This is my first attempt at cooking with shirataki noodles – a noodle made of a japanese yam that has virtually no nutritional value. No fat. No calories. 2 carbs per serving. A few things you need to know before thinking this noodle is going to solve all your carb problems
- • They smell a little bit. :X It’s a bit of a fishy smell when you open the package but once you rinse the noodles and soak them in cool water, that smell pretty much goes away.
- • The texture is not like pasta. It’s a little chewy, and reminds me of the vermicelli noodles used in Vietnamese bun thit.
- • They’re pretty bland, so I think using this as a noodle alternative in Asian dishes is your best bet.
- • There’s yam-based shirataki and tofu-based shirataki. Yam = zero nutritional value. Tofu = some calories and some carbs. Read the label.
After doing some research on these magical noodles, I decided the best way to use them would be in pad thai. I also knew I wanted this pad thai to be a little heavy on the fresh herb side, because that’s what I was craving. I wandered around the 99 Ranch looking for new and interesting herbs that I haven’t worked with before. The one that caught my eye was red perilla, a.k.a. shiso a.k.a. tia to, a.k.a a million other things. It tastes like mint and basil had a baby. A pretty purple-leafed baby.
I also realized about half way through cooking I just stopped taking pictures. I don’t know why. You only get instructional pics through choppin’ the onions. Sawwwry.
All together, this pad thai is a whopping 260 calories per serving! Most of those calories coming from the peanut butter and the sesame oil. Look at FMITK, being healthy! Boop! Pad thai usually has about 500-600 calories and 60-80 carbs per serving. Thanks to our magic noodles, this recipe is only 15 carbs per serving. Bam.
This is where I stopped taking pictures. Mostly because I was trying to instagram video the cooking part. Then my instagram app crashed. Womp.
Shirataki Pad Thai with Tofu
adapted from vanilla and spice
makes 2 servings in 20 minutes
for the sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2-1 tsp sriracha (to taste)
for pad thai
1 package (7 oz) shirataki noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
4 oz firm tofu, 1/2″ cubes
2 green onions, minced
1/2 cup bean sprouts
crushed chili peanuts
for the sauce
Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside. Bam.
for the pad thai
Drain the shirataki noodles and rinse under cold water. That smell will go away, don’t worry. Let the noodles soak in cold water for 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the cubed tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the tofu is softened and lightly browned. It may break up a bit – be gentle with your stirring if you’d like the tofu to stay in larger chunks.
Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Add in the sauce and a splash of water and stir to combine. Once noodles and sauce are heated through, add in green onions and bean sprouts.
Plate noodles and garnish with lime wedges, crushed chili peanuts, chopped mint, cilantro and red perilla, or whatever herbs your beautiful big heart desires!
I had no idea what red perilla was when I got it. I was at 99 Ranch wandering aimlessly through the produce and the red perilla (a.k.a. tia to) caught my eye. I smelled it, tasted a little bit of the leaf, and thought it would go well with pad thai. And it did! Don’t be afraid to experiment!
I estimated the nutritional value with one of those fancy “put in all the ingredients and spit out the calories” apps. Here’s what she said, per serving:
Total Fat: 18.1g (It’s the peanut butter and sesame oil)