoy. Straight shirataki noodles have zero net carbohydrates and no gluten, whereas tofu shirataki noodles have a small amount of net carbs and a less slippery texture. Both forms are package in water and must be rinsed before cooking, as the water they are packaged in has an odd, ocean-like odor. The noodles are very slippery (less so for the tofu type) and really don’t have any flavor of their own, so you must add some type of sauce of liquid seasoning to make them palatable. However, these noodles act like sponges and do a great job of absorbing flavors which are added to them during cooking. The high fiber content in shirataki noodles imparts a sense of fullness and slows digestion, making these noodles lifesavers when it comes to curbing cravings.
Shirataki noodles are a bit expensive, so I try to ration out my supply. However, get actual cravings for them and enjoy putting a meal together. My favorite prep method is very simple: I heat up the noodles for a minute, then I add sesame oil, soy sauce, white pepper, ginger, vegetables and chicken or shrimp for a delicious Asian style meal which fills me up.
Here are the most popular brands available: