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Goin’ Japanesque!

Shirataki: Worldly Popular Super Diet Food from Japan

Do you know “Shirataki,” the Japanese food gaining a lot of attention lately around the world? Have you even tried it? It is sold as “Shirataki” or “Miracle Noodle” in North America and as “Zen Pasta” or “Shirataki Noodle” in Europe, and is today favored by many people around the world.

So, what kind of food is shirataki? Why has it become so popular? How do you eat it? Let’s take a look at shirataki, the increasingly talked-about super food!


What is shirataki made from?


The answer is konjac corm.

Fine Shirataki Noodles Made from Konjac

Shirataki is created by dissolving grounded konjac or powder made from dried konjac in water, adding coagulant (calcium hydroxide) to it, and pushing it out from small holes of a shower-head shaped utensil for it to solidify into thin noodles. So shirataki is a food made from only vegetable and water.


“Miracle Noodle” is an example among other product names given to this food outside Japan.


Secret of Popularity

Then why has shirataki gained such a great attention around the world? The foremost reason is its diet effect!

1. Low Calorie Yet Rich in Dietary Fiber

97 percent of shirataki consists of water, so it is very low in calories. Its energy per 100 grams is 6 kcal, fat 0.0 gram, carbohydrate 0.1 gram and dietary fiber 2.9 grams. Made from konjac and water, it is also gluten-free. Containing the dietary fiber called glucomannan, it is said to lower the blood sugar level if consumed before or during meal. If you use shirataki for a variety of dishes you eat, you can control your calorie intake and prevent overeating.

2. Plain Taste and Distinctive Firm Texture

Shirataki can be used for all kinds of dishes because it’s very plain in taste and flavor. As such names as “Miracle Noodle” and “Zen Pasta” suggest, shirataki is often used as a substitute for pasta in Europe and North America. Its plain taste perfectly matches any kind of sauce. Also, the distinctive firmness in texture can make a satisfying meal.


Examples of Shirataki Dishes

Have you now seen why shirataki is called “Super Food” and is gaining attentions worldwide? If you are worried about gaining weight, want to keep a good control of calorie and fat intake or tend to overeat unknowingly, this super food, shirataki, is definitely worth a try!

I am showing you 4 examples of shirataki dishes, which I actually cooked myself.

1. Salad

Writer’s Photo

I boiled shirataki for about 3 minutes, washed it with water and mixed it with fresh vegetable to enjoy as salad. You can choose any dressing to your liking.

2. Hamburger Steak

Writer’s Photo

I used a mix of ground beef and ground pork, just half the amount I usually use for making a hamburger patty, and replaced the other half of meat with shirataki. I fried shirataki and chopped onion together, add them to the ground meat to knead it well into a patty and grilled it.

3. Soup

Writer’s Photo

I made a plain flavored soup with meatballs made by using the leftover shirataki hamburger dough, mushroom and vegetables

4. Pasta

Writer’s Photo

Shirataki in pasta style with chicken, broccoli and white sauce.

You can just replace meat or starchy pasta with shirataki and make satisfying meals with much lower calorie! In Japan, you can also find such various other dishes using shirataki as the ones I’m showing you below. Please give them a try sometime.


Popular Japanese Dishes Using Shirataki

1. Sukiyaki

Shirataki is an indispensable ingredient for sukiyaki.

2. Nikujaga


Nikujaga (boiled and sweet soy sauce flavored meat and potato) is one of the typical Japanese home cooking dishes containing shirataki.


Now are you interested in including it in your diet? Shirataki is currently a subject of great attention as a super food for those with high health awareness or on a diet. Dried shirataki like “Zen Pasta” and tofu-mixed shirataki like “Tofu Shirataki” are also among what’s available on the market. If you are concerned about taking too much calorie or about that little bulge in your lower belly, now’s the time for you to go on a shirataki diet! Include it in your diet, become as fat-free as shirataki and enjoy healthy and lively days!

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About the author

I live in Hokkaido. I love the great nature and seasons of Hokkaido, delicious foods as well as travelling. I would love for everyone to learn about the beautiful aspects of Hokkaido and the rest of Japan.

View all articles by Mika