Charlie Cooks - Zen Ramen Nude Noodles! @ Thursday, February 23, 2017

Charlie received the product for editorial consideration, which did not affect her opinion.

Say Hello to Zen Ramen Nude Noodles! Dry packed shirataki noodles made from the konjac yam, stemming from ancient Japanese health food. Not only are they low carb, they're also gluten free (perfect for celiacs) and vegan (though aren't noodles vegetarian?).

Wiki Says 

  • Shirataki are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam 
  • 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.

With a long date shelf, easy to prepare and made in Japan, we have a winner! They may look small though expand quite a bit, also you'd have them as part of a balanced dish, so 50% veggies, 25% protein and 25% carbs (in presentation). While the serving size of the noodle doesn't look like much there's so many other ingredients that it's not all about just the protein and carb as some dishes are (like one of my true loves, spaghetti bol.).

Korean Japchae Noodles

An easy recipe once you prep everything. Instead of cutting everything into strips we diced the carrot (which was much easier). As we added chicken (an entire breast serves 3) (optional, omit to create a vegetarian meal) and more spinach (like the whole $4 bag from Coles) we added more soy and sugar, though it needs more salt.

The noodles were springy like ramen and a clear light yellow when cooked, packet says five minutes but we did twelve instead. On their own the noodles have no flavour, hence we chose a recipe that featured lots of asian flavours like sesame oil, sugar and soy among other textures and flavours.

A light flavouring that highlighted the textures of the dish, especially the flavours of the fresh shiitake mushroom. Served hot for dinner vs cold from the fridge I loved it chilled, the perfect lunch!

TLDR - Quick and easy, think stir fry style. Delicious hot and cold, make extra for lunch tomorrow. We're adding this one to the repetitore. 

Butternut Pumpkin Pasta

Easy to make though lacking in flavours,  lacks a balanced spice mix, which would have lifted the game. It's to you and your taste buds to determine what would work. Me? I have no idea, and shall defer to the spice master (aka girl next door).

We also felt that mash pumpkin and noodles wasn't a great combo because it didn't really absorb the flavours unlike the stir fry-ish dish we made above. It's not the noodles, but recipie I'd say.

Would I make it again or recommend it? No. But I'd definitely be recommending that korean salad we made. I think it depends on the dish, whether it would be a good fit or not really. 

With 118kj (28 calories) per served compared to 1255kj (300 calories) for a serve of pasta, Zen Ramen's a winner when it comes to cutting down carbs! Is it a substitute for pasta? Could be, depends on how'd you use it though. We're saving these for a springy cold noodle salad!

You can purchase Nude Noodles at ZenRamen, $8 a pack (serves 5) plus shipping (unknown) or stock up with five to share with friends for $40 posted.

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