So I’ll eat pretty much anything. Except for okra, of course. And all of you who inexplicably love okra, stop trying to convince me. Don’t tell me, “the flavor is really good!” when the texture is that of mucus. (I have texture issues. See also: rice pudding. Will never.)
I will usually at least try something before deciding that it’s disgusting. Examples of foods I found challenging to eat but tried anyway include monkfish liver and boiled silkworms. I will never eat either of these things again unless the post-apocalyptic world (in December, put that on your calendars!) necessitates that I eat bugs and fish livers as actual foods instead of drunken dares at a Korean restaurant.
My home state of Iowa is known for culinary abominations. This past summer, while I was visiting, I was introduced to the horror/wonder that is “the walking taco,” which is: a bag of Doritos, opened, with some “taco meat,” cheese, and salsa dumped inside. Insert fork, eat. Walk around!
I mean, that anyone would even call that “a taco” is mind-boggling after living in Southern California for 14 years and knowing, in fact, what a taco is. It is not that, my friends. It is not that. But I can still appreciate it, even if I do find it sort of disgusting. I mean, ranch dressing.
So of course when Emily sent around a list of topics the other day, I totally volunteered to try these weird slimy noodles that smell like fish but have zero calories and are supposed to make you lose weight. Because -- say it with me! -- I’ll try anything once.
I ordered these diet noodles from the Internet holy land, Amazon. Except in order to get my free Prime shipping, I had to order six packages, so now I have an entire box of dubiously named “Miracle Noodle.”
There are other brands, but this is the one most highly recommended by other Amazon users. And say what you want about the evils of Amazon, the reviews section is brilliant. I always check Amazon reviews before completing a major purchase.
And a case of weird food from the internet was $15.49, so I did not take the decision lightly. Amazon reviewers consistently said that the noodles are packaged in water and have a gross fishy smell when you open them. Rinsing under water is essential to actually being able to eat these things without gagging. Noted, Amazon reviewers, thanks for the tip.
So let’s take a look at these diet noodles. Made of fiber from the konjac plant, also called glucomannan, the noodles have no calories, fat, sugar, or carbohydrates (BUT for you fellow anemics, have 8% of your daily RDA of iron), and are gluten-free and vegan. They are supposed to take on the flavor of any sauce you add.
Doesn’t sound so bad, right? But, dudes: they are a little bit “gelatinous,” which might not work so well with my texture issues. However, I must remember that over the course of many years I was able to train myself to enjoy oatmeal, so there is really hope for anything. So let’s try these gotdamn diet noodles!
Opening the package was not as gross as I thought it would be. There is a fishy odor, but it’s not as bad as, say, opening a package of smoked salmon or a tin of anchovies. I rinsed and rinsed the noodles in a strainer, but there was still a faint smell.
Instead of boiling the noodles briefly, as is recommended, I made a cup of plain hot water in my Keurig (because I’m lazy), and poured that over the noodles. I let them sit in that for about two minutes, then stir-fried them with some garlic, broccoli, sugar snap peas and mushrooms, and added some liquid aminos and apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar probably would have worked better, but I was out of that. I know, this is a great disappointment.
What do we think of these Internet noodles?
The verdict: not bad! I was ready to hate these weird diet noodles, but they’re not all that weird if you are familiar with certain Asian foods. I mean, I don’t expect that you can use these things as spaghetti, but it’s certainly a reasonable replacement for rice noodles.
As far as the claim that shirataki noodles keep you fuller for longer -- I don’t know about that. I would have remained just as satiated had I eaten a big plate of vegetables, which would have had the benefit of tons of vitamins and minerals.
I thought that maybe if I hated these things enough I would try to trick you guys into taking them off my hands, but I think I’ll just use them up. Now someone bring me a walking taco.