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TOPIC: Let's Talk About Shirataki Noodles

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March 23, 2012 8:28 AM
There are so many questions and misconceptions about shirataki noodles that I thought I'd go ahead and do a post just about them.

I have eaten well over 300 pounds of shirataki noodles since I started my diet, 290 days ago. This website-- and shirataki noodles-- are the reason I've been so successful on my weight loss journey.

Why?

They allow me to be full. I do a lot better on my diet with I'm full.

I often say that "hungry people make lousy dieters."

Thanks to shirataki noodles I haven't been hungry for a single minute of my diet.

"But Chelle, I've never even heard of shirataki noodles..."

Then you've come to the right place.

Shirataki noodles are made from a Japanese yam (that isn't actually a yam, but it IS a vegetable) instead of wheat or rice. They aren't exactly like pasta noodles-- but they're awful durn close-- and they have zero (or close to zero, depending on what brand you buy) calories.

"What? Noodles with zero calories? You can't be serious???"

I'm serious.

They dry the yam and grind it into a powder/flour-- then make noodles from it. I'm sure you can think of lots of vegetables that have practically zero calories-- and the konjac plant (the Japanese yam I mentioned) is one of them.

Depending on how they process them hey come out nearly clear-- or dark brown. I have eaten both kinds and there is very little difference.

They come packaged in water and, technically, are "ready to eat," although I don't care for them straight out of the package.

When you first open the bag you will notice a slightly fishy odor. Get over it. A quick rinse with hot water and the smell will be completely gone.

You can heat them up lots of ways, but there is only one way to cook them, in my opinion-- dry fry them.

Simply spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and cook them, on high, until they're bone dry. (about 8 minutes) By cooking them in this fashion the end result is much closer to wheat or rice noodles.

"But Chelle, I've HAD shirataki noodles and I didn't like them."

Did you dry-fry them?

I didn't think so.

Go dry fry a batch and then come back and tell me you don't like them. You'll be singing a different tune.

"Chelle, I just found some at the supermarket and they say that they're 40 calories for a half pound bag. Why would you lie to us like that?"

You bought TOFU shirataki noodles. Tofu HAS calories-- shirataki flour does not.

When you buy shirataki noodles that have been blended with tofu you'll find the appearance and texture are closer to wheat pasta-- but when you add tofu it contributes some calories.

Plus-- tofu has to be refrigerated.

So if you have to order shirataki noodles online you'll only be able to get them without the tofu since there is no way to refrigerate them on the way to you.

"Chelle, I just bought some shirataki noodles without tofu blended in and they say you should keep them refrigerated."

I've noticed that some brands say that-- and I won't recommend that you ignore manufacturer's recommendations-- but everything I've read says that shirataki noodles do not have to be refrigerated.

Perhaps refrigeration extends the shelf life-- I don't know.

What I DO know is that I only refrigerate my shirataki noodles if I have room in the 'fridge. Since I've eaten over 300 pounds of them and I'm not dead (yet) I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing.

"Where can I buy these, Chelle? I didn't see them in my grocery store."

The BEST place to buy them is in Asian grocery stores. There are 5 within a half hour of my house-- and I live in rural Georgia. Your next best bet is in a health food or grocery store, and your last resort is online (where you'd have to pay for shipping).

Half pound bags of shirataki noodles cost me $1.29 at the Asian market and $2.00 at Whole Foods.

Half pound bags of tofu shirataki noodles cost me $1.49 at the Asian market, $1.49 at Harris Teeter (grocery store), $2.29 at Publix and $2.49 at Kroger. (You'll find them in the refrigerated produce section with the tofu products.)

"So what do I do with them after I dry fry them?"

Practically anything. I make them too many ways to count. I find that I get on "kicks." I'll make them in various Asian styles for a few weeks, then I'll combine them with crushed tomatoes and come up with various Italian concoctions for awhile, then I'll use various Cuban mojo sauces (all zero or nearly zero calories) and then I'll go back to just Smart Balance, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I also use them when I make Pho (I love to cook Vietnamese). I also stuff whole chickens with them. They're extremely versatile.

