Pasta is usually one of the first things you give up when you go gluten free. That’s one of the biggest changes I made.
One of my favorite gluten-free pasta options is shirataki noodles. Besides having no gluten, they are also incredibly low calorie. So low, in fact, that many traditional (soy free) versions are zero fat and zero calories. Really!
Recently, I had the opportunity to try a variety of noodles from Skinny Shirataki Noodles by Genki USA Inc.. This company offers a range of noodle styles, from shirataki spaghetti to shirataki “rice.”
The Skinny on Skinny Noodles
Genki USA Inc., makers of Skinny Noodles, discovers traditional foods from Japan and other Asian countries, and adapts them to a western diet. All of their products are made in the U.S.A..
Like the traditional shirataki noodles from Japan, Skinny Noodles creates their products from glucomannan or konnyaku flour. This flour comes from a root native to Asia known as “konjac” for short.
As a result, shirataki noodles help you lose weight and are diabetic friendly, gluten free, soy free and a good source of fiber. I really like this quote on their website:
Eat well, live well. Don’t just get skinny, get healthy!
Using Skinny Shirataki Noodles Products
Although Skinny Noodles can be used in the same way you incorporate traditional pasta, some key differences exist:
- Shirataki noodles come in a bag filled with natural alkaline water to keep the product fresh.
- Noodles are a “ready to eat” food meaning no cooking is required.
- Shirataki has a somewhat odd smell when you open the package. The odor is anywhere from earthy to ocean-like. This is due to a combination of the konnyaku and alkaline water. A good rinsing gets rid of of the smell.
- Unused noodles should always be refrigerated in an airtight container, and be completely covered with water or the leftover liquid from the package. Leftovers should be eaten within 3 days.
The spaghetti noodles are about the same size as traditional spaghetti except that they are a bit transparent in appearance.
I tried these noodles in a classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe. After rinsing and dry roasting them for a few minutes, I added the noodles to the sauce and allowed it all to simmer for a couple of minutes.
Here’s what the plate looked like:
The noodles looked fabulous in this dish. When I ate them, I noticed the spaghetti had a somewhat gelatinous texture and burst a little as a I chewed. I’m used to traditional pasta sticking together a bit with each bite, but the difference with the shirataki spaghetti wasn’t enough to bother me. In fact, I got used to it pretty quickly.
I was really pleased to taste that the noodles totally absorbed the flavor of the sauce. And best of all, the noodles added no calories to my plate. Take a look at the nutrition information:
The fettuccine noodles are also similar to traditional versions, except these are green due to the spinach powder.
I made a chicken fettuccine dish:
I liked the slight spinach flavor in the noodles because it wasn’t too overpowering, and they still soaked up the sauce nicely.
That said, the somewhat jelly-like texture in this product was a bit too much for me. I think I noticed it more in the fettuccine because it’s a larger noodle.
As for calories, the total calorie count for the whole package was only 15!
The Skinny “Rice” are actually small, round balls of shirataki. I was especially excited to try this product because I’ve been looking to alternatives to rice.
Here, I added the “rice” to a chicken noodle soup:
This was one of my favorite shirataki dishes. The “rice” was small enough to enhance the dish and bring out all of the flavors of soup. I enjoyed this much more than traditional rice.
The only issue I had with the Skinny “rice” was that it was a bit hard to rinse out because my colander has large holes where the little rice balls could easily escape. I’d recommend a strainer or cheesecloth for the draining.
Here’s the nutrition info for the “rice.” Again, zero calories!
The macaroni was pretty much the same size and shape as elbow macaroni, except without the little bend.
My mother-in-law makes a fantastic macaroni salad so I used these noodles in her dish.
The noodles absorbed all the flavors and held together really well as I mixed the ingredients together. Piping hot and intermingled with the other ingredients, the shirataki almost tasted like traditional macaroni. After it cooled down, the difference in texture became apparent. I would definitely recommend eating the macaroni hot.
The macaroni noodles only have 10 calories. Here are the nutrition details:
The angel hair looked pretty much like the spaghetti except that it was a thinner noodle as expected. I used these noodles for a chicken stir fry and in another soup. It was absolutely delicious. It was so good that I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy eating. Sorry!
Here’s the nutrition info:
Cooking with Shirataki Noodles
- Parboil them for 2 to 3 minutes
- Heat them in a dry skillet for 1 to 2 minutes
- Microwave them for about 1 minute
After preparation, you might want to place the spaghetti, angel hair or fettuccine on a cutting board so you can trim the noodles down to your preferred size.
The back of each Skinny Noodles product also has preparation instructions and a suggested recipe.
Things to Be Aware Of
If you’ve never tried shirataki, you’ll be surprised at how a little amount can satisfy your hunger. Skinny Noodles products contain at least 3 grams of soluble fiber per serving, which means it absorbs water in your digestive tract, slows your digestion and gives you a feeling of fullness. That’s why shirataki noodles are a such a healthy weight-loss tool because they reduce the absorption of carbs, cholesterol and fat. Eat a smaller portion than you think you’ll need because it will fill you up fast.
And if you’re cooking for more than one person, you’ll also want to use at least two bags of noodles. For my recipes, two packages usually produced three to four servings.
Purchasing Skinny Noodles
Skinny Shirataki Noodles are available on their website. You have the option of placing a single order, or you can opt to take part in the auto-ship program to have your choice of noodles delivered to you in regular shipments. If you choose to auto ship, you’ll save 15% off your order and get free delivery.
And be sure to check out the various features provided on the site. For example, you can get shirataki recipes, watch a how-to video on cooking and preparing shirataki noodles as well as read more about the health benefits of shirataki noodles.
Disclosure: Genki USA Inc., makers of Skinny Shirataki Noodles, provided me with samples of their products mentioned in this post. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and are not influenced by any form of compensation. This post contains affiliate links to the products I wrote about because I personally use them and believe they have value to my readers. When you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I earn a small commission that helps me keep this site up and running. Thank you for your support!