Super low calorie tofu shirataki noodles (also called konjac noodles) in a simple brothy soup with baby bok choy and an optional marinated egg. 220 calories for the whole batch! This shirataki noodles recipe is perfect for a light lunch or a filling snack between meals. While this meal can be a fantastic option for those who are dieting or trying to lose weight, please keep in mind that extreme calorie restriction is dangerous. This recipe is meant to be paired with other hearty meals throughout the day.
About Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles are Japanese noodles made from konjac yam, and they are almost completely calorie-free! One standard size package of konjac noodles, contains only 10 calories (this will vary by brand). Tofu shirataki noodles have a little bit of tofu blended in, this helps the texture of the noodles and brings the calorie count up to about 20 calories per package. The reason shirataki noodles are so low calorie is that our bodies cannot easily digest them, so they pass through our systems similar to dietary fiber. These noodles have been around in Japanese cooking for a long time, but they have been recently gaining popularity in western cooking. My favorite way to prepare them is as stir fry noodles, but they are also great in soups!
Check out my recipe for Stir Fried Shirtaki Noodles as well!
What do shirataki noodles taste like?
- Shirataki noodles are basically flavorless, so they will taste like whatever sauce you prepare them in. Some brands of konjac noodles have a strange smell (sometimes described as fishy) when they come out of the package. Don’t worry, this will go away completely if properly prepared. I think the Miracle Noodle brand has very little to no smell at all.
How is the texture of shirataki noodles?
- The texture of the noodles is very firm, and they do not break apart as easily as normal pasta does when chewed. Some people like to snip the noodles into shorter pieces with kitchen shears before serving.
- Tofu shirataki noodles have a more normal noodle texture than regular shirataki noodles. I especially prefer to use tofu shirataki in soups.
Hoe much do shirataki noodles cost? Where can I buy them?
- Brand names like Miracle Noodles and Pasta Zero can be found in many major grocery chains in the US. These name brands typically cost $3-$4 per 7 oz package. They may be in the pasta aisle, Asian foods aisle, or in the refrigerated section (likely near the tofu). Most brands of shirataki noodles do not need to be refrigerated, but they keep better if refrigerated, so you may find them in either section. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator once you bring them home.
- Japanese markets, or other Asian markets, will have the best price for konjac noodles, typically about $1.50 for a 7 oz package, less than half the price of the American brands. I typically see them stocked in the refrigerated section near the tofu.
- If you can’t find shirataki noodles locally, you can have them shipped to you fairly easily, since they don’t require refrigeration. You can find multipacks on Amazon, such as this 6 pack of Miracle Noodles (listed for $26, so $4.30 per pack, at the time I’m writing this).
Are there any risks associated with shirataki noodles?
- Shirataki noodles have no nutritional value, so eating them is like eating nothing at all. They should not be relied on as your primary food for the day. As long as you consume a healthy number of calories from other sources throughout the day, konjac noodles can be a great addition to a well-balanced diet, and may help you lose weight.
- Shirataki noodles remain basically fully intact as they move through your system, so some experts recommend making sure you chew them a little more thoroughly than you may with other foods.
- Some people report stomach pain/issues when consuming large quantities of shirataki noodles. If you’ve never had them before, it’s best to stick to one serving before you know how your body may react.
Are shirataki noodles keto friendly?
- Yes, shirataki noodles are keto friendly! This shirataki noodles recipe calls for a little sugar, but you can easily omit that to make this recipe keto friendly as well.
How are shirataki noodles used in traditional Japanese cooking?
- The most prevalent use of konjac noodles in Japanese cooking is soups, such as oden and Japanese style hot pot (sukiyaki and shabu shabu).
Key Tips – Shirataki Noodle Soup
Make the egg a day or two ahead.
- If you want to include a marinated egg in this recipe, it should be made a day or two ahead of time, so it has time to marinate. You can also use an un-marinated soft-boiled egg, or just omit it! My marinated egg recipe is linked below!
Make a double batch.
- If desired, this recipe can easily be doubled. Just note you may need to increase the cooking times slightly.
Make it spicy.
- You can add some spice to this recipe by topping it with red pepper flakes (or better yet, adding the red pepper flakes along with the garlic while cooking).
Check out my guide on freezing fresh garlic to save some time in the kitchen.
- If you’re looking for the convenience of pre-minced garlic, but the flavor of fresh garlic, freezing your own minced garlic is a great option! You’ll be surprised to find that the flavor of frozen garlic is nearly as good as fresh, without the sticky prep and clean-up. Read more about it here: How to Freeze Garlic.
Dietary Restrictions – Shirataki Noodle Soup
Make it Vegetarian:
- Use veggie stock instead of chicken stock
Make it Vegan:
- Use veggie stock instead of chicken stock
- Omit the marinated egg
This dish is naturally Dairy-Free.
Make it Gluten-Free:
- Just make sure you’re using gluten-free soy sauce, such as tamari.
A Note On Serving Sizes
Serving sizes are a very personal thing, making it very difficult for me to select a serving size that suits everyone. For this recipe, I’ve listed a “serving” as one batch, which is made from one standard package of shirataki noodles.
Shirataki Noodle Soup
- 8 oz tofu shirataki noodles or substitute other noodles, prepared per package instructions
- 1 baby bok choy or similar, separated into bite-sized pieces
- 1 soy marinated egg optional, click for recipe
- 2 cups chicken stock or sub beef or veggie stock
- 1 green onion greens and whites sliced thin and separated
- 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste or freshly minced ginger optional
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar or black vinegar
- 1 pinch white sugar optional, balances flavor
- In a small pot, warm the toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Once warm, add the minced garlic and the white portions of the green onions. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the chicken stock.
- Bring the chicken stock to a gentile simmer and add the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and a small pinch of sugar. Let the stock simmer as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Open the tofu shirataki noodles and drain the fluid. Thoroughly rinse the noodles with water. (I do this step in a mesh strainer)
- Add the shirataki noodles to the soup and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for about two minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Transfer the soup and noodles to a serving bowl (I like to strain some of the onions and garlic out, so I transfer the noodles to the bowl with tongs and then pour the soup through a strainer into the bowl). Add the baby bok choy pieces to the hot soup, top with the green onion greens and the soy marinated egg sliced in half (if using). Serve immediately.
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