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How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles

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I've been getting e-mails asking about shirataki noodles and why I never use this zero-carb ingredient in my recipes. The reason was simple: I didn't like them... at all.

The first time I tried shirataki noodles was a few years ago and I have to admit it was not the most pleasant experience. All I could remember was this terrible smell and rubbery texture. Low-carb or not, I thought it wasn't worth the effort and money.

That has all changed after I read this article by Low Carb Dietitian. I realised that I didn't really know how to use shirataki noodles.

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What if I Don't Like the Taste and Texture?

Both taste and texture can be significantly improved if you follow a few simple steps. The golden rule is to rinse them really well and pan-fry them without oil or other liquid in order to remove as much water as possible. The less water that remains, the better the texture will be.

I'll get back to how to prepare shirataki noodles later in this post.

What Are Shirataki Noodles?

Shirataki noodles (aka miracle noodles, aka konjak noodles, aka konnyaku noodles) is an ingredient popular in Asian cuisine. It's made from konjak plant which is ground and then shaped into noodles, fettuccini or even rice. Shirataki noodles are almost zero calorie and zero carb.

They are 97% water, 3% fibre and traces of protein, fat and calcium. There are 4 kcal and ~ 1 gram of net carbs per 100 g / 3.5 oz of shirataki noodles. If you find that the packaging says "zero" calories or "zero carbs", etc. it's because the FDA allowed products with less than 5 calories / less than 1 gram of carbs, protein and fat to be labeled as zero.

What are the Benefits of Eating Shirataki Noodles?

 This study shows that the soluble fibre called glucomannan found in shirataki noodles may help you lose weight and improve health. Below are the main benefits of glucomannan:

  • Soluble fiber is very low in calories and lowers the energy-to-weight ratio of the food that is consumed.
  • It has shown to promote satiety via several mechanisms. Including shirataki noodles will keep you fuller for longer!
  • It slows down digestion which again induces satiety.
  • It inhibits carbohydrate absorption and improves glycemic parameters (lowering blood glucose levels and inhibiting insulin spikes).
  • It reduces fat and protein absorption (only beneficial for excessive calorie consumption).

Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Shirataki Noodles?

The same study shows that there are few potential side effects of glucomannan.

  • It may cause minor gastrointestinal complaints, such as bloating, gas, and mild diarrhea. If it does, reduce the serving size.
  • It may reduce the bioavailability of oral medications. You should avoid eating shirataki noodles with your medication and supplements. The medication should be taken 1 hour before or 4 hours after your meal containing glucomannan.
  • There have been some incidents of esophagus, throat or intestine blockage by using glucomannan tablets which absorb large amounts of water. Note that the tablets are not the same as shirataki noodles which already contain water and don't pose this risk.
  • Since there are no nutrients, do not overuse products containing glucomannan. The vast majority of your diet should be focused on real food (eggs, meat, non-starchy vegetables, raw dairy, avocados, berries, nuts, etc).

Types of Products

You can find all sorts of products using glucomannan: noodles, fettuccini, penne or even rice. My favourite ones are noodles and rice simply because the texture is better and gets easily mixed with other ingredients, minimising the rubbery sensation. I use Zero Noodles and Miracle Noodles, both of which offer a wide variety of products to choose from. Another product that is worth trying is Glucomannan powder which can be used as thickener in smoothies or instead of xanthan gum. Avoid product called Barenaked noodles - apart from konjak flour, it also contains soy bean flour.

How to Cook Shirataki Noodles

So what are the common mistakes when using shirataki noodles? Back to the beginning when I mentioned my initial failure when using them, I thought that washing them well will be enough to get rid of their natural but not very pleasant smell. As I realised, that's not enough. To get the best results, you'll need to cook and pan-fry them.

If you really want to enjoy shirataki noodles, don't have high expectations - they won't taste like real pasta. The best way is to use them in a stir-fry rather than "regular" pasta meals. The trick is to use them in relatively small amounts and mix them with other ingredients like vegetables, meat and cheese. This and the cooking method explained below will help improve the texture. Adding spices, herbs, garlic, ginger and other ingredients will boost their flavour and make them taste delicious!

Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, half pack)

Net carbs1.5 grams
Protein0 grams
Fat0.2 grams
Calories4 kcal

Calories from carbs 77%, protein 0%, fat 23%

Total carbs2.9 gramsFiber1.4 gramsSugars0 gramsSaturated fat0 gramsSodium0 mg(0% RDA)Magnesium0 mg(0% RDA)Potassium0 mg(0% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

Instructions

  1. Drain the noodles - discard all the water. Place the noodles in a large sieve and wash well under running water. How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles
  2. Transfer into a pot with boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. This step is important for removing the unpleasant odour. How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles
  3. Drain the noodles and place on a hot pan without any grease or liquids. Fry over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. There will be a lot of steam and that's what you want to achieve - remove as much water as possible without drying them out. If they become too dry, they will significantly reduce in size. Using tongs, you'll need to turn the noodles to avoid that. This step is important for their texture. How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles
  4. When done, place in a bowl and have it ready for a stir-fry. How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles Try in my Easy Paleo Pad Thai or Prawn & Noodle Stir-Fry! How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles
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Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, half pack)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Shirataki noodles, konjac noodles
1.5 g0 g0.2 g4 kcal
Total per serving, half pack
1.5 g0 g0.2 g4 kcal
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Martina Slajerova
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Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (113)

