Shirataki Noodles: Where to Buy Them, What They Taste Like and What Health Benefits They Offer
Shirataki noodles are high fiber, with a very low carb count and have almost zero calories. Originally hailing from Japan, these noodles, also known as konjac noodles, are made from a gelatin that comes from Japanese yams. Read on to discover the nutrition of shirataki noodles, their health benefits (and some hazards), noodle and pasta recipes, what shirataki noodles taste like and where to buy them!
What are Shirataki Noodles?
Use and Nutrition of Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are just another type of noodle or pasta. They can be used pretty much in the same way as 'normal' noodles. There's no real need to make special shirataki noodle recipes. You can replace the ordinary, high carb pasta and noodles in your favorite recipes with shirataki noodles.
Konjac, or shirataki noodles come in various sizes and shapes, and there is also a variety called 'tofu shirataki noodles' which have a few more calories, but also contain more protein. Shirataki noodles are made from soluble fiber, rather than carbohydrates. This means that they are essentially calorie free (or, more exactly, they have about 6 calories per kilo) as fiber tends to move straight through the body, rather than being digested.
Shirataki noodles are also very low in carbohydrates and contain no gluten, so they're great for those with gluten or wheat allergies or anyone on a low carb diet.
Are they a 'miracle food'? Well, they are pretty awesome, but they aren't perfect. Many people find they don't like the taste of shirataki noodles, or don't like the texture of them. Also, aside from the benefits of the fiber, there's very little nutrition in konjac noodles.
But, add them to a bowl of sauce and vegetables, and you'll be able to get your nutrients in other ways.
Too Good to be True? - come on, nothing has zero calories...
- Are Shirataki Noodles a Miracle Food?
A brief article detailing the chemical composition, health benefits and pitfalls of shirataki noodles. It includes a description of some of the benefits of shirataki noodles for diabetics and others who have blood sugar difficulties.
- A Recent Wall Street Journal Article on Konjac (Shirataki) Noodles and Weight Loss
This article describes some recent research on konjac both as a noodle and as a supplement.
- Gluten Allergy Site
Shirataki noodles are gluten free, which makes them ideal for those who suffer from celiac disease and gluten and wheat allergies. Learn about the symptoms of gluten allergies and celiac disease at this informative website.
- Wikipedia on Shirataki Noodles
This speaks for itself.
- A Guide to Preparing Shirataki/Konnyaku
A very interesting guide to shirataki noodles and slabs, from a Japanese ex-pat chef. Also includes some recipes.
- A Website Dedicated to Different Health Aspects of Konjac
This site even includes a how-to guide so you can make your own noodles at home!
- Hungry Girl on Shirataki Tofu Noodles
A short blurb comparing them to ordinary noodles.
Shirataki Noodles on the News
A short news report on shirataki noodles, asking both an expert and an ordinary guy what they think.
Health Benefits of Shirataki Noodles
Because these noodles are so low in calories, they are going to help you out when you're losing weight. And in many cases losing weight will help your health, so that part is a no-brainer.
However shirataki noodles are good for people with other conditions as well. They don't contain any wheat products (although it's possible they might have been processed in machinery that also processes wheat) so they are perfect for those who are allergic to wheat.
We've heard a lot recently about the evils of gluten and it seems unfair that you have to give up noodles as well as bread and everything else. Shirataki noodles can help you with that, as they are gluten free (again, with that disclaimer that they may have been contaminated with gluten during processing. If you have a serious condition that prevents you from eating gluten, bear this in mind)
Ordinary noodles are often made of only flour and water, so they aren't the best when it comes to maintaining blood sugar levels. But, shirataki noodles are perfect fare for diabetics and others who have to watch their blood sugar, since they don't have any carbs or calories, so they shouldn't affect blood sugar much at all.
High in Fibre
The noodles also have a fair bit of fibre which is perfect for people on a low carb diet who often can't get enough fibre into their diet.
What Do Shirataki Noodles Taste Like? Just My Opnion
Shirataki noodles are not for everyone. Quite a few people dislike them, although just as many love them. Personally, I found them difficult to like at first, but they got better as I went along. This may have been because I got used to them, or because, as I've heard from other people, they taste better when they've been chilled and then reheated.
(Just as a side note, while you can chill them in the fridge with no problems, don't try to freeze shirataki noodles. They come out looking and feeling like shrunken bits of plastic!)
The closest thing to the texture of shirataki noodles that I can think of is a very soft gummy candy, obviously without the flavor. They don't really mash up, they just chop into smaller and smaller pieces when they are chewed. They really do taste of nothing... it's like someone has invented water-flavored gummy noodles. Apparently the tofu version is less rubbery but I haven't tried those.
Once I got used to them, I really liked them. After all, pasta is supposed to be al dente, and you can't get more al dente than these. Plus, most recipes out there will smother them in other ingredients.
I think for the most part my original dislike was psychological anyway. Even if they weren't super-diet-miracle-getouttahere-noodles, I'd probably eat them, just for the variety.
How Do You Think Shirataki Noodles Taste?
No one knows better than you what you like. So, give them a try!
Shirataki Noodles Review and Recipe
A woman tries shirataki noodles for the first time on camera and demonstrates using them in a low calorie pasta dish.
Recipes for Shirataki Noodles
- Three Recipes From HungryGirl
Two recipes that treat the noodles more as pasta... and a shirataki noodle desert! If you search this blog, you can find more shirataki noodle recipes.
- Recipes from MiracleNoodle
Some lovely recipes here.
- A Site Dedicated to Shirataki Noodle Recipes!
A large number of recipes for both original and tofu noodles.
- Shirataki Noodles and Spicy Peanut Sauce
A delicious shirataki recipe.
- Living La Vida Low Carb
A list of all their information on shirataki noodles, including a bunch of recipes.
- Shirataki Noodle Recipes
Over 60 shirataki noodle recipes and counting! (Thanks Adam!)
- Noodling Around
Some tips on using shirataki from a gourmet chef.
Where Can I Buy Shirataki Noodles? - 'cuz I wanna get me some of that!
The best place to buy shirataki noodles is your local Japanese grocery, supermarket or specialist store.
They may be available as dry noodles and/or powdered glucomannan (basically, Japanese yam flour, which can be used as an alternative to cornflour).
But, the most common and easiest form to work with is shirataki noodles which have been packaged in water. They might also be packed in a slab form.
They might be kept in the fridge section of the store, although technically, non-tofu noodles shouldn't go off even without refrigeration. Noodles with tofu do need to be kept in the fridge and used within a few days.
Often they aren't labeled 'shirataki', although if the proprietors of the store are Japanese they will know what you want if you ask for them by name.
I've seen 'sirataki' and 'yam powder noodle' and they are also known as konjac or konnyaku noodles. Sometimes, especially online, the noodles are put under "vegetable products" rather than "noodles" although as they are becoming more popular they are being placed more prominently.
I've grouped sellers under different countries, but a lot of the major websites listed under the United States and the UK will ship overseas, so be sure to check them out.
USA and Canada Shirataki Sources
MiracleNoodle sells a very wide range of shirataki noodle products, including konjac flour and a rice size version. They also deliver in Australia and Canada. They will give you 40% off your order if you sign up to have a regular, monthly delivery of noodles through their Auto-ship member program.
Peapod sells them, and delivers to a few states in the USA.
Low Carb Connoisseur delivers worldwide, but their shipping outside the US and Canada seems to be very expensive. ($100 to send a $3 pack of noodles to New Zealand? No thanks!)
The Asian Food Grocer also sells the noodles and delivers to most of the USA. They have quite a wide range, including tofu noodles, and ready made noodle meals. Their prices are quite reasonable.
LoCarb-You Foods, in spite of their silly name, have a fairly wide range of noodles and some packs have free shipping (unfortunately, they ship within the US only).
Alternatively you can buy them from Amazon, or eBay as shown below.
UK Shirataki Sources
The Low Carb Megastore also has them, but are also often out of stock!
Japanese Kitchen is yet another online store that sells the noodles, and yet again is often sold out of them. However, they do usually have slabs in stock. Remember, the slabs are made of the same stuff as the noodles, they just aren't cut into strips (something you can do at home). These guys deliver to the UK and all European Union countries.
I'll continue to seek out places that UK'ers can get a regular noodle fix.
Ichiba Junction, an online Asian food store has them and will deliver within Australia. They have big packs of dried noodles, or the usual small wet packs.
