Shirataki vs. Ito Konnyaku: Konjac Noodles

Shirataki (白滝: meaning white waterfall) and Ito Konnyaku (糸蒟蒻: thread Konnyaku) are both semi-transparent firm noodles made from konjac potato or devil’s tongue starch.

They are long and thin noodles similar to Tokoroten jelly. But unlike the latter, we use the first two all year round, typically in Nimono simmered dishes or Nabemono hot pots.

Shirataki vs. Ito Konnyaku

Shirataki and Ito Konnyaku are low-calorie foods almost consisting of water (96 to 97 percent). But those noodles are rich in the soluble dietary fiber called glucomannan, favored as a diet food in Japan.


ShiratakiShirataki konjac noodles

As for history, Shirataki and Ito Konnyaku were once different things. Although both used konjac potato starch as the main ingredient, they differed in the production method.

In the Kanto region around Tokyo, the noodles were shaped by pushing through tiny holes and solidified.

Ita KonnyakuIta Konnyaku konjac jelly

Meanwhile, in the Kansai region around Osaka, the noodles consisted of a rectangular Konnyaku block called Ita Konnyaku (板こんにゃく) cut into long thin strips.

However, the present making of Ito Konnyaku commonly utilizes Shirataki’s traditional Kanto-style method. And because of that, there is no way to distinguish Ito Konnyaku and Shirataki.

Ito KonnyakuIto Konnyaku konjac noodles

Nonetheless, we tend to call white konjac noodles associated with waterfall, Shirataki, and what has a regular Konnyaku color (grey), Ito Konnyaku.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia コンニャク )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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