Omg I sooo sooo soo love Shirataki noodles,
I rinse them, quickly heat,  some butter and salt on the top 👌🏻
Or then I just rinse them and enjoy em cold, straight from the package ❣️❣️

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These are a new discovery for me.....  I definitely do not like the fettuccini style.  Love the rice version.  I purchased Miracle Noodle brand.  Sent those and other styles and flavors (ziti, angel hair, spinach flavored) to my daughter last week to try and the jury is still out.
I've tried the pan rinse then pan fry method.  Ick.  Can't stand the texture.  However, what I did do, and LOVE, is rice cut the fettuccini (in my chopper).  I rinsed both that and the pre packaged rice.  Boil each package in water the microwave for 8 minutes.  Rinse and drain again.  No smell, decent texture.  
I make my own yogurt so I've been adding 1/2 package of the rice style (or my cut up fettuccini) to my yogurt.  It's a great filler, absorbs the taste of the yogurt (I make different flavors with my own flavoring and/or berries), and keeps me full.  I do not add chia seeds to the yogurt at the same time (I normally add 1 Tblspn. and let it sit for about an hour before eating).  Definitely OVERFULL with both.
If nothing else, I've found a great extender for my yogurt, and they pick up the sweet taste so I'll keep using them for that at least until I figure out some other recipes I like.

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I agree, the fettuccine are a bit too thick and chewy but the thin noodles and rice are great. I haven't tried the flavoured ones yet but I think I'll probably stick with plain because they are more versatile. Thanks for the tips Mary!

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Sorry but no matter how I have prepared them they still make me feel ill and I am sure they have a negative effect on my medications.  Is there some other pasta/rice substitute out there that can be used instead.

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That is something to be careful about, especially if you eat any konjak products, high-fibre foods or activated charcoal with medication, as they can reduce the effectiveness. How about zucchini noodles? I know they aren't like pasta but it's an option? I'm working on a keto pasta recipe but I'm not quite there yet.

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I appreciate your blog and expertise. But I have tried Shirataki noodles every imaginable way for 10 years. And they are just a little less rubbery than actual rubber bands. I’ve followed your technique exactly, also tried dry frying longer, boiling longer, dry fry then into 300 degree oven to dry more and many many other techniques. Still rubber bands.

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Hi Nick, the taste can be really close (especially after someone in the comments suggested adding vinegar or lemon juice into the pot with water). As for the texture, the noodles will never have the exact same texture as rice noodles or other grain noodles. The tips above help but won't make it exactly the same. This applies to all low-carb ingredients: almond flour vs regular flour, low-carb sweeteners vs sugar, etc, although some of these alternatives do taste like the real deal.

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Thank you!! I tried these noodles awhile ago and prepared them according to the package directions and did not like the texture at all. Your method makes them much more enjoyable! I'm glad I'll be able to satisfy the noodle craving with something other than zoodles once in a while.

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Thank you Nikki! A reader suggested boiling them in lemon juice or vinegar and I can confirm that adding 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to the pot made a difference 😊

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I was wondering if it blocks medications wouldnt it also block some of the nutrients contained in the vegtables you add to the shirataki when it is consumed....vitamins and essential minerals  contained in the veggies would presumably be blocked also..

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Yes, that is a good point. It may partially reduce the nutritional value of other foods so it should not be consumed on a daily basis.

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I'd also recommend letting them sit in a bowl of water with a couple squirts of lemon juice before frying them up. There is no smell after that!

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Thanks for the great tip Gemma!

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I followed your instructions with some modifications.  I boiled them in chicken broth, and towards the end of the frying and drying I added some slices of chicken and saute'd them together.  Then added some alfredo sauce I had just made and let it all sit in the pan and get warm.  Really very good.  I used the fettuccini style noodles, is there any trick to get them a little less chewy texture?  

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Hi Juli, I personally avoid the fettuccine style shirataki noodles because they are always a little chewy no matter how I prepare them. The best ones are the the thin noodles or the thicker noodles (spaghetti style).

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I eat these "noodles" in a bowl of bone broth and some shredded chicken if I have it on hand for my take on keto chicken noodle soup.

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“Tip: Rinse them really well and pan-fry them without oil or other liquid in order to remove as much water as possible. The less water that remains, the better the texture will be.”
Could you do the same thing with an air fryer?

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I'm not sure because I have never used one - maybe someone else could comment?

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Looks like a lot of work to prep the noodles.  Is it possible to do a batch and keep it ready in the fridge for a few days of use?  I am a working mum with a toddler and I only have very short time to prepare dinner.

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Absolutely! You can make a large batch and keep in the fridge (sealed) for up to a week.

