My friend Christy, who loves to eat, feed people, and tell you all about it, told Lea and me about her low-carb adventure at the Outback event. When I mentioned that my love for pasta would sabotage any such effort I would make, she said yeah, I thought so too, and then countered with Shirataki noodles.
Mostly soybeans by weight, Shirataki noodles are nearly calorie- and carb-free. They’re sold and should be kept refrigerated. It’s an 8-oz. package, but they’re packed in a lot of water, and I’m guessing the food yield is a little over 3 oz. They’re soft and yielding right out of the bag.
Christy said rinse them very well because they smell bad. Now, I magnified this in my brain beyond all reason. I thought I was going to cut the bag open and be fighting tears and gagging as I rinsed them in the colander. Nowhere near. There’s a bit of a funk about them, but that’s all it is. No biggie.
After I rinsed them, I plopped them in a pan over medium heat and pushed and pulled them around with tongs until they were hot and most of the water had evaporated.
Then we ate. This is my usual stir-fry recipe, minus most of the brown sugar in the marinade. (Low-carb strikes again.)
Are they good? Indeed, they are. The flavor is delicate, and they pick up sauce just like you’d want them to. The texture is really the only (subtle) giveaway. These noodles are a bit squeaky. And while they don’t have the satisfying outer-inner dissonance of true al dente, there is a little resistance that serves the gustatory experience well. If you’re a pasta hound on a low-carb diet, these are a slam-dunk.
But (you knew there’d be a but)…these cost a lot.
It takes five packages of these to yield the same food volume as a one-pound package of conventional pasta. The Shirataki noodles are $1.99 per package at my local Kroger, so five of them are $9.95. A pound of regular pasta is $1.29 or so. So, nearly eight times the cost.
But what’s a big ol’ plate of noodles worth to you, low-carb dude or doll? Did you ever think you’d see the day?
It’s an indulgence we’re going to make from time to time, I’ve a feeling. The Asian skillet totally works. Italian is next. We’ll find the extra scratch for them.
Updated: I tried them as spaghetti tonight, and enjoyed them even more than in the stir-fry.