Shirataki noodle soup - iStock

A Tasty Gluten-Free Sub For Wheat Pasta

Yes, there is a guilt-free, gluten-free substitute for high-cal, high-carb wheat-based pasta.

Shirataki noodle soup - iStock


EASY & DELISH | For anyone on a low-cal, low-carb or gluten-free diet, pasta can be a problem—at least the traditional wheat-based kind. But there is an alternative: shirataki noodles, used in Asian cuisine.

Made from the konjak tuber, which is similar to yams (not sweet potatoes, a different plant entirely) and taro, shirataki is high in fibre yet contains no gluten and few carbohydrates or calories. In fact the nutrition details on some packages of shirataki say the contents have zero calories or carbohydrates; others list 20 calories and three or four grams of carbohydrate per 115 g of noodles. Compare this to the 300-plus calories and 63 grams of carbohydrate in 85 grams of wheat-based pasta.

Konjak noodles are translucent, tasteless and a bit gelatinous but work well in stir fries where they add the bulk and feel of noodles. Some are a grey-green colour with black specks which remind me of frogs eggs, so I opted for white ones.

Another kind of shirataki noodles combines yam flour with tofu and is available as spaghetti, angel hair, macaroni or fettuccine-style noodles (they have been used in the tomato soup pictured above). Their calorie and carbohydrate content is similar to pure yam-based noodles, but the appearance and texture is more similar to wheat-based ones. I particularly like the angel hair, as I do with wheat-based noodles.

T&T Supermarket carries a variety of shirataki noodles in the refrigerated section along with the tofu. Prices range from $1.39/230 grams to $1.99/198 grams for pure yam-flour noodles; $1.99-$2.09/226 grams for yam-and-tofu noodles.

Both varieties come packed in water rather than dried. To use them, drain and rinse well. Boil for a couple of minutes, then drain, rinse and dry on paper towels. —Sasha Pope

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Photo: iStock

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