For millions of Filipinos, rice is life. And I agree with that, for I cannot eat dishes such as adobo, sinigang or kare-kare without a heaping bowl of it. We often eat rice for lunch and dinner, and for some, even during breakfast. In short, no Pinoy meal would be complete without it. But what if I tell you that’s there a perfect alternative for rice?
What is Shirataki rice?
Yes, I’m not joking when I said that you can replace your ordinary rice. If you want to be more fit and healthy, then let us introduce you to ‘Shirataki’ rice. Those who are already doing a ketogenic diet or low carb diet probably heard of this. But I still go ahead for the benefit of the newbies.
Even though shirataki rice is relatively new to the Western culinary world, it has been a part of the Asian diet for about 2000 years. So how do they make this? First, they get a root crop ‘konnyaku’ from the Konjac plant. After that, they create a ‘glucomanna’ flour from that to produce the shirataki rice or shirataki noodles.
Allegedly, many Japanese women consume this kind of rice on a regular basis to stay slim. Is there a science behind it? Basically, shirataki rice is made of soluble fiber that is essential for our diet. The fiber in it makes us feel full, but it also aids in digestion. Aside from that, it slows down your digestion process, which in turn, slows and regulates the absorption of glucose, thus making it beneficial for diabetics.
Despite my hesitations about their taste, I was pretty excited to try the shirataki rice and noodles for my diet. I have a hormonal problem plus a bit of insulin resistance that makes it really hard for me to lose weight. I’ve already tried brown rice and red rice but I started to cut back on rice just two weeks ago. It was really a painful process but “no pain, no gain”.
My personal experience of shifting to Shirataki rice
Thankfully, I encountered NutriFam Shirataki rice and noodles. I had no idea how to prepare them so I just read the instructions at the back of the packet. The good thing is, all of the necessary information is there, plus how to store the product. And I also liked how NutriFam enclosed the grains in a double pack to prevent leaks. This is also useful if I want to store the remaining product in the refrigerator for the next meal.
The other day, our ulam for the day is chicken adobo so I think that would be a perfect pair for NutriFam shirataki rice. I removed the jelly-like grains from the packet then put them on a strainer to wash them off for two minutes. After that, I put on a little bit of sesame oil on the pan to cook it under low fire. It’s just like you’re cooking fried rice and after five minutes, my rice is done.
Now for the taste, I honestly can say that it’s just eating rice without the guilt of carbs and calories. I was so hungry at that time that I gobbled the rice and adobo in just 20 minutes. To be frank, I like its texture much better than red rice and brown rice. I can really taste the flavor of the sesame oil and adobo sauce because the shirataki already absorbed it.
The next day was my turn to try the shirataki noodles and it was a great opportunity because I was craving for pancit bihon. I just sautéed on the pan with cooking oil some chopped veggies and shredded chicken then added the noodles on the pan. After a few minutes, my dinner was ready.
Overall, my experience with NutriFam shirataki rice and noodles is great and enjoyable. I’m glad that I consider this as an alternative if I’m really craving the taste of rice but do not want to ruin my no-rice diet. I feel much better and less constipated.
Moreover, I can say that this particular brand has made a lot of effort into its packaging and quality. By the way, they even included a recipe at the back of the packet. Perhaps next time, I’ll shop for the ingredients to cook it.
I really do recommend you to reap the health benefits of shirataki, either you’re a rice person or into noodles or pasta. If you want to order online, Nutrifam has an official page in Lazada and Shopee.
Queenie Lasta got her bachelor's degree in Communications Research from UP Diliman. In her free time, she likes to read thriller novels, psychology books, and mangas. She believes in the importance of grit, hard work, and passion to become a great writer in the future.