Shirataki noodles originated in Japan and are thin, translucent and gelatinous types of noodles. They are traditional Japanese noodles and are produced from the elephant yam or the konjac yam. We’ll talk more about these noodles.
The Japanese word shirataki means white waterfall. This is an apt description of the appearance of these noodles. The noodles are composed largely of water and gluconmanna which is a water soluble dietary fiber. The noodle itself has little flavor of its own but it can be greatly enhanced depending on how it is used.
The shirataki noodles can be obtained in both dry and wet forms in many Asian markets and some supermarkets. When they are purchased wet, they come prepackaged in liquid. Their shelf life is normally about one year.
The noodles can also be drained and dry roasted. This helps to get rid of some of the bitterness and gives them a more pasta like consistency.
There are two types of shirataki noodles sold in the US. The traditional type has no net carbohydrates, no food energy and no gluten. They are useful for people on low carbohydrate diets. Tofu based shirataki noodles have become more popular but they have a much shorter shelf life and require refrigeration before and after opening. These tofu based noodles have a minimum amount of carbohydrates.
These noodles are used in a wide variety of dishes and are a staple throughout Japan and in many other places in the world. They can be added to soup stock to bring more texture and taste or they can be eaten with a sauce.