Konjac Noodle Konjac Root Glucomannan Low Calorie & Low Carb Diet Food
Konjac Noodles Demystified
Konnyaku?.................. Where am I, Japan?
Nope, you re not in Japan. But, with access to exotic ingredients from all over the world, you almost could be. There used to be a time when the standard Joe didn t know that a latte was a coffee drink and wasabi was the Japanese version of horseradish. Now, you can find lattes on every corner and get wasabi roots, wasabi in a tube and wasabi powder at your local grocer. My, how times have changed.
WHAT IS KONJAC?
Basically, the Konjac root (a tuber or yam unique to Asia) is the source of Glucomannan;
In addition, some small studies have suggested that Glucomannan aids in lowing blood pressure and assists in regulating blood sugars. Interesting, eh? We re talking about a plate of this stuff (in noodle form) having virtually no carbs because it is almost 100% fiber!
It s so low in carbs, cals, AND fat (for those of you counting fat grams as well) that you can practically call it a free food.
There are two main types of the noodles. The plain yam noodles, a.k.a. Shirataki,
are made mainly with the yam flour itself and are a white, semi-
Tofu Shirataki is made with the addition of tofu which makes the noodles a creamy white, opaque color and ups the carb content a little.
I generally use the plain noodles (without tofu) for two reasons. One, I try to stay
away from too many NON-
The traditional uses consist of mostly soups and stir frys but these noodles can
also do a decent job doubling as pasta. True, konjac noodles have their own special
texture and they will never take the place of perfectly cooked, al dente pasta but
if you can learn to finesse them, you ll be able to add a pasta-
TRICKS OF THE KONJAC TRADE
First, you need to rinse them and snip the noodles with kitchen shears so they aren t so long&
The water them come packed in takes on a rather odd aroma. Believe it or not, they come out of the package with a slightly fishy smell that is not very appetizing. You really must rinse them off before using. But please, don t stop reading! Just give it a shot. I bet half of you will be surprised at how well they work for a pasta substitute.
SIDE NOTE: After they re rinsed, you can just nuke them until hot, top with sauce and serve, but the noodles tend to weep (giving off water) if they aren t sautéed a little first and you end up with watery sauce. I recommend the following method.
After you ve rinsed them, pat dry in a few paper towels and place in a sauce pan
or skillet on HIGH with 1-
I ve tried this without the fat but the noodles dry up unevenly and get a very strange, rubbery texture. Besides, the fat you use adds a bit of flavor and helps get rid of any leftover oddness from the packing water. Bacon fat is my favorite thing to use for this.
As the noodles sauté, they will reduce in size by about half. You don t want to cook them down too long or they will be difficult to chew. Some moisture must remain to get the best texture. Here s an example of what they ll look like after cooking&
On the left are the noodles directly from the package. On the right are the noodles
I sautéed in bacon fat for about 10-
As soon as the noodles have reduced in size, add your sauce and toss until well coated and heated through.
Use any type of sauce you normally would for pasta; bacon-
Here s an example of my spaghetti after eating half the portion. I am tipping the plate and notice there is NO water pooling towards the bottom of the picture. This is because I used the sauté technique before adding the sauce.
I know that some of you will try these noodles and not like them. That s OK, don t worry about it. Myself, I ve really fallen in love with them NOT because they taste just like Barilla but because of what they MEAN...
If you use a cream sauce instead of a tomato sauce, your carb content will be closer to 5 carbs. That s pretty amazing. (If you use the Tofu Shirataki noodles the carb content is slightly higher)
Copyright 2005 M.L. Rathbun including Photos