Have you heard of these noodles with very few calories, Shirataki? WELL, the thought of a low-calorie (20-calories per serving or something SO negligible) noodle that tasted normal was so enticing to me that I just HAD to buy some when I saw them in the store.
According to the website, www.shirataki.net, these noodles are made of a water-soluble fiber (the same ingredient in konnyaku, if you know what that is) and are chewy. I'd heard on TV that they were "just" like regular noodles, so I was excited to try them. They come packaged in water and are sold in the refrigerated tofu/vegan section in the produce department at the grocery stores I've seen carrying them.
The noodles come precooked and the package directions say that you can boil them for a few minutes, or rinse them and microwave them. I went with microwaving because, why not? The package also warns to rinse for "several minutes to remove authentic smell."
Authentic = fishy. REALLY fishy. I love fish and use it as a base for tons of my cooking, but once I smelled the packaging liquid I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. In hindsight, I'm not sure why I bothered because I was putting fish WITH them, but it was a really strong smell and I didn't want to eat it. So, there.
The package says that it contains two servings, but I ate the entire package because 1. I wanted to and 2. IT ONLY HAS 40 CALORIES. It was a no brainer.
I made a light tuna cream sauce with 3 oz tuna, onion, garlic, white wine, parsley, and tomato. I garnished the pasta with white cheddar. This is a PERFECT meal for one (or two, if you're into package serving sizes) and you could make it anytime with plain pasta - no weird tofu stuff required!
First, I softened 1 clove minced garlic and 2 tablespoons chopped onion in some olive oil with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
When the veggies had cooked, I added a big splash of white wine and a big splash of cream (3 tablespoons each) and let it simmer very gently for a few minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.
And that's it! This is a great way to serve any pasta - I use it all the time. As for the Shirataki noodles, they thankfully didn't taste like rotting fish. The consistency is a bit on the VERY al dente side, so the consistency takes some getting used to. I think when I make them again I'm going to make them Asian-style with soy and saute them in a pan - I don't think they work well with traditional Italian ingredients, but that's probably because I'm so used to regular pasta. They really weren't bad though, and at the low calorie count can really be a great addition to a diet plan.
Another thing to note is that they didn't absorb sauce as well as regular pasta does. I would have added some thickener or let my sauce reduce more had I known that, and it's definitely something I'll keep in mind for the future.
Try these - they're weird but cool, and if you don't do vegan stuff make the tuna sauce with regular pasta - it's delicious and foolproof.
Have you tried them? Let me know!