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I use them regularily Place in strainer Rinse with cold water and boilFor 3 minutes or fry Ready in less than 5 minutes

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there is actually no work at all. it much faster then cooking regular pasta since all you have to do I boil for a minute. Then discard the water and keep them on the stove in the pan to evaporate any extra water

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So happy to see this blog! I have been using Shirataki rice and noodles for awhile. It is frustrating not being able to find many recipes using them. They are expensive, but they do help when you are craving a noodle or a rice dish. I found that it helps with getting fiber in my diet. I have issues in that dept and so many fiber products make things worse, but shirataki helps. I would like to use it more, hint, hint.... with some creativity recipes. I found every brand I have tried taste different. Some much better than others. Does anyone have experiences using the dried version? Better? Can't figure out why it is sold wet, must be a reason. I am changing tonight meal to stir-fry noodles with some green veg and smoked salmon!  

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Thank you! There are some tasty recipes using shirataki noodles here: ketodietapp.com/Blog/searchFilter
I haven't tried the dried version but I'd love to know what others think!

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We used these noodles with the Chicken Piccata in your cookbook.  Mixed the chicken, sauce, spinach and noodles altogether....delicious!!!

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Thank you so much! That sounds like a great match 😊

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Finally an excellent well researched article. Loved the cooking instructions. Interesting that you mention that glucomannan can reduce the bio availability of oral medication with shirataki noodles. Something similar  happens with Almond Flour which apparently reduces the nutrient absorption. Wonder if Shiritake noodles also blocks nutrient absorption. Did not know it smells awful if not cooked properly and tastes a bit rubbery.

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Thank you! Most high-fibre foods may do that. Psyllium is another example. It's always best to eat them occasionally - I wouldn't eat them every day.

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rinse, boil, fry! wow, much simpler than it sounds, fried up so easy, added to my stir fry and BAM! noodle fix solved! so so so thanks!

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I’ve just tried the rice from barenaked. Never smelled anything like it. Fishy and almost a chemical smell. It reminded me of wallpaper paste. The texture was unpleasantly slippery and although it looked like rice and had no discernible taste I didn’t enjoy it. A few mouthfuls of my curry and I’d had enough. I might try them again if I find a foolproof way to get rid of the smell but this was amongst the worst things I’ve ever eaten. Not impressed!

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Hello Karen, they do have that odour if used straight from the packet but not if you follow the steps in this post. You might want to give it a try - I had the same bad experience with my first pack of shirataki noodles.

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article does say to avoid barenaked

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I just ead an article by a lady who said after boiling the noodles she drained well and then put them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet  in the oven to dry. She said it worked very well and the noodles texture was much better.

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I haven't tried baking them but I think it should work just as well if you pan-fry them (dry).

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I have your Fat Bomb books and love them!  Easy to use and fun!

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Thank you so much!

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So good with a little chili garlic or siracha sauce!

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I am wanting to make a spaghetti bake using Tofu Shirataki noodles. The recipe calls for 12 ounces of spaghetti. How many 8 oz. packages of the Shirataki do you think I should buy.
Thanks.

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I would guess that it should be the same amount of shirataki noodles. I haven't heard of "tofu shirataki noodles" but would personally avoid that as tofu is a highly processed form of soy.

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I bought the shirataki noodles in a bag from my local health place.  The reason I bought them is because I wanted to make some pho.  Rice noodles and bean sprouts in pho are not keto friendly.  I deleted the bean sprouts and increased the mushrooms, cilantro, and basil.  It was going to be hard to delete the noodles, but the shirataki noodles filled in well.  Once absorbed into the pho the noodles took on the flavor of the bone broth and away we went.  I don't know how well the noodles will perform in other dishes, but they get a thumbs up in pho for me.

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Thank you Martina, Your info was great..

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I love miracle noodles. I prepare them the same way I do tofu. Drain, rinse, squeeze out all the water in a towel then I marinate them with vinegar, ginger, siracha turmeric, and tamari. After they sit for a few hours, I drain them again and cook them in a skillet with no oil or anything to dry them out, then I use them to make soups or stir frys. The texture is still kinda weird but it’s worth it because they keep me full for hours with only 30 calories. This is a great pasta substitute for me since I’m very gluten intolerant and they keep me fuller than rice noodles.

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Just found some Bare Naked noodles in Morrisons in the UK. They were great.

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I prep the noodles a little differently.  Yes I first dump them in sieve and rinse under cold water for a bit, then I flavored the water to soak them in.  Originally I cut up a lemon threw it in a plastic bowl to heat while I'm rinsing the noodles.  Then soaked the noodles for a few minutes in this acidulated water, this seemed to cut the smell effectively.  Well right now I'm out of lemons and needed to soak some noodles again, what occurred to me was a different acid source - white vinegar.  Heat the water again in the microwave while rinsing the noodles, then pour 1/2 cup vinegar over the noodles so it ends up in the hot water, add water to bowl so noodles are floating and let soak for a while then rinse the vinegar water off.
My experience is that the noodles do not absorb the water or flavors of the soaking water.  Other than rinsing and letting the treated noodles drain in the sieve I don’t dry the noodles.
Give it try and see what you think.

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Thank you! I'll give it a go!

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Thank you for this!! I have always rinsed and rinsed to get rid of the smell but I've never tried drying them in a frying pan. Can't wait to try it out.

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