Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Schielke

Konnyaku - The Topic

Recommended Posts

Schielke   

All I know about Konnyaku (spelling) is that it is made from yam flour and has caloric value. Aparently it expands 30 to 50 times its size in your digestive system, which makes you feel full. It is used as a diet food in japan and is sometimes flavored with seaweed.

I would love to know the taste, uses, and any interesting experiences you have had with it. I am sure I can get it here in Seattle at one of the Asian Groceries. Are any brands better than others? Can you make it at home? Would you want to?

Thanks everybody!

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

OOOOH, I am so disappointed in everyone!! :sad:

This is such a wonderful food product and 2 to 3 forms of it are always in my fridge.

In Japan we have the thick rectangular blocks in both brown and white as well as shirataki ( the ling thin threads most commonly seen in sukiyaki), ito-konnyaku the "thread" konnyaku a little bit thicker than shirataki, there are also various bite sixed shapes in balls, triangles, and thumb shapes these can be the normal brown color as well as white or green. One of my favorites in konnyaku sashimi, which is usually green and is served raw.

Konnyaku is one of the favorite of my 5 year old daughter, the blocks are chunked and tossed into soups or hotpots, or they are grilled and topped with a miso sauce dengaku style. The threads are usually tossed into saucy (usally soy based) dishes.

I really like the shirataki tossed with some tarako that has been simmered in a soy based sauce, and the thicker ito-konnyaku are great gently stirfried with tofu and kimchi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

There was a diet fad here in Japan a little while back where you would take the shirataki filaments (long thin white ones) boil them, rinse them, then mince them up to the same size as rice and then mix it into your in 1:1 proportions.

I never actually tried it though! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tissue   

It tastes good in sukiyaki. Takes on the flavor of the meat and sauce really well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jinmyo   

Certainly konnyaku is very good at absorbing flavours. But I have never been able to find anything it could contribute to a dish except bulk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Akiko   

NOT GAH! Yummy, its all about the texture. :smile:

Have you ever seen the Konyaku Batake jelly candies? They sell them in all kinds of flavors (peach, apple, muscat grape) and you put them in the refrigerator and you slurp them into your mouth and chew chew chew.... kind of a cross between a gummy bear and a popsicle! but better texture than either of those things.

However, I must admit, the Chicago Yaohan (Mitsuwa now) stopped selling them because someone swallowed one whole and choked to death on it..... but that doesn't stop people from eating mochi either!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wimpy   

Ok- konnyaku is the one thing I think as no purpose other than as filler for those on a diet. It's tasteless, rubbery and well, weird. I don't think it even takes in any flavorings effectively or pairs well with sauces like, say, tofu.

I figure it's a remnant of the pre-industrial days in Japan where the poor had to eat something. I understand its made from lotus flour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
margaret   

Although I do like it, I understand how the big solid blocks of konnyaku can be difficult to take. The noodles, though (ito-kon or shirataki) are wonderful in nabe, diet or no diet.

I like konnyaku in most forms, though, with my favorite being sashimi-style, served cold and thinly sliced with karashi. Not too many seem to share my enthusiasm, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   
Although I do like it, I understand how the big solid blocks of konnyaku can be difficult to take. The noodles, though (ito-kon or shirataki) are wonderful in nabe, diet or no diet. 

I like konnyaku in most forms, though, with my favorite being sashimi-style, served cold and thinly sliced with karashi. Not too many seem to share my enthusiasm, though.

Margaret,

I do! I do! I do!

Konnyaku sashimi can almost be good as the real stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wimpy   

So Torakris- you mean the konnyaku potato was even more boring than the processed konnyaku such that the latter was preferable? Hard to believe..... And how pray tell, did it get to Japan from Indonesia 1500 years ago?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   
So Torakris-  you mean the konnyaku potato was even more boring than the processed konnyaku such that the latter was preferable?  Hard to believe.....  And how pray tell, did it get to Japan from Indonesia 1500 years ago?

According to the following site:

http://shakespeare-w.com/english/konnyaku/whatis.html

It was introduced into Japan in the 6th century for use as a medicine.

Japan is the only country that cultivates it, though it grows wild in China and SE Asia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jinmyo   

Actually, it's not bad as a few noodles. But noodles make more worthwhile noodles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wimpy   

Yup, Jin-san hit it on the head. There is no point to Konnyaku if all it does is mimic other foods and poorly at that. The mouthfeel is a bit like cold blubber and it doesn't go anywhere despite vigorous chewing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Akiko   

Am I the only one who likes the konnyaku batake jelly candies?

In the summer, my husband and I put those things in the refridgerator, and slurp them like mini popsicles into our mouths!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

the blubber comment hits it on the spot! but there is just something about it that I enjoy.............. :huh::biggrin:

I have to admit to never having partaken in the konnyaku steak though, but I do enjoy it cut up and in other dishes.

I like popsicles and the konnyaku batake jellies!

I don't keep them in the house though because they are a choking hazard and have caused a number of deaths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tissue   

Are these jellies similar to the lychee ones in the little cups?

Those are pretty good...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

After many konnyaku batake deaths (it wedges in the throat and doesn't disintegrate like a regular jelly would) various other jellies sprung up. Not actually made from konnyaku though, the lychee one may have been one of those.

I am sure that I saw lychee and mango jellies in the Chinese markets a while before that though, so they may have been around a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Akiko   

The konnyaku batake jellies are better than the others, its the texture... and while I haven't conducted any experiments, I do think it gets chilled and still retains that chewiness better than the other versions.

Although yes, with the other versions there is not the same risk of choking.

Some day if and when we have kids, I might have to cut those things into little pieces before my kids can eat them.... same as with the mochi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

Yesterday a friend brought over a block of homemade konnyaku, yes homemade! :shock:

She told me she helps her mother make it when ever they are given the konnyaku-imo (potato) by a farmer friend. This konnyaku potato is not normally in supermarkets.

I am saving it for dinner tonight but i tried a couple slices and am now worried I may never enjoy the packaged stuff again, this homemade version is incredible! :biggrin:

I found this information on how to make it, Japanese only butit has pictures of all the steps:

http://www.vill.ryujin.wakayama.jp/~ryu-ch...u/konnyaku.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
margaret   

Bought some konnyaku to put in oden the other day, and tried a new (to me) type called tama konnyaku. The pieces looked like little mini potatoes, and they had a more pleasing texture and bite than big block konnyaku (which I also like). I sometimes have a hard time with the big pieces in oden, but these little nuggets are an ideal size. They are also surprisingly fun to hold in one's hand.

My boyfriend also mentioned that homemade konnyaku is great, an entirely different animal from store bought. Any more comments on the kind you tried, Kristin? He also said that it typically comes round, or ball shaped, like the tama konnyaku I mentioned above. He claimed it has to do with squeezing or pressing it in gauze or cheesecloth while making it - any idea if this is true? He's not always trustworthy about food related issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
torakris   

I have actually recieved this homemade konnyaku 3 times now! :biggrin:

It is really hard to believe the 2 are the same the flavor is actually quite different even though they are both hard gelatin like masses. :blink:

The ones I have recieved are white and shaped into a mishapened thick rectangle, the flavor is hard to describe and the word "fresher" is the only thing that comes to mind. The flavor is more subtle and I think it is used best in dishes where it could really be noticed such as konnyaku sashimi or salad style preparations. I will save the supermarket stuff for oden and the likes.

The little balls are great, sometimes they are packaged with 3 different colors, orange, green and white, since my kids are still small I don't buy them instead sometimes I pick up the blocks and cut them into rectangles about a 1/4 inch thick, cut a 1 inch slash in the middle and then push one end through it and it makes a prety twisty shape, the kids actually love to make these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
margaret   

Oh! I totally forgot about the twisty konnyaku.

When I was working in a restaurant, the guy in charge of making makanai (staff dinner) would always twist my konnyaku (that sounds bad, huh).

I used to love to eat it that way.

I'm really, really intrigued by the fresh homemade konnyaku. I wonder if there's anywhere in New York that makes it. Are konnyaku imo available outside of Japan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×