Japan is famous for their delicious dishes and these dishes are something that has been loved around the world. From sushi to sticky rice to soba, there are many food delicacies which make Japanese food a global success.
There is nothing that beats a wholesome Japanese dish, yet with so much to choose from it is easy to get lost. In this article, we will be exploring shirataki noodles, uncovering what they are as well as taking you through its flavors.
What Are Shirataki Noodles?
Shirataki noodles are a popular noodle in Japan, resembling long translucent strands. They are made with konjac yam and can be translated to “white waterfall” due to the noodle’s appearance.
These noodles can be easily found and purchased from your nearest Asian food store or international store.
How Are Shirataki Noodles Made?
At first glance it is easy for anyone to be curious about the way they are made. The way they look is unique and it is not something we see every day. Whilst noodles usually hold a pasta resemblance, shirataki noodles are thick, clear strands.
So, how exactly are these noodles made?
To make shirataki noodles you need a yam-like tuber called Devil’s Tongue. Glucomannan is then extracted from this and mixed with water and lime water to create konnyaku. The konnyaku is then shredded into what we recognize as shirataki noodles.
Most people, however, don’t choose to make these noodles from scratch and opt for the store bought version (these will either come dried or in a liquid-filled can). If you choose this option, the cooking process is very easy and quick.
What you need to do is fill a pot full of water, lightly salted, and allow this to boil. Once boiled, add in the noodles and let this sit until it is softened to your liking.
What Do Shirataki Noodles Taste Like?
When it comes to indulging in these noodles, many people are intrigued as to what they taste like. However, unfortunately there is not too much to tell as the shirataki noodles are flavorless.
As these noodles cook, the flavor naturally drains out of them so because of this the dishes are done in a way to give them taste.
You will find shirataki noodles used in soups and saucy dishes and it is these added flavors which make the noodles so desirable.
As for the texture, you should be expecting to taste a chewy and rubbery noodle.
The noodle’s taste is all dependent on how you make it and choose the flavor. The thing that would put people off more is its texture rather than the flavor itself.
Do Shirataki Noodles Taste Like Fish?
It is easy to assume that shirataki noodles taste like fish because of its smell but this is not true at all. These noodles do not carry a distinct flavor yet the smell can be enough to put someone off.
What you smell is a natural occurrence for the noodles and there are many who describe the scent as “fishy”, but what is the reason for this?
The reason for that “fishy” smell is not the noodles themselves but the liquid it is held in.
The liquid is merely water but absorbs the odor of the konjac root. In order to remove this smell, rinse the noodles thoroughly with water. Alternatively, you try using lemon juice or vinegar to remove the smell.
Shirataki Noodle Health Benefits
One thing that these noodles are known for are their health benefits. Unlike other noodle/pasta dishes, shirataki noodles do plenty of good for the body and are a top choice for those wanting to cut down and diet.
For those on a weight loss journey, shirataki noodles are a blessing. These noodles are low in carbs and filling, meaning you don’t have to worry about overeating or indulging in too many calories.
Furthermore, they are high in viscous fiber which in turn delays stomach emptying; this is something else to make a person stay full for longer and not be tempted to eat other foods.
Another health benefit is its ability to aid diabetes. The shirataki noodles contain glucomannan and it is the element that helps to lower blood sugar levels.
This is very beneficial for people with diabetes as it is important to get their blood sugar levels at a stable rate.
It is common for people to become constipated and with time many remedies have been created. One thing that has been acknowledged through this is the powerful effects of glucomannan.
It has been proven that glucomannan has been able to help bouts of constipation so it may be possible for shirataki noodles to have the same effects.
As the world continues to come together, more and more are we all learning about new cultures. We are able to explore their beliefs, their formalities and, most importantly, the great food they bring.
Japan is one country famous for their beautiful dishes and the world has been lucky enough to taste these foods and incorporate them into their every day.
In this article we have spoken about shirataki noodles, otherwise known as “white waterfall”.
These unique, translucent noodles are something which creates curiosity among many and it is only natural to wonder what flavors they bring.
However, the truth is that there is not one distinct taste. Shirataki noodles do not carry a substantial taste, just like how pasta does not either.
However, with that being said they do have a chewy rubbery texture which deserves to be brought to light.
Although there is no significant flavor, this is not to say that they are not worth having. It is the duty of the chef, whether that be professional or amateur, to make the noodles taste exceptional.
Throw the noodles into a soup, make a stir fry with plenty of seasonings and vegetables or make a dish full of plenty of sauce. Your shirataki noodles will be sure to end up tasting like the heart of Japan.