Once you dry fry them they microwave very nicely-- so if you want to take leftovers to work, for lunch, feel free.

I also frequently dry fry them with bean sprouts. They seem to really compliment each other and the bean sprouts get extra yummy once they just start to brown. (The bean sprouts don't reheat in the microwave quite as nicely.)

If you'd like to look at lots of low-calorie recipes (most of them are original to me) you can check out my MFP blog here:

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/finallychelle/view/my-lo-cal-recipe-collection-195763

There are newer posts in my blog that haven't made it into my list so I would recommend perusing around in there for other tips and recipes.

I'm a fearless and adventurous cook and I've done a pretty fair job of taking the calories out of my recipes without taking out the taste, too.

My cauliflower mashed potato recipe (original to me) has practically made me famous.

Well, sort of.

Here.

On MFP. (Everything's relative.)

I DO get tons of emails about it, though.

So go buy some shirataki noodles and stuff your face-- then watch the pounds just fall off while you do it.

It sounds too good to be true-- but it really IS true.

-theneverhungrydieterchelle
  8399295
March 23, 2012 8:33 AM
Glad you posted this, I've been wondering about those...
  16991380
March 23, 2012 8:34 AM
QUOTE:

Glad you posted this, I've been wondering about those...


They truly are a godsend!
  8399295
March 23, 2012 8:37 AM
LOVE the post Chelle! I grew up eating these noodles (my mother from Japan) so it cracks me up to see all they hype. However, I have never prepared them in the dry-fry method you mentioned. I have only used them in traditional stir-fry type dishes and once I used them in a Chinese Chicken Salad in place of crunchy ramen noodles.

I cant wait to go home and try the dry-fry! (my inner foodie geekness is coming out....) Also looking forward to checking out your blog for more shiratiki ideas!

ps: Asian Markets in rural Georgia? Hah, who'dda thunk it! I gotta get out more! lolll!
  14690145
March 23, 2012 8:39 AM
QUOTE:

LOVE the post Chelle! I grew up eating these noodles (my mother from Japan) so it cracks me up to see all they hype. However, I have never prepared them in the dry-fry method you mentioned. I have only used them in traditional stir-fry type dishes and once I used them in a Chinese Chicken Salad in place of crunchy ramen noodles.

I cant wait to go home and try the dry-fry! (my inner foodie geekness is coming out....) Also looking forward to checking out your blog for more shiratiki ideas!

ps: Asian Markets in rural Georgia? Hah, who'dda thunk it! I gotta get out more! lolll!


I love it!

I suspect that stir frying the noodles, as you do, accomplishes pretty much the same thing as my dry fry method-- so you may not notice a huge difference.

As for the Asian markets-- we have an Air Force Base about 40 minutes away, so I have a feeling that's why we're blessed with so many of them. (Yay for me!)

Good luck!

-Chelle
  8399295
March 23, 2012 8:41 AM
Thanks for posting this! I have been wondering about these noodles and you were informative and funny!
  200859
March 23, 2012 8:43 AM
Yeeeees, I remember my experimantation with the cauliflower mashed potatoes...

Now, these noodles... The UK is rubbish for this. I can only find them at $4.52 each PLUS $3.85 shipping (PER BAG!) on Amazon. The best rate I've found is on zeronoodles.com which gives me $10 for 4 bags plus $9.49 total shipping - that's still pretty high compared to the US prices. I have a local Asian market but they don't stock them. I guess I have to ask myself how much money I'll save on snacks.
March 23, 2012 8:43 AM
Oh wow! Thanks! I have a note on my fridge to get some of these.
March 23, 2012 8:48 AM
QUOTE:

Yeeeees, I remember my experimantation with the cauliflower mashed potatoes...

Now, these noodles... The UK is rubbish for this. I can only find them at $4.52 each PLUS $3.85 shipping (PER BAG!) on Amazon. The best rate I've found is on zeronoodles.com which gives me $10 for 4 bags plus $9.49 total shipping - that's still pretty high compared to the US prices. I have a local Asian market but they don't stock them. I guess I have to ask myself how much money I'll save on snacks.


Some "emergency backups" to having "noodles" in your life would be to dry fry bean sprouts, by themselves, or you can use spaghetti squash.

My local Asian markets only charge 99 cents/pound for bean sprouts. Kroger charges $3.99/lbs. Don't get ripped off! :o)

FYI: I have had SO many people from the UK complain about the lack of availability that I see a business opportunity for someone there.

Why don't you contact a wholesaler and then build a website? Or just a Facebook page? I, literally, get hundreds of requests from UKers looking for these noodles.

-Chelle
Edited by finallychelle On March 23, 2012 8:50 AM
  8399295
March 23, 2012 8:56 AM
Thanks for the reminder Chelle, I need to get some baby bok chow and make this sometime soon, LOL. Tootles to our noodlesflowerforyou
March 23, 2012 9:02 AM
Thanks:-) Love your recipes and posts!
March 23, 2012 9:07 AM
QUOTE:

Thanks for the reminder Chelle, I need to get some baby bok choy and make this sometime soon, LOL. Tootles to our noodlesflowerforyou


Amen, sister!

I love baby bok choy-- another practically free food!

-Chelle
  8399295
March 23, 2012 9:33 AM
thanks for the info! i'm determined to make these and actually like them! my first few attempts have failed...
March 23, 2012 9:44 AM
Love all the informaiton Chelle! Thank you!!!! flowerforyou
  1787890
March 23, 2012 9:48 AM
I tried them. I followed the directions. They're still gross. Rubbery and the smell *doesn't* just vanish. noway


Not worth it to me.
  115737
March 23, 2012 10:01 AM
Thanks! I just posted about these the other day! :)
  17185022
March 23, 2012 10:07 AM
QUOTE:

I tried them. I followed the directions. They're still gross. Rubbery and the smell *doesn't* just vanish. noway


Not worth it to me.


If the smell didn't go away then all I can figure is that you got noodles that were past their expiration date. And when you dry fry them they are NOT rubbery. I make them one to two times per day-- I would have noticed by now...
  8399295
March 23, 2012 10:30 AM
I'm gonna give these a try. I love noodles and have been hearing about these for a while.

Also, thank you for posting this information. I found it very helpful.
Edited by _HeathBar_ On March 23, 2012 10:31 AM
  5353380
March 23, 2012 10:36 AM
I have tried a few of the recipes on the Hungry Girl website. I also use spaghetti squash.

Good tip on the dry-fry I am going to have to try that.
March 23, 2012 10:41 AM
Great and entertaining post! Thanks!

I JUST saw these in my grocery store (by the tofu) and thought "Hmm...now what the hell are THESE?!" Next week I'm picking them up!! flowerforyou
  17272461
March 23, 2012 10:54 AM
Bump. Never purchased because I hear horror stories about the smell and texture. Gonna try the Chelle dry-fry Method lol
  5463876
March 23, 2012 11:09 AM
Extremely helpful detailed post, thank you Chelle, you rock! I will try these soon. My sister said she tried them but doesn't like them. If I can "fix" them by cooking them the way you said, she will thank me forever!
March 23, 2012 11:28 AM
BUMP!
March 23, 2012 11:29 AM
I really enjoy these noodles but when I have a BM they freak me out because they come out whole (yes I do chew them). I still eat them... at least I know I won't be constipated after these!!
  7232672
March 23, 2012 11:40 AM
I don't really understand the comments about the smell. I don't find it offensive or stinky. I don't think my sense of smell is diminished. Who knows...maybe I am defective. Even if I did find them stinky, I think I would be willing to suffer through just to get me through the noodle cravings! I actually like shirataki noodles A LOT!!! Thank god they are so incredibly low in calories.
Edited by spynoodle On March 23, 2012 11:42 AM

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