Shirataki Noodles with Tomato Pesto

by on September 4, 2006
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Somewhere on the internet, people must be talking about shirataki noodles because dozens of visitors a day come here searching for shirataki recipes. Shirataki noodles aren’t really difficult to use, but in the interest of being a helpful internet citizen, I thought I’d offer up some info, as well as a new shirataki recipe.

First, my comments:

If you’re unfamiliar with shirataki noodles, they are clear, gelatinous noodles made from the starch derived from the konjac plant. (The primary component of the konjac root is glucomannan, a soluble dietary fiber.) People are getting excited about shirataki because the noodles have practically no calories or carbs–they’re all fiber and water. You can enjoy them like traditional noodles, but without the guilt.

Shirataki noodles come packed in water that you drain off before cooking. Prepare yourself before you open the package. Every package I’ve bought has had a fishy smell (which I hate). I keep a colander ready, pour the noodles into it, and rinse them immediately. Then I boil them for at least one minute, often with some kind of seasoning (soy sauce, garlic, bouillon). The fishy smell goes away and leaves no fishy taste.

Use kitchen shears to cut the noodles (if you’re using the spaghetti-like kind). Doing this after rinsing and before boiling is easiest.

They don’t absorb sauce like regular noodles do, so you don’t need as much sauce–or at least as much liquid in the sauce.

Don’t believe what other websites say: Shirataki noodles are not very filling. That’s been my experience, at least. Plan on using at least one of these 7-ounce packages per person for a light meal, and at least two for a hearty meal. I’d serve them with plenty of vegetables, tofu, and/or beans in order to make them a filling dish.

If you’re vegetarian, be aware that the House Foods Tofu Shirataki contains calcium derived from shellfish. Update: House Foods Tofu Shirataki is now vegan!

For more information about shirataki, be sure to check out the articles linked on this page. And take a look at my previous shirataki recipes: Hot and Sour Shirataki Noodles with Tofu, Orange-Ginger Tofu on Shirataki Noodles, and Brussels Sprouts Go Asian.

Shirataki Nooles with Tomato Pesto

Shirataki Noodles with Tomato Pesto

This recipe uses one 7-ounce package of shirataki noodles and serves one person.

1 7-ounce package shirataki noodles
1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
2 cloves minced garlic, divided
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tbsp. tofu sour cream, vegan mayo, or light silken tofu
7 cherry tomatoes
salt, to taste
1/3 cup diced cucumber
1 tbsp. toasted pinenuts, optional

Rinse and drain the shirataki noodles. Place them in a saucepan, cover them with water, and add one clove of minced garlic. Place on the stove and bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the walnuts and remaining garlic into the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the basil and tofu sour cream, and process until the basil is chopped. Add 5 of the cherry tomatoes, and pulse until tomatoes are chopped and the mixture is well blended. Add salt to taste and mix again.

Drain the shirataki noodles and mix them well with the pesto. Chop the remaining tomatoes, and toss them, the cucumber, and the toasted pinenuts with the noodles. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This recipe, including pinenuts and using JFC noodles, provides the following: 150 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat; (53% calories from fat); 7 g Protein; 12 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 37 mg Sodium.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 joane September 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

just wanted to let you know .. it’s “Healthy Girl’ who has made these noodles famous.


2 katie May 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

This was my first time trying out shirataki noodles — loved this recipe! Thanks!


3 HappyDane August 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I’ve been carving noodles for so long, but stayed away because of the gluten and many calories – this has just saved my day/slash-pasta need! I want make dishes with these so badly now.
Thank you so much for posting about these noodles!


4 Shirataki Noodles May 29, 2012 at 1:50 am

Awesome dish..ill also try this in a couple of days !!


5 Lauren January 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I used to drain, rinse, then boil the noodles, too, until I discovered dry frying them. They actually taste much better if you don’t boil them, but instead, after rinsing them thoroughly, toss them into a dry, non-stick pan and just heat them up until they are dry and “squeeky.” (The squeak means they’re done.) This not only gets rid of any bad smell, but it actually helps the texture taste better!! Then from there, you can toss in any ingredients you can imagine!


6 MsNikki January 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I’ve tried the Shiratake noodles and hated them because of the texture. They just bounced around in my mouth and I couldn’t “catch” them to chew. I might have to try dry frying them. Thanks for the idea!


7 Susan Voisin January 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

Thanks for that tip! I tried it last night with the fettuccine-style noodles and it worked great!


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