New to Me and Maybe You: Shirataki Noodles

Look at this fun thing I found at my local Kroger: Shirataki Noodles.

IMG_7783
These are thin ribbons of tofu, created to look/act like a regular pasta noodle without the hefty caloric tag. There are several different varieties, I went for the angel hair. Fun!

Here are the selling points: The noodles are gluten-free, have no sugar and are only…
20 calories a serving (versus 200 calories serving of starch-based noodle).
Um, yeah, I’ll try it.

The noodles come packed in water, so the process to use them is pretty simple: rinse well, par boil, dry completely, use as a cooked noodle.  Easy, right?

I made two separate dishes with them (and the noodles rinsed and dried, stayed fine overnight in the fridge).  They encourage you to use the noodles as any pasta (i.e. not specifically Asian dishes); but I ended up making two Asian-style options anyway cause..
I like them.  IMG_7789That would be a big ole bowl of Asian-style soup. My favorite quick, warming dinner. I simply heated chicken broth and added some thinly sliced carrot, broccoli and spinach. I seasoned the soup with some ginger, garlic, tamari soy sauce, lemongrass paste and a few healthy shakes of hot sauce. I added the Shirataki noodles and an egg in the last few minutes of cooking. The egg will “poach” in the broth; and adds some great heartiness. The noodles only needed to warm up. I finished the dish with some fresh cilantro.

The verdict? The noodles definitely have that chewy almost squeaky (?) quality that indicates that they’re not a grain-based noodle. They did not break apart in the soup but added some interesting texture.  However, I missed that carby, slurpy mess you get with rice noodles. IMG_7792The second dish I made was an Asian-style slaw. Napa cabbage and red cabbage thinly sliced along with cucumbers and fresh cilantro. I tossed the noodles in there along with some Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Cilantro Salad dressing and topped the whole thing with Chili-Lime cashews from Trader Joe’s.

The verdict? I preferred the noodles this way. Maybe because they were cold or roughly chopped; I didn’t have that “overly chewy” sensation I had with the soup dish.

Overall: Would I try these noodles again? Not sure. I loved the nutritionals and the ease of cooking; but I’m not sure how these would perform with a more traditional pasta dish.

Have you tried Shirataki Noodles? Love them? Hate them?

 

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