Back in 2013 when I was diagnosed with insulin resistance, my research led me to shirataki noodles as a substitute for rice, noodles and pasta. As processed food, I had no interest in eating them until a friend who’s on the 5:2 diet encouraged me to try them.
What are Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are thin and translucent noodles made from the konjac yam, a tuber that has Glucomannan which is a water-soluble dietary fibre known to expand when consumed. The actual composition is purified water, konjac flour, calcium hydroxide (a preservative said to have no adverse effects). You can get them in fettuccine style, angel hair, and rice which is mainly thin noodles cut into “rice” size. You may have heard of them as Miracle Noodles or the Slendier brand.
They claim to have no-fat, to be very low in carb, gluten free, high in fibre and under 10 calories per serve. Sounds a little sceptical? I thought so.
I had read countless reports of the nasty fishy smell when you open the packet, the slimy texture, the lack of taste. I finally decided to put them to the test.
How to Prepare Shirataki Noodles
They come in a packet swimming in a liquid that smells so fishy that you may be tempted to throw them out. Don’t.
- Open the packet over the sink, put them into a colander and rinse them under running water for 1-2 minutes.
- Put the colander in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it for 1-2 minutes.
- Strain. They’re now ready to use.
They keep in the fridge for no longer than 2 days.
How do Shirataki Noodles Taste
They have little to no taste but it’s not unpleasant. They’re best used in recipes as a substitute for noodles, pasta and rice where they can soak up a sauce.
What to Do with Shirataki Noodles
Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some easy recipes on what to do with shirataki noodles but in the meantime, here are a few suggestions:
- Fettucini style shirataki noodles with lamb ragout
- Stir fry shirataki rice with low carb vegetables
- Sesame noodles with ginger, garlic, shallots, soy, sesame oil
- Prawn curry with angel hair shirataki noodles
- Asian chicken soup with shirataki noodles
- Low carb pho with shirataki noodles
Advantages of Shirataki Noodles
- They can be a replacement to real pasta, rice and noodles. In many cases they look like the real thing for when you just need a bit of home-made stir fry rice.
- They’re low carb to no carb, low calories to no calories so there is no guilt eating them.
- They don’t taste too bad when used with the right flavours.
Disadvantages of Shirataki Noodles
- They have gastro effects ranging from flatulence, minor cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, to all the above. I’ve had them all.
- They may cause gut blockage.
- They don’t provide the body with nutrition at all, only bulk and a feeling of fullness but you’ll be hungry soon after.
- They’re a processed food.
Shirataki Noodles and Insulin Resistance
- Shirataki noodles work best when they absorb a sauce or when using strong flavours in cooking.
- Don’t eat an entire packet at mealtime. Half a portion is sufficient and keep in mind the side effects.
- Don’t make them your diet or a quick way to lose weight. They have so few calories. You may feel full just after you eat them but soon, you’ll be feeling hungry.
- Check with your doctor before using them, after all, they are a processed food.
Have you tried shirataki noodles? Feel free to share in the comments below.