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. The golden rule is:

"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."

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 them 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.

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Benefits & Side Effects

Benefits

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).

Side Effects

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).

How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles

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 & Like Shirataki Noodles

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!

Here is how to achieve best results:

  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. Try in my Easy Paleo Pad Thai or Prawn & Noodle Stir-Fry! How To Cook & Like Shirataki Noodles
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By Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

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 (81)

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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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 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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I've been using these for ages, great alternative. I completely agree, wash them loads and then dry fry them to get rid of the water.
I try and flavour the noodles with either whatever I'm cooking (i.e. cook them with the spaghetti sauce for a minute or two) or with other flavourings (soy sauce, tumeric, etc.)
Also for you UK-ers out there, I normally buy mine from Groupon (Better Than range). Works out to be less that 50p per serving.

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can Miracle noodles be frozen while still in original package?

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I'm not sure but I suppose they can. On the other hand, they have a long shelf life so you won't need to worry about freezing them.

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No they cannot be frozen!!

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I had a great experience with Shirataki Products by Miracle Noodles. I loved it !

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I followed your recipe, rinsed for a minute, added them to boiling water, boiled for over a little minute, drained and then dried them in a dry pan. Sprinkled some sesame oil over them and let them sit in a pot while I stir-fried some Pak Choy and "fake" meat. Made a quick peanut sauce to drizzle on top of the vegetables and noodles. It turned out great!

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Thank you! I had gotten pretty good at making these, but they were still a bit rubbery. Your tip to let them steam while cooking in the pan really helped; I think I was rushing that step. These are my new favorite snack and can't wait to try out more recipes! Your post is very much appreciated, ~Barbara

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I find that several things help me like these type of noodles.  First, rinse.  Then put in a bowl with enough water to cover the noodles. Add 1 tsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar).  Give it a quick stir.  Put in a colander or strainer and rinse again.  The smell is completely gone.
As mentioned, dry frying helps a lot, but what I find better, is to by the dry shirataki noodles and reconstitute them with chicken broth.
Then dry fry if needed to change texture.  Tasty compared to the ones packed in water.

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Thank you Alan, I like the idea of cooking them in chicken stock!

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Where did you find the dry noodles? I have searched and searched and can find only the wet ones.

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I don't think there are any dry varieties, at least not that I know of. I think that what Alan meant is that he dry-fries them.

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I think he is referring to dry Kanten Noodles that you can get anywhere you buy Miracle Noodles.

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There are dry varieties. They're typically sold in the Asian food section of some grocery stores. Or most commonly a specialty food store/Asian grocery store.

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Good to know, thank you!

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Hi theres a website called thin slim foods, they have low carb breads and they do sell a dry fettuchine noodles, i think only 4 carbs oer serving, we eat shirakati every day, skinny pasta sells a few different shapes,as miracle noodle only sells 3, i bought skinny lasagna and made a n awesome lasagna sunday, even replaced the ricotta with tofu filling, it was amazing, ive also made risotto with the rice, tuna mac, mac and cheese, pizza cruzt, apple keigle. Etc etc etc, im making pumpkin stuffed ravioli with the lasagna noodles, hoping egg white wash will make the ends stick together, then pan fry. These are tricky at first to use but really easy, you have to dry fry. If not will b like rubber, many people decide to skip this then wonder why they taste gross!! I also have glucomm powder (konjac powder) it replaces corn starch! Just a tiny shake thickens up stews, smoothies whatever!!!  And all fiber, no calories or carbs!!

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I don't mind the smell, but I still haven't adapted to the texture. I've tried several different ways to dry them and cook them but they always feel like rubber bands in my mouth as I chew.
I'm going to trying pressure cooking them in sauce tonight and see how that goes.  Anyone else ever pressure cooked them?

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I haven't tried pressure cooking them but love to know once you try it!

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Made "Nooodles" last night using the dry fry method for some chicken alfredo and it turned out more tolerable than I thought. I always prefer my real pasta to be more on the crunchy side so I'm wondering: has anyone tried adding an oven/broiler into the mix? As in spreading the noodles on a cookie sheet after dry frying and placing under the broiler for a minute or so to get that more authentic al dente texture.
Can't seem to find anyone who's tried it and haven't had luck on any of the websites affiliated with the different shiratki brands.

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That's an interesting thought - I haven't tried that but let us know if you do!

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There was a recipe on another site where the guy used them as a pizza crust.. They definitely looked crunchy. And he baked them in the oven.

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Ok now you just hit my addiction! Going to have to try this! I just keep finding better and better stuff!

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If I plan to use the noodles in a soup, do I still need to pan fry/dry them 1st?

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If you plan to use them in a soup, I think you can skip step 3 - draining and boiling should be enough.

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I made ramen soup with it and I just washed (because I had not seen this site before making the ramen) and came out great because I boiled the noodles in broth so it wasn't so bland.

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Just ordered the Smart Noodle shirataki noodles. As described, the smell was off putting. But I probably would not have noticed if I didn't put my beak into the pack to smell them. I followed the directions on preparing them. Quick and easy. During the pan cooking stage, I added a quick shake of spicy seasoning, then in the bowl before eating them, I mixed in some black bean salsa.
The verdict... it's quite good. The consistency of the noodles are fine. And the ability of the noodles to acquire and hold the flavors of added ingredients is a bonus, as they have no discernible flavor of their own. I can't wait to mix in some tuna on my next pack. The possibilities seem endless if one is brave enough.

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I mostly use them in stir-fries but also tried them in ramen soups and pasta meals. I agree, they are neutral and can hold sauces really well!

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I follow these directions and put 1/4 cup salsa and it's very good and satisfying with a very low calorie count.

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Excellent information about shirataki noodles.I had a great experience with Miracle Noodle shirataki products and i loved it!

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Great info!  Thank you--going to try it!  
Gigi

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