Rice is lower in toxins than most grains but it is very high in carbohydrates, which quickly turn to glucose once ingested. The only way to make it suitable for a low-carb diet is to switch it out altogether.
Shirataki is made from konjac root (glucomannan), which is almost all soluble fiber. It has no taste and no odor (when properly prepared) but it is a great carrier of flavors and it helps to keep you full. The downside is its rubbery texture, which gets it a high Yuck rating, however the texture is not a problem if you buy the right kind. I first made this as a substitute for the customary Spanish rice to go with my Roast Pork with Mojo Sauce. I call it by the generic name, “pilaf,” but I included Spanish rice and Paella as Variations.
SHIRATAKI “RICE” PILAF
If you tried shirataki and didn’t like it, you are not alone! A lot of people quit reading as soon as they see the word. Don’t give up until you try my recipe. It transforms this almost zero-carb and zero-calorie, neutral-tasting soluble fiber into a tasty and nutritious side dish!
8-ounce package of Nasoya Pasta Zero* spaghetti OR shirataki “rice.” See NOTES.
1 cup water
2 tablespoons pasture butter or lard, or olive oil
½ cup chopped onion, about 3 ounces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
8 ounces bone broth, purchased or home-made (beef, chicken, turkey, etc.), divided
½ teaspoon saffron threads or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Turkish bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon coconut aminos or tamari sauce
¼ cup chopped parsley and/or cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish
¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts or sliced almonds, optional
To prepare rice:
Drain one 8-ounce package Nasoya Pasta Zero “spaghetti” or shirataki “rice.”* Rinse under cold water for 15 seconds. Place one cup water in a skillet, bring to a simmer, add shirataki, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain off the water and continue to heat and stir over medium heat until dry. Reserve until needed.
Sauté onion in fat in a large saucepan until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne, if using, and sauté for a few minutes more. Reserve until needed.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the broth. Place the remaining broth and the saffron threads in a saucepan and heat until warm. Add shirataki rice and bay leaf to the saucepan with the broth and heat on medium until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add onion mixture, salt, and pepper and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed.
Break egg in a small bowl and beat with a fork or whisk. Whisk reserved 2 tablespoons of broth into beaten egg until smooth. Dip out about ¼ cup of the hot mixture from the saucepan and gradually stir into beaten egg mixture to temper. Stir egg mixture back into the pan with the shirataki mixture and cook and stir for a few minutes more until egg is cooked and remaining liquid is absorbed. Stir in parsley or cilantro, sprinkle with nuts, if using, and serve hot.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition data when made with Pasta Zero:
Calories: 92; Fat: 7.1 g; Protein: 2.6 g; Fiber: 2 g; Carbohydrate: 5 g; Net Carbohydrate: 3 g
Optional items are not included in data counts.
*For shirataki with a texture more like egg noodles, look for Nasoya Pasta Zero. Check the label to be sure you get the one that contains a little garbanzo and potato flour but no tofu. It doesn’t come in a riced version, but you can buy the spaghetti-shaped noodles and chop them yourself. If you don’t mind the firmer texture of plain shirataki, there are two brands that are pre-riced. To my knowledge, Miracle Rice and Skinny Rice are the only two brands of shirataki that come already riced, but chopping the Pasta Zero is easy and they taste much more like rice.
To chop spaghetti-shaped shirataki noodles into rice:
Spread out the long strands on a cutting board and chop them into rice-sized grains or place them in a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped.
Stir in some cooked shrimp, chicken, or sliced sausage and serve as a main dish.
2. Mexican or Spanish Rice:
Leave out the saffron or turmeric and add a teaspoon (more or less to taste) of chili powder when you add the garlic to the pan with the sautéed onion. Cook and stir for a few minutes more as directed. Stir one finely chopped or pureed tomato into the onion mixture. Continue as in recipe above.
(c) 2016, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com