Monday, January 23, 2012

Noodles With Zero Calories? Celebrate The "Year Of The Dragon" And Shed Pounds With This Cabbage And Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry Featuring "Miracle Noodles" - Vegan And Gluten Free!

Miracle Noodles have zero calories - great for weight loss.
This delicious stir fry has less than 130 calories per serving!

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Happy New Year!
January 23rd marks the beginning of the 2012 lunar new year and what better way to kick off the Year of the Dragon than with a healthful, vegan and gluten free stir fry. 

Miracle Noodles
Months ago my new friend Carolanne asked me what I thought about Miracle Noodles - noodles that had zero calories!  I hadn't heard about them before so I was anxious to do some research.

What Are They?
Miracle noodles are a type of shirataki noodle also known as konnyaku noodles, named after the potato from which they are made and have been eaten in Japan for over 1,000 years. They are made up of mostly water and a tiny bit of "glucomanan" a type of dietary fiber that is practically undigestible - hence, zero calories. The noodles also have a calcium additive. One website mentioned that traditional shirataki noodles contain calcium extracted from eggshells so I wrote to the company to make sure that Miracle Noodles did not use eggshells in their process. They assured me that they were vegan. They are also gluten free. 

But How do they Taste?
If you read comments on the various chat boards, you'll hear some complaints about the "fishy smell" and "rubbery texture". The key to using these noodles is to carefully follow the directions and use them in a flavorful dish. Asian dishes are more suited for these noodles. My Italian grandparents would come back from the grave and beat me if I dared serve these with tomato sauce but many people certainly do.
Here I used them in a tasty Asian stir fry with cabbage, mushrooms, lots of garlic and ginger and a pinch of hot chili flakes. The dish turned out great and the noodles held up beautifully! 

A Bit Pricey 
I bought 6 packages of  "angel hair" on Amazon for a little over $2.50 per 7 ounce package. Since I have Amazon prime, shipping was free. If you don't have Amazon prime, the price per package increases by another dollar.
The smallest amount you can buy on the Miracle Noodle website is 10 packages and they are $3.29 per 7 ounce package which includes shipping. In any case, they are pretty pricey considering you get a tiny package of wet noodles in a little pouch of liquid. But for those who fear the carb and want to loose weight without giving up pasta, money is no object. You've got to admit, a noodle with no calories is a brilliant invention!

6 packages of wet noodles arrived in little pouches.
Each tiny package is about 1 to 2 servings depending on what else is in the recipe.

Important Instructions for Proper Use
It's important to follow these instructions carefully to fully enjoy these noodles.

Open the bag of Miracle Noodles into a colander draining the water that the noodles are packed in. (Hold your nose and ignore the fishy smell).

Rinse for at least 10 seconds with cold water.
Blanch in boiling water for one minute.

Drain and pat dry on paper towel.
Cut for easier blending into stir fry.

Stir noodles in at the end, heat thoroughly and serve.

Cabbage and Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 3 to 4 servings]

For the sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup room temperature veggie broth
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry or vermouth

For the stir fry
2 (7 ounce) packages angel hair Miracle Noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Pinch of crushed red chili flakes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, torn in small pieces
1 1/2 pounds cabbage, thinly sliced

To make the sauce, stir cornstarch into room temperature veggie broth until it dissolves. Add remaining sauce ingredients, stir well and set aside.

To prepare Miracle Noodles, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. 
Open both packages of noodles, drain into colander and rinse for 15 seconds under cold water. 
Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, stirring to break up noodles.
Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. When dry, cut in both directions with a pair of scissors.

To make the stir fry, heat oil in a non-stick wok or large saucepan. Add garlic, ginger and chili flakes and cook for 1 minutes, stirring continually. 
Add onions, carrots and mushrooms and cook for about 8 minutes or until mushrooms soften and release liquid, stirring frequently.
Add cabbage and cook another 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked.
Stir sauce well to recombine. Pour into wok and mix into vegetables. Continue to stir until sauce thickens. 
Mix in noodles and heat thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 128.7 calories, 2.8 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4.7 g protein, 21.4 carbohydrates, 6.5 g dietary fiber and 237 mg sodium.


Melissa Hinckley Allen said...

If it's undigestible, wouldn't that be a bad thing? Also the calcium, is that a preservative?

Thanks :)

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

All dietary fiber, also called roughage, is undigestible by humans - it's a good thing!
The calcium is added to keep the shape of the noodles intact and it is food grade calcium - also not bad for you.

Melissa Hinckley Allen said...

Ahh! Thank you. Love your blog btw, wonderful recipes :)

Shirataki Noodles said...

Shirataki noodles have a great natural source of fibre and because they have little taste of their own and this recipe has added a great flavor....thanks for the recipe.