The Miracle Noodle

My experiment with shirataki, the zero-calorie pasta from Japan.

Annie Lowrey

Shirataki

Shirataki

In the past decade, pasta has slowly disappeared from many American plates, banished for its starchy carbo-load along with bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, and corn. But what if dieters could have as much delicious pasta as they wanted? And what if this pasta not only came carb-free, but calorie-free?

That is the heady promise of a little-known Japanese noodle called shirataki, much beloved and whispered about among the ketosis-obsessed. “These miracle noodles will quickly fill you up, and keep you that way all day,” one partisan writes. (Does she eat them for breakfast?) “I love them! They are so low in calories and so filling that it makes me feel secure just to know that if I’m hungry, I have those in the refrigerator,” crows another. Hungry Girl, the Pepto-pink diet blog, swears by them too. It was a marathon-runner-type who tipped me off to shirataki, having read an endorsement on a Dukan Diet blog.

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