Kongs in East Victoria Park sells shirataki noodles (thanks, Lee!)
I'm told the Formosa Asian Market , in Sunnybank sells the noodles.
New Zealand Sources
The Asian Food Warehouse sells both noodles and the block form; they are based in Christchurch so the delivery fee is less there.
Update Currently this website is down, I suspect because the company was affected by the Christchurch earthquake. I'm going to leave the link here in case they get back on their feet and need the customers.
Edible Planet has one type of noodle, for $4 at a $9 shipping charge (seems to be less in the south island). The good news is that it looks like that $9 is a flat rate, so you can order by the boxful if you want.
If you live in Auckland, I can confirm that JapanMart in Sylvia Park definitely has them, both the white noodles, the brown noodles, and both colors of 'block' which is like a block of tofu and can be sliced into pieces of whatever size you want. JapanMart is also in Newmarket, so they probably have them too. I think they were about $3 but I forgot to write that down.
Made in Nippon on Queen St also has them according to their website but I have not confirmed this.
I've also bought the noodles (white and brown) in Tauranga in an Asian food store, but forgot to write down the name. Sorry I can't be more specific!
Never was able to find them in New Plymouth.
Japan City in Cuba Mall has shirataki noodles and blocks! They are about $3.60 I think.
Asiana Metro on Tennyson Street, which is around the corner from Tory Street near Courtenay Place has them for the cheapest I've seen in NZ so far at $2.47 for a standard bag. Unfortunately, they are new so the website is still under construction. They had the standard range with noodles and slabs available.
I will continue to update this as I find places where they are available. I will only be able to directly confirm the places in New Zealand though, and mostly Wellington and surrounds at the moment.
If you know other places they are available anywhere in the world write it in the comments please! Thanks for all your help.
Buy Shirataki Noodles Through Amazon!
Have You Tried These Noodles? What Did You Think? Please Let Us Know!
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on July 20, 2013:
We eat shirataki here in Japan in various dishes not just noodles. They are very healthy!
vvergara88 on January 23, 2013:
love me some noodles! Has anyone heard of The Noodle Guy? Supposedly the site has great recipes for everyone's noodle fixins :)
kimark421 on January 06, 2013:
Great lens. I love noodles, have never tried these, but I am sure I would love them too!
Judith Nazarewicz from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on November 26, 2012:
Great lens! Love these noodles!
Iberville on November 05, 2012:
Good lens. I like Japan and Japanese food.
bestbloodpressu on October 17, 2012:
Many thanks for such an instructive lens. I really loved reading it and got some great information. I have suffered with Congestive Heart Failure for many years and now have to observe my high blood pressure regularly. I have a number of Lenses on health issues your other site visitors may also find useful also.
BWenning on October 15, 2012:
These are so good for you!
indigomoth (author) from New Zealand on October 15, 2012:
@justramblin: I think it's important to be honest about it, because if people have high hopes when they try it they may be so disappointed when it doesn't actually taste much like noodles that they never try it again.
justramblin on October 15, 2012:
I have to eat gluten free, so glad to hear there is something I can try. thanks. And thanks also for being straight forward about the taste. When you have to eat gluten free,alternatives are never as tasty and you have to give them more than one try to appreciate..
indigomoth (author) from New Zealand on September 19, 2012:
@mindy-lawrence: I hope you like them!
mindy-lawrence on September 19, 2012:
I've been meaning to try these. Thanks for the info. I'm adding them to my grocery list now!
JoshK47 on August 15, 2012:
I could certainly go for some noodles! Blessed by a SquidAngel!
WriterJanis2 on August 11, 2012:
I'm ready for some right now.
happynutritionist on May 29, 2012:
Nicely done, I have heard of these but am not sure I have had them unless they were in an Asian recipe that we had with friends or out and wasn't aware of it. Must get some and try them:-) *blessed*
anonymous on May 27, 2012:
I love shirataki noodles. This is my favorite site for recipes http://dietnoodleshop.com
anonymous on April 06, 2012:
I've seen them for sale at www.ewell.com.au - Type in Miracle noodles or Shirataki or Konyakku and they come up. They ship all over Australia!
anonymous on April 01, 2012:
I've always heard Shirataki Noodles are great for weight loss. Now I want to try them, many thanks!
anonymous on January 06, 2012:
I went to Supa Fuji and they no longer have a shop, restaurant only however found some in KONGs 784A Albany Hwy E.Vic Park.Perth. We made a simple soup with chinese chicken broth(tin), added spring onion and a little bokchoy and chicken and it was delicious. We washed the noodles first and boiled for 2 minutes. A 4 minute meals that was superbly delicious. I am a fan!
anonymous on December 14, 2011:
Shirataki Noodles are absolutely delicious. The benefits from them are numerous. I have lost a ton of weight eating them, and so has my brother. My favorite site for recipes is http://dietnoodleshop.com/recipes. Currently they have 50 up.
anonymous on October 06, 2011:
This looked so good! Supposed to have taco's tonight, I'll see if I can get it switched to this. Also, clicked on 'thumbs up' for ya!
manchester lm on September 02, 2011:
I'm suddenly feeling peckish!!
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on May 27, 2011:
I haven't tried these noodles yet but plan to buy some to try them. Sounds interesting!
indigomoth (author) from New Zealand on May 18, 2011:
Yup, they are gluten free, although you might want to check packaging to make sure they haven't been processed on equipment that's been exposed to gluten.
anonymous on May 18, 2011:
I haven't tried of such noodles but it really looks delicious. I'd to clarify if it's suitable for persons with gluten free diet?
gluten free cooking tips
Ann from Yorkshire, England on March 11, 2011:
great lens _ I haven't tried these yet
spritequeen lm on March 07, 2011:
They DO have a funky texture, but I actually quite like them. Great lens - thanks for sharing!
StephanieB-Writer on February 08, 2011:
I bought two kinds of these tonight and I'm trying them for lunch tomorrow. Good to know what to do for prep. I'm a little nervous, but I'm going to try it anyway. Thank you for the info!
anonymous on December 18, 2010:
Yes, I have tried them after a lot of research, and was able to buy them from a local shop here in Austin.
You open the pack and are hit with a very strong fishy odor. Washed them off and drained them and put them in a stir fry with sriracha, tad bit of peanut butter and sesame oil, braggs, scallions, garlic, and carrots. The noodles took on the color and flavor of what I cooked beautifully, the only real difference between these and other noodles is the texture which is only an issue when you bite down on them. Everything else about them is perfect and I am looking forward to experimenting with them, I used the organic ones, but I will try the regular ones too.
I would suggest dry roasting in a hot pan, just throw in the noodles and stir around until they are dry. I didn't do this initially but I will next time. I also hear you can dry them off with paper towels, but I thought they were really great. I LOVE pasta and have never found a good replacement to noodles, but I just don't know who would be able to say no to these given their stats!
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on December 12, 2010:
Sounds interesting! I'll try everything once, so I'll have to look for them. =D
Ruth Coffee from Zionsville, Indiana on November 22, 2010:
Good info, I had never heard of them. I think I'll have to pass on trying them, texture is a really big determinant of whether or not I can eat a given food. Glad I read this before I came across them on a menu somewhere.
Jeanette from Australia on November 19, 2010:
I've never tried them but they sound very interesting. Not sure whether I'll ever give them a try or not ....
anonymous on October 30, 2010:
I have not tried them although I know what yams are.
indigomoth (author) from New Zealand on October 20, 2010:
@Ramkitten2000: They aren't exciting, but they aren't bad either. If you include them with a really nice sauce they do the trick. :)
Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on October 20, 2010:
Hm, your description of the taste doesn't make them sound that exciting (anything but), but given that I really need to cut way down on the amount of pasta I eat (too many carbs and calories), I'd like to try these and see if they grow on me, because they'd be a great alternative if they do.
jgelien on October 19, 2010:
I might try them though the comments about the rubbery texture kind of puts me off. The health benefits sound like they would outweigh the taste and texture issues. Thanks for the information.
Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on October 08, 2010:
I've never tried them. Maybe I'll give them a try.
Barbara Isbill from New Market Tn 37820 on September 29, 2010:
never tried these noodles, but my curiosity makes me want to give them a taste. Great lens!
DARdreams on September 26, 2010:
I love shirataki noodles! They don't taste like anything themselves; they taste like the ingredients you add to them.
I have lots of recipes using shirataki noodles at http://www.squidoo.com/living-low-carb-with-shirat...