Tofu Shirataki: Pasta alternative for the carb conscious?

I’ve been lowering my carb intake for the past few weeks, and have been having some great results. Low-carb diets work wonders for me, because I’m such a pasta addict. After just 3 weeks, my clothes are looser and the scale is showing a friendlier number…but lord, do I miss pasta!

So, imagine my happiness on discovering a “noodle substitute” this morning at the supermarket: Tofu Shirataki from House Foods. It’s “Hungry Girl approved”, only 20 calories for an 8oz package, 3g of carbs and 2g of fiber. They look just like fettucine (packed in water), have no cholesterol, no sugar, and are gluten-free. There was a Hungry Girl recipe on the back for Fettucine Alfredo–which I love–so I picked up a package ($1.99 at my grocery store) and decided to give it a shot.

My first red flag was when I read the recipe directions, and came across this: Drain and rinse Tofu Shirataki thoroughly. Parboil for 2-3 minutes (or microwave for 1 min.) to reduce the authentic aroma, then dry very well.

Um…oooookay. Now I’m scared.

Turns out, the “authentic aroma” wasn’t that bad: it was a mildly fishy smell, similar to miso soup or the ice at the fish store. Once I rinsed the noodles, the aroma was gone.

I followed the directions and made the sauce (2 Tbsp. cream cheese, 2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp. sour cream, salt & pepper to taste–I used the full-fat versions because Atkins allows for that). From an appearance standpoint, the fettucine looked amazing–just like the real thing.

Then I tasted it.

The sauce was fine, but the texture…ugh. Rubbery, like thin strips of stubborn Jell-O that refuse to yield willingly on the first bite. By the second or third chew, the noodles broke down enough to get them down, but I’d be lying if I said they were even remotely tasty. They didn’t taste like anything, really…I had hoped they’d at least pick up the flavor of the sauce, but no…the sauce just sort of sat on top, but never actually penetrated the gelatinous strings. To be fair, the package calls it a “Fettucine shaped noodle substitute” and, if you check out the House Foods website, they do not promise anywhere that the faux noodles are delicious. Because they’re not.


Try as I might, I couldn’t get through the whole bowl. Yes, Tofu Shirataki is low-cal, low carb, and a healthier alternative than pasta.

But I’d rather be fat than eat that again.

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