Honey Sesame Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles with Honey Sesame Dressing is a cold and refreshing dish. Top the noodles with shredded egg crepe chicken and cucumber. It’s a perfect guilt-free summer noodle that is low in calories. It’s gluten-free, too!

We spend our summer in Japan with my family. In case you weren’t aware, the heat during Japanese summers are so brutal; it’s super hot and humid. We lose our appetites and become reluctant to cook in the hot kitchen. If you experience similar summer weather, or if you want to eat something light to maintain your figure in the summertime, this chilled Honey Sesame Shirataki Noodles is a perfect idea for your summer meal!

Watch How To Make Honey Sesame Shirataki Noodles at https://www.justonecookbook.com/honey-sesame-shirataki-noodles/

What Are Shirataki Noodles?
Shirataki noodles, or shirataki (しらたき), as we call it in Japan, are thin, translucent, gelatinous noodles made from a type of fiber that comes from the root of the konnyaku (konjac yam plant).

This Japanese ingredient has been around for years and is used in traditional Japanese dishes such as sukiyaki, nikujaga and all kinds of hot pot dishes.

You can find shirataki noodles near tofu in the refrigerator section of Japanese grocery stores or Asian grocery stores. You can shop and purchase them online at Asian Food Grocer (http://ow.ly/bf2Z50K3VtM)

Shirataki Noodles as A New Healthy Ingredient
People have been eating shirataki since the Edo period (1600) in Japan; however, it was never viewed as a “noodle substitute” or “diet food” until recently. As shirataki noodles are made of yam, they have only a few calories per serving. Here are some facts. They:

• Contain about 97% water and 3% glucomannan fiber (from the konjac plant)
• Are very low in calories
• Contain no digestible carbs
• Are very filling (“expanding” in the stomach as they absorb moisture)

Flavor-wise, shirataki noodles almost have no taste, so they are great for absorbing flavors from the sauce or soup they are soaked and cooked in. And texture-wise, they are quite slippery, slightly more difficult to pick up than noodles.

Tackle Shirataki Noodles’ Funky Smell
Let’s face the fact: Shirataki noodles are packaged in an awful-smelling liquid. Even though I am not bothered by this at all, I know some of you might be. It is actually just water, but it has absorbed the odor from the konjac root. It didn’t go bad, so don’t throw it away.

It’s important to rinse them very well under cold running water and then cook them in boiling water for about two minutes. This should remove most of the unpleasant odor.

On a side note, unlike pasta or Asian-style noodles, shirataki noodles have no starch. Therefore, after boiling, they do not stick together. You can prepare them ahead of time without worrying about the noodles becoming one big mess.

Delicious Honey Sesame Sauce
I mentioned earlier that shirataki noodles are flavorless, but absorb many flavors from the sauce. So for this recipe, I made my Honey Sesame Sauce, as it goes well with noodles and the toppings that I chose. If you have tried Japanese cold ramen, hiyashi chuka, this recipe is a variation of that dish. Hiyashi chuka is a popular summer meal in Japan, and this recipe is a lighter version of it.

Fun Fact: Shirataki Noodles vs. Ito Konnyaku
Shirataki noodles are called shirataki in eastern Japan (Tokyo area), and ito konnyaku (糸こんにゃく) in western Japan (the Osaka area). The name difference is a result of different manufacturing methods.

In the past, ito konnyaku was prepared by cutting konnyaku jelly into threads, while shirataki is made by forcing konnyaku through small holes to get their shape.
Nowadays, both are prepared using the shirataki method, but the packages kept the different names in each region. Ito konnyaku is generally thicker than shirataki, with a square cross-section and a darker color.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients
For the chicken
4 cups water (for boiling chicken)
1/2 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
2 Tbsp sake
2 green onions/scallions
1 knob ginger (1”, 2.5 cm)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (12 oz, 342 g)

For Honey Sesame Sauce
4 Tbsp toasted white
sesame seeds
2 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
(unseasoned)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For toppings
1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
1/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
1/2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
1 Japanese or Persian cucumber
1 tomato
1 sprig cilantro (coriander)

For Shirataki Noodles
4 cups water (for boiling shirataki)
2 packages shirataki noodles (14 oz, 400g)

Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/ingredient-substitution-for-japanese-cooking/

To read the full recipe, visit https://www.justonecookbook.com/honey-sesame-shirataki-noodles/.

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