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Schielke

Konnyaku - The Topic

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Konnyaku sashimi!
man, i wish i could taste freshly made konnyaku...

helen, is konnyaku sashimi the same