Shirataki vs Ito Konnyaku : The Difference between the 2 Jelly Noodles
The other day, I introduced 4 traditional Japanese noodles for summer. Those are not only eaten cold, but each of them also has a cool appearance.
Actually, the Japanese foods about which I want to talk today, Shirataki and Ito-Konnyaku are firm jelly noodles similar to the above ones. In other words, both give you a cool impression.
However, Shirataki and Ito-Konnyaku are not foods for summer, but the jelly noodles are used as ingredients for Japanese “Nimono (煮物)” simmered foods or “Nabemono (鍋物)” hot-pot dishes throughout the year.
History of Shirataki and Ito-Konnyaku Noodles
As for the history, in the old days, Shirataki and Ito-Konnayku were different things. They were both noodles made from devil’s tongue starch, but different in producing method.
In the Kanto area around Tokyo, the devil’s tongue jelly noodles were called “Shirataki (白滝 : white waterfall)” and made by pushing out the ingredient from small holes, and then solidifying the thin strips.
On the other hand, in the Kansai area around Osaka, the devil’s tongue noodles were called “Ito-Konnyaku (糸こんにゃく : thread konnyaku)” and made by cutting a plate Konnyaku “Ita-Konnyaku (板こんにゃく)” into long thin strips.
In the present day
In the present day, Ito-Konnyaku noodles are also produced using the traditional Kanto-style method. Hence, Shirataki and Ito-Konnyaku are the same thing.
However, those who live in Kanto tend to call the devil’s tongue noodles “Shirataki”, while the people who reside in Kansai usually call the Konnayku noodles “Ito-Konnyaku”.
Generally speaking, we Japanese call the devil’s tongue jelly noodles with a white color “Shirataki”, and call what has a Konnyaku color “Ito-Konnyaku”.
(Reference page : Wikipedia コンニャク )