Hot and Sour Shirataki Noodles with Tofu

by on May 11, 2006
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The Shirataki Noodles I Bought

I gave in and tried a fad-food. While shopping in the local Asian grocery store yesterday, I noticed shirataki noodles in the refrigerated section. They may have been there all along, but I noticed them only because I’ve been seeing them mentioned on the internet as the next diet wonderfood. In case you’ve missed all this, here’s a definition from The Food Network:

Thin, translucent, gelatinous noodles made from the starch of a yamlike tuber known as Devil’s Tongue. Shirataki, which are the shredded form of konnyaku, have no discernable taste but absorb the dominant flavors of the soup or dish to which they’re added. They can be found both in dry and soft forms in Asian markets and some supermarkets. The word shirataki means “white waterfall,” alluding to the appearance of these noodles.

Shirataki have become very popular with low-carb dieters because they contain almost no carbs or calories. There are basically two forms of them available, one just the plain noodles made of konnyaku and another that combines konnyaku and tofu and is available in different styles (fettucini or noodle, for example). Both are low in carbs, but the tofu version has added protein and a few more calories.  The package I bought was the plain kind, packed in water, and the package indicated that for a 2.8 ounce serving, there were no calories and less than one gram of carbohydrate (though I fail to see how anyone could eat only 2.8 ounces and be satisfied).

When you open a package of shirataki, you may notice a characteristic (i.e. bad) smell. This smell disappears as long as you parboil the noodles before using them. I wasn’t taking any chances, so I first rinsed the noodles and then boiled them in water to which I added soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil. They boiled for two minutes and sat in the cooking water until I was ready to add them to the recipe. (Unlike regular noodles, they don’t get soggy from sitting in water too long.) I’m happy to report that they tasted fine–if you consider “fine” to be that they had no taste at all. But once I added them to the rest of the ingredients, they did pick up the hot and sour flavor of the dish, and we actually liked them very much.

NOTE: You can make this with regular thin noodles, such as buckwheat soba or angel hair pasta. Just make the noodles according to package directions and then add them at the end of the recipe.

Hot and Sour Shirataki Noodles and Tofu, a Thai-style dish

My husband and I really enjoyed this, but it was a little too hot and too sour for our daughter, so no kid-friendly label for this recipe, I’m afraid. It worked out well for us, though: Since this dish was our entire meal, dividing it into three servings would have left us all a little hungry, but this was just the right size for two adults with big appetites. I will definitely be using shirataki noodles again.

Update: Take a look at my other shirataki recipes: Shirataki Noodles with Tomato Pesto, Orange-Ginger Tofu on Shirataki Noodles, and Brussels Sprouts Go Asian.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm

The "House Foods" brand of shirataki tofu noodles ARE vegan…please make sure everyone knows that.


2 Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm

…forgot to mention…this recipe is awesome!


3 mary July 5, 2010 at 11:30 am

You can get different varierties at Try the orzo, its great!


4 hoopingmama April 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Do you know what the total calorie count for this recipe is? it looks amazing! i’ll be trying it out tonight.


5 hoopingmama April 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

i made this last night, and it was AMAZING! thank you so much for the recipe!! when running it thru the calorie counter i got total calories of 229. i did substitute a couple things. i didn’t have cabbage, so i used bok choy. i also used asparagus instead of green peppers. DELICIOUS!


6 SusanV April 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

I’m glad it worked out for you! I meant to get back to you about the calories, so I’m glad you were able to figure it out. I’m a little surprised that it had that many, but I know it would be a whole lot more with regular noodles.


7 stacie May 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Made this tonight for dinner! Fantastic… i will definitely be making these again and will try your other recipes with shirataki noodles…


8 KBeane July 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I made this tonight and my husband and I liked it a lot! I had been leery of trying shirataki noodles, but they are quite good in this recipe! I added red pepper with the mushrooms and sprinkled cilantro on top.

Thanks for posting!


9 Tammy August 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Love Shiritaki noodles!! I can get angel hair, spaghetti or fettucini style here…I really enjoy them once the “smell” is taken care of. It makes a nice change from using spaghetti squash where I would normally use long pasta…lol…


10 Shirataki Noodles November 9, 2012 at 1:19 am

Nice Recipe..thanks for share!


11 Virginia September 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm

I love shirataki noodles nom nom. I’ve used the fettuccini and spaghetti style both in my stir frys. I just open the bag and rinse them off and once my stir fry has been cooking good for a bit I toss them in. They soak up the flavor really good! They def do smell really bad when you first open the bag lol.


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