Monday, April 15, 2019

Food review: 'miracle' pasta

In a search for low carb low calorie food, I tried the konjac noodles today, also known as shirataki noodles ... and they were ok!  Really not much different than a traditional Asian rice noodle.

The brand: NOoodles has a somewhat 'miraculous' nutritional profile:  ZERO calories and ONE gram of carb:

So, when eating something with a nearly miraculous zero carb / zero calorie rating, you can't expect it to taste like wheat and egg pasta. Actually, if it tastes ok and has decent texture, then it's a huge win... and this pasta is just that.  It has no real flavor of it's own, and takes on the flavor of the sauce or what it's prepared with.  I wouldn't say it's particularly 'filling', but it fills the bill as a pasta dish.  The NOoodles brand comes packed in lime water.  Just 3 ingredients: water, lime, yam flour.

I prepared my first test as follows.  Empty water out of package, soak for a few minutes in warm salted vinegar water, dry fry on high heat, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, Italian spices, paprika, and minced garlic.  Saut√© at med heat for a few minutes.  It was ok!  Not bad at all!  Not real filling for a half pound serving but I didn't add much to it.  The 'angel hair' pasta isn't really as small as regular angel hair, but like small spaghetti.  The $3 cost per serving is a bit high compared to traditional pasta but it's worth it. $36 for a 12 pack/ 8 oz.  This would be good in a Asian pho-type soup with seafood and vegetables.

What is it?
It's from the Chinese konjac yam.  From Wiki:

The dried corm of the konjac plant contains around 40% glucomannan gum. This polysaccharide makes konjac jelly highly viscous and may be responsible for many of its health benefits as used in traditional Chinese medicine, detoxification, tumour-suppression, blood stasis alleviation and phlegm liquefaction. Konjac has almost no calories, but is very high in fiber. Thus, it is often used as a diet food. Konjac fiber-rich flour contains neither gluten nor fat, almost no carbohydrates, and has just 60 calories per kilogram, compared to 3,680 for wheat.  The dietary fiber from konjac is used as a component of weight loss supplements. Konjac supplementation at modest levels has been shown to promote increased butyric acid through improved bowel flora ecology and increase bowel movements in constipated adults.

Glad to have discovered this.  Wow... only 1.6% of the calories of wheat.  THAT is pretty miraculous.

Here was the first trial:

My spicy shrimp pho... a filling meal and under 125 calories.  Really.  Might be under 100.

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