Published on: Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:26:00.
Recently a fried brought me shirataki noodles. These are made from the flour of the Japanese konjac root and consist almost exclusively of fiber - no fat, no protein, no carbohydrates. My friend told me proudly, "Almost no carbs and almost no calories." While preparing them, I unfortunately discovered two more "almost no"s: almost no taste and almost no noodles for your money.
Shirataki noodles are sold in a bag of liquid. I think this is a marketing ploy. The package says it contains 200 g_(8 oz) of noodles, which for 3-4 Euros is pretty impressive. This is 3-5 times cheaper than ordinary noodles. But normal noodles are dry and absorb several times their own weight in water while cooking. A 200 g_(8 oz) package of wheat noodles could easily feed 2-3 people. 200 g_(8 oz) shirataki noodles will barely feed one. And trying to improve them with pasta sauce won't help. These noodles have absolutely no flavor, and even the best tomato sauce can't save them.
Stir-Fry to serve 4:
|500 g_(1 pound)||goose breast|
|3||cloves of garlic|
|300 g_(12 oz)||creamed coconut|
|50 g_(2 oz)||peanut butter|
|300 ml_(1 1/2cup)||chicken broth|
|200 g (8 oz)||carrots|
|200 g (8 oz)||soybean sprouts|
|200 g (8 oz)||mushrooms(Chinese black mushrooms if desired)|
|400 g_(16 oz)||shirataki noodles|
However, there is one place where bland, limp, transparent noodles are great: an Asian vegetable stir-fry. Here, the flavorful sauce determines the taste, so it doesn't matter whether your noodles are rice or shirataki. On the contrary, the slightly tough and chewy noodles provide the right texture to a Japanese dish! And of course, you don't need to use any rice!
To make our Asian vegetable stir-fry with noodles, first saute lemon grass (preferably bought whole from an Asian grocery store) and 2-3 thinly sliced garlic cloves in olive oil. Vegetarians can skip this next step, but I like some meat in my stir-fry. You can use poultry, pork, or beef. In any case it should be good-quality meat - breast meat for poultry, a filet for pork or beef. Cut the meat into strips and marinate in soy sauce for a minimum of 2-3 minutes, then saute. Next, add the onions and saute until they're translucent. Now we can remove the lemongrass, which has been drained of all its flavor. Deglaze with vegetable or poultry broth. Add the coconut, peanut butter, and some chili. Bring to a vigorous boil. If the consistency is too thin, boil it down a little or thicken with guar gum.
When chopping the vegetables, put in some extra effort and be very precise. Slice the carrots into toothpick-sized pieces. Cut the scallions into 4 cm long pieces, then quarter them. Cut the mushrooms into pieces about the same thickness as quarters. The soybean sprouts can be put in whole. Prepare the shirataki noodles according to the directions on the package, strain them, and rinse them with plenty of clean water. Cutting the vegetables carefully ensures that all components of the stir fry will have the same cooking time. Just mix it all with the sauce, and in 3-4 minutes your stir-fry will be ready. Season to taste with soy sauce, pepper, and chili/sambal ulek.
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