Pasta sans pasta

Curiosity killed the cat. And possibly my dinner. OK that’s a slight exaggeration but I’m not sure my latest food experiment was a success. I keep seeing Tofu Shirataki noodles in the grocery store and decided to try them. They are vegan, gluten free, low calorie and seem to be the perfect pasta substitute for a light dinner.

The verdict?

Looks just like pasta.

Tastes just like rubbery, manufactured fake pasta.

Here’s the score board:

Cook-ability: 9/10

They were very easy to cook: drain, rinse, parboil for 2-3 minutes, then drain and dry. Then they’re ready to eat as you would regular pasta or noodles.

Nutrition: 3/10

Although low calorie, in my opinion, these noodles also have few nutritional benefits. Half a packet contains 20 calories, 1g of protein, 15mg of sodium and a small amount of calcium and iron, compared with around 200 calories and 41g of carbohydrates from a regular serving of fettuccine. However, for a low calorie, low carb, gluten free dinner they make a very good pasta substitute. I did feel full after eating them but I’m not sure how long that will last.

Taste and texture: 5/10

The noodles had a horrible fungal smell when I opened the packet but after rinsing, as directed, this went away. I tried one of the cooked noodles on its own and found it rubbery like jelly. They are definitely more chewy than pasta and didn’t have much flavor at all. I don’t think I would eat them cold and definitely not on their own but, once I added my homemade tomato pasta sauce they were edible.

The company that makes the noodles, House Foods, is allegedly the largest tofu manufacturer in the US. Reassuringly it doesn’t use genetically modified soy and is also committed to a green environmental policy, having installed a rooftop solar electric system at its headquarters in California. So plus points for that but unfortunately not for the noodles. I may try them again one day when I’m feeling brave but don’t let me stop you, they seem to have an avid fan base as well as some haters – see the reviews on

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