Shirataki noodles

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Shirataki noodles
Shirataki noodles (top) and other ingredients in a donabe
Type Japanese noodles
Place of origin Japan
Main ingredients Noodles (konjac yam)
Cookbook: Shirataki noodles  Media: Shirataki noodles

Shirataki (白滝, often written with the hiragana しらたき) are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam (devil's tongue yam or elephant yam).[1] The word "shirataki" means "white waterfall", describing the appearance of these noodles. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they are very low in digestible carbohydrates and calories, and have little flavor of their own.[2][3][4]

Shirataki noodles can be found both in dry and soft "wet" forms in Asian markets and some supermarkets. When purchased wet, they are packaged in liquid. They normally have a shelf life of up to one year. Some brands may require rinsing or parboiling, as the water in which the noodles are packaged may have an odor some perceive as unpleasant.

Alternatively, the noodles can be drained and dry-roasted, which diminishes bitterness and gives the noodles a more pasta-like consistency. Dry-roasted noodles may be added to soup stock or have a sauce added to them.[5]


The glucomannan noodles come from the root of an Asian plant called konjac (full name Amorphophallus konjac). It has been nicknamed the elephant yam, and also called konjaku, konnyaku, or the konnyaku potato.[6]

Other names

Shirataki also goes by the names "ito konnyaku", yam noodles, and devil's tongue noodles.[7]

Ito konnyaku and shirataki

There used to be a difference in manufacturing methods; in the Kansai region of Japan, ito konnyaku was prepared by cutting konnyaku jelly into threads, while in the Kantō region, shirataki was prepared by extruding konnyaku sol through small holes into a hot lime solution in high concentration.[8] Nowadays, both are prepared using the latter method. Ito konnyaku is generally thicker than shirataki, with a square cross section and a darker color. It is preferred in the Kansai region.


  1. ^ Hui, Yiu. "Handbook of food science, technology, and engineering, Volume 4." CRC Press: 2006. p. 157-11.
  2. ^ "Shirataki Noodle Recipes: The No-Carb Pasta". September 28, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Konjac Foods - Pure Fiber Zero Calories Pasta". 
  4. ^ "Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)". February 18, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ "How To Cook". Miracle Noodle. 
  6. ^ Shirataki Site's information about shirataki noodles, how they are made and where to get them.
  7. ^ Hui, Yiu. "Handbook of food science, technology, and engineering, Volume 4." CRC Press: 2006. p. 157-12.
  8. ^ (in Japanese) 「糸こんにゃく」と「しらたき」論争 Archived 2011-02-27 at the Wayback Machine., Tokyo Gas
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