Gluten Free

Is Shirataki Noodles Gluten Free?

I love pasta more than I do rice, and I am sure lots of people share the same sentiments with me. I have explored numerous noodles throughout my life, from regular noodles to angel hair, glass noodles, egg noodles, and even rice noodles. Each always has unique contributions to different dishes and has foods they pair best with.

When it comes to the most healthy of the lot, I’d always pick shirataki noodles, as they are made with just a few ingredients that make them a great choice for diabetics and people aiming to cut down on their weights or maintain their weight while still enjoying the noodles they love so much. But is shirataki noodles gluten-free? Here is all we know about shirataki noodles’ gluten status.

What is Shirataki Noodles?

Shirataki noodles are a derivative of the corm of konjac yam, also called elephant yam. While most of us may have caught up with the trend of these miracle noodles in recent years, they have long been a staple in Chinese and Japanese diets for hundreds of years.

For the noodles to be formed, konjac is ground into flour and mixed with lime water and still water, which is necessary to keep the noodles together so they can be cut into the final product we consume. The word shirataki can be translated as “white waterfall” in Japanese, a befitting name for the translucent look it gets when it is cooked and turned into a bowl. Like most other noodles, it doesn’t have any taste and takes on the flavor of the dish it is used in.

There are different varieties of konjac noodles, such as long, opaque, or white. Konjac noodles can serve just about any purpose a regular noodle would; however, they have a shorter cooking time. I have used it for some of my Asian salad recipes, and it is my number one go-to option for a gluten-free pancit experience.

Is Shirataki Noodles Good For You?

Shirataki noodles are rich in fiber. They contain glucomannan, which is a soluble fiber that can absorb water over 50 times its weight. This is why shirataki noodles have over 90% water content, making them one of the healthiest noodles on the shelves. These noodles digest slowly, keeping you full for longer. Also, glucomannan doubles as a probiotic that nourishes your microbiota.

If you are seeking the perfect noodles to consume while aiming to cut down on your weight, shirataki noodles are the perfect fit. Levels of hunger hormone (ghrelin) are reduced when glucomannan is consumed before carbohydrate intake, as a 2009 study shows.

Diabetics could also benefit from consuming shirataki noodles instead of regular noodles. A study has shown that people with insulin resistance and diabetes have their blood sugar levels lowered when they consume glucomannan. Further, more studies showed that consuming derivatives of konjac, like shirataki noodles, for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood sugar levels significantly, according to Healthline.

Infrequent bowel movements or chronic constipation in adults and kids have been effectively resolved by glucomannan supplementation. Further, studies proved that pregnant women could benefit from glucomannan as it resolves the symptoms of constipation they face.

Are shirataki noodles gluten-free?

Gluten is a storage protein naturally found in barley, rye, and wheat. This protein is responsible for the chewy texture you get in most dishes and pastries. However, most Asian dishes are devoid of gluten, as they often use rice flour in place of wheat or the like, but shirataki is slightly different.

Shirataki is one of those gluten-free noodles you could confidently eat any day as a gluten-sensitive individual. Unlike your typical noodles, which are made from wheat flour, they are derived from the corm of konjac yam, which is free from gluten. However, double-check labels, as some manufacturers could add gluten-containing ingredients, but that is very unlikely.

Here are other gluten-free noodles you could eat

Getting around certain dishes as a coeliac or just a gluten-sensitive individual shouldn’t be that hard. I have learned how to substitute regular wheat flour for a mixture of sorghum and cornstarch and still make some great cornbread that tastes just like jiffy cornbread.

Likewise, for other dishes, there is always an available substitute, if you’re not into making some at home yourself. For noodles, here are other gluten-free options available on counters in stores around you:

Rice noodles

Besides gluten-free shirataki noodles, rice noodles are always my next-best go-to option. They are derivatives of rice flour mixed with water and a little salt. They are commonly used in lots of Asian recipes, such as instant pot beef pho, banh cuon, and pad Thai, among others. They have a short cooking duration, and if you cook them a little longer, they will lose texture. I usually cook them in boiling water and turn them into ice water, depending on the recipe.

Soba Noodles

You should also be familiar with this one if you’ve been enjoying gluten-free noodles for a while. Soba is a Japanese word that can be translated as buckwheat (a gluten-free seed). They boast an earthy and nutty flavor, have an appearance similar to spaghetti, and are commonly used in both cold and hot Japanese dishes. They are packed with fiber and proteins.

Kelp noodles

This is another gluten-free Asian noodle made in Korea. They have low carbs and calories as they are derived from kelp. They don’t taste like shirataki noodles and are ready to eat. They are one of my favorites in salads, and you could use them in Vietnamese egg rolls, stir-fries, or soups. This is one hell of a versatile noodle.

Is shirataki noodles gluten free?

Looking to enjoy some great noodle dishes? Shirataki noodles are one of the many gluten-free noodles you will find on shelves in stores around you. They are devoid of taste but will take on the flavors of dishes they are used in and can work in lots of dishes you crave as a gluten-sensitive individual.

Cortiso Davids

My culinary adventure began at an early age when I would stand on a chair to help my mom stir pancake batter. Over the years, I've honed my skills and knowledge, drawing inspiration from family recipes, celebrated chefs, and the vibrant food cultures that make our world so diverse and fascinating.

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