Shirataki noodles have been a zero carbohydrate staple for many years in Japan. The noodles are made from the tubers of Amorphophallus konjac, a plant native to Asia also called konjac or konnyaku. “Shirataki” means “white waterfall.”
Konnyaku has been enjoyed in China for some 2,000 and Japan for 1,500 years. It’s rich in dietary fiber and minerals, and contains almost no calories.
When the tuber is ground it produces a flour used to make a mostly flavorless noodle, popular in the East. Now Westerners are discovering that it may be worthwhile to acquire the taste and switch to the new (old) noodle.
Fiber, Weight Loss & Blood Sugar Management
Long before science had identified the essential nutrient we call fiber, Japanese knew that konnyaku was useful for controlling blood sugar as well as cleansing the intestines, and they used it medicinally.
Because it takes longer to break down, eating the noodles with other carb-containing foods will slow the absorption of glucose from the meal and, thus, modulate blood sugar levels. This helps to prevent sugar spikes and an energy crash, not to mention dramatically slows the fat storage that occurs whenever there’s a sugar/insulin surge.
The fiber also helps hungry dieters to feel fuller, longer. Research has shown glucomannan supplements to enhance weight loss by suppressing appetite, and further studies demonstrated that glucomannan was effective in improving the blood lipid/cholesterol profile of test subjects.
Dr. Oz has given quite a bit of airtime to the noodle, including interviews with experts and recipes. According to Skinny Noodles, one maker and distributor of Shirataki pasta,
“Dr. Oz called konnyaku ‘nature’s skinny sponge’ because the root is rich in dietary fiber that soaks up hunger.” 
A bowl of Shirataki noodles will provide 7 trace minerals:
Flavor & Tips
Health nuts and fitness gurus are highly recommending this pasta as a regular meal choice for fat loss and an overall healthy alternative to wheat-based noodles.
The noodles are sometimes found dry but typically stored “wet,” in a bag with water. When you first open the package there might be a slightly fishy smell. You can do away with the smell in a few ways:
- Rinse thoroughly
- “Dry fry,” ie dry roast by cooking at a high temperature on a non-stick skillet for one minute
Once prepared you can add noodles to soups, top with sauce, add to a stir fry or season much like you would any spaghetti. Some distributors also offer shapes such as angel hair and ziti.
Check out Sukiyaki shirataki noodles recipe
Serves 1 – 2
– 1 small or 1/2 large carrot, julienned (Sliced into matchsticks)
– 1 zucchini, julienned
– handful of podded edamame beans
– 1 packet of shirataki noodles
– 250 ml dashi II/super dashi (2 tsp dashi granules dissolved in 1 L of water – dashi granules can be bought at the japanese supermarket)
– 1/4 cup organic soy sauce
– 40 ml mirin
– 3/4 tbsp sake (optional)
– 1 tbsp sugar
– sesame seeds to garnish
Start by making the sauce by combing the dashi II, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Take it off the heat and set aside.
Heat a small splash of oil into a wok and when hot and starting to smoke add the carrot and stir-fry for a minute, then add the zucchini and stir-fry for another minute.
Remove the veg and then add the sauce and bring to the boil and then add the noodles. Cook the noodles in the sauce until the noodles have absorbed the sauce and the sauce is almost evaporated. Add the veg back into the noodles with the edamame and stir through.
Serve and then garnish with some sesame seeds.
One bag shouldn’t cost more than $1.50-$3, depending on size and store. They’re typically available in Asian food markets, in the tofu section of health food stores and some supermarkets. You can also buy shirataki noodles here.
Opt in in for a healthier option – try shirataki noodles, and let us know how you liked it!