Zero-calorie miracle noodles: Are they worth the hype?

Zero-calorie miracle noodles: Are they worth the hype?
PHOTO: Shape/Peh Yi Wen

Shirataki noodles, also known as miracle noodles, are thin and translucent Japanese noodles with a gelatinous texture.

Shirataki means "white waterfall", which aptly describes its appearance. Made from konjac root, it contains next to zero calories - just 7 calories for every 100g.

For those with a weight loss goal, you'll be glad to know that this low-carb alternative has proven to aid in that department according to numerous studies. It is also high in fibre and fit for those on a gluten-free diet.

Why doesn't it contain any calories?

Shirataki noodles carry 97 per cent water and 3 per cent glucomannan fibre, a soluble fibre that improves bowel health and blood sugar levels.

Try it for yourselves at Tamoya Udon

Famous for its chewy noodles, Japanese eatery Tamoya Udon launched a Bijin Noodles series that pairs this guilt-free "beauty" noodles with four of its signature sauces and broths.

Oooh-mami Bijin Noodles ($10.80)Photo: Shape/Peh Yi Wen

According to a spokesperson from Tamoya Udon, their best-selling dish from the series is Oooh-mami Bijin Noodles ($10.80). Slightly tangy to taste, it has an egg, dried sakura ebi, spring onions, and bonito flakes atop the Shirataki noodles tossed in a rich XO sauce.

Beef Kake Bijin Noodles ($11.80). Also available with a choice of pork. Photo: Shape/Peh Yi Wen

The Beef Kake Bijin Noodle ($11.80) came in a simple but comforting dashi soup broth - our pick for a rainy day.

Pork Sanuki Bijin Noodles ($10.80). Also available with a choice of beef.
Photo: Shape/Peh Yi Wen

Served in a soya dashi broth, the Pork Sanuki Bijin Noodles ($10.80) comes in a very generous amount - similar to the Beef Kake Bijin Noodles. So, you're guaranteed to be satisfied by the amount of protein, if not by the Shirataki noodles.

Cold Bijin Noodles ($8.80)​
Photo: Shape/Peh Yi Wen

Our favourite, however, was the refreshing Cold Bijin Noodles ($8.80), which is unique to the series (for the other three dishes, you can opt for the original udon variations). This vibrant-looking bowl comprises a well-marinated mix of minced pork, egg and five different vegetables for added colour and crunch.

Our verdict

If you're looking for a light meal that is satisfying without that dreaded food coma in the afternoon, Tamoya Udon's Bijin Noodles are a perfect choice. Shirataki noodles are virtually tasteless on their own, but the sauces and broths at Tamoya Udon were a tasty accompaniment.

The only downside? The lack of a non-spicy dry noodle option.

We love that the shirataki noodles don't reach a limp and soggy stage. Compared to a similar noodle like tang hoon (glass noodles), shirataki noodles are a great, if not better option in soups or even hot pots.

Tamoya Udon's Bijin Noodle series is available for a limited time at Tamoya Udon, located at #01-32 Liang Court.

This article was first published in Shape

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