Wednesday, December 18, 2013

REVIEW: House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute

I'm sure some low-carber who's any low-carber knows what shirataki noodles are. And if you don't, then let me be the first to tell you that they're your pasta savior! No longer must you shun the carby goodness of spaghetti: shirataki noodles are like real noodles, just without all the annoying carbohydrates. Shirataki noodles are also great for people on low-calorie diets, with only 20 calories per serving (as opposed to 200 for the same amount of real noodles).
Today I'll be reviewing one of the most popular shirataki products out there: House Foods' Fettucine Shaped Tofu Shirataki Noodles. They're even endorsed by Hungry Girl, so crazy dieters stock up on them like the Shirapocalypse is upon us. An 8 oz. package of shirataki will cost around $2.29.

A 4 oz. serving contains 20 calories, 5 of them being from fat, 0.5g of total fat, 0g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 0g of polyunsaturated fat, 0g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 15mg of sodium, 35mg of potassium, 3g of total carbohydrates, 2g of dietary fiber, 0g of sugar, and 1g of protein. Also contains 10% of your daily calcium needs.

So I'll be honest, I've had House Foods' Fettuccine before, but not in a very long while. But since my mom's been on Atkins, now was a good time to reintroduce these noodles back into my diet. These shirataki noodles, like all others I've seen, are packaged in a pungent liquid and should be kept refridgerated. These noodles already have the texture of being cooked, so you don't have to boil them before you eat them. You should, however, rinse them very well after taking them out of their packaging and warm them up in the microwave a minute at a time. This helps to get rid of the noodles' dampness. So it's like, rinse and dry, microwave, rinse and dry, microwave, rinse and dry, microwave... It takes awhile to get rid of the liquid to a satisfying degree, but not any longer than it would take to prepare real noodles. It even takes less time, really. You could also heat these shirataki noodles in a pan to dry them out even more some.
Once the noodles were fully prepared and about as dry as I was willing to get em', I dumped them into a bowl and served them alongside our dinner of Italian sausages in pizza sauce. These shirataki noodles look a lot like real fettuccine, right down to the color: flat, pale yellow, long. Shirataki noodles are different from real fettuccine by the way they can't help but curl up and by their insane length, which is just about the same as a ramen noodle's. Before I covered the noodles with the meat and sauce, I tried a few strands dry. Shirataki noodles are definitely NOT indistinguishable from real noodles when consumed dry. They're very, very chewy- it's rather hard to break them down in your mouth. They're gummy and very squishy. They don't have much of a flavor by themselves, just like the tofu they are made from. I wouldn't suggest eating this plain, since they're bland and have a really strange texture.

But served with something on top, these noodles are a lot better. Even my mom was impressed- she said that these tasted a lot like real fettuccine and could probably serve them as real noodles and no one would even be able to tell the difference. I don't know if I could agree with her exactly on that, but with something on top, like marinara or alfredo sauce, these shirataki noodles' odd texture isn't so prevalent, and since they don't taste like anything, they were the perfect palette for soaking up the taste of the sausages and sauce we put on top. One bad thing about these shirataki noodles is that nothing really sticks to them. Like, the sauce will fall right off them. There's no cohesion. I remember making macaroni and cheese with these, and the cheese would just sink right to the bottom of the bowl, unable to hold on to any of the slippery, jiggly noodles.
Overall, House Foods' Fettuccine Noodles aren't much by themselves, but chances are that you're going to put something on top of them, and if that's the case, they really aren't so bad. It's like eating tofu- it's boring plain, but it soaks up the flavor of whatever you put on it. These fettuccine "noodles" are a great pasta substitute for low-carbers or dieters or whatever you are, and are about the closest thing to real noodles than any other substitute I've tried so far. They're not fantastic in taste by themselves, but just the very idea of eating a whole plateful of noodles for only 20-40 calories is enough to keep me interested in purchasing them time and time again. These shirataki noodles are always my go-to when I'm looking for some shirataki at the store.
I'd give House Foods' Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodles Substitute an 7.5/10.

What brands of Shirataki do YOU like to use? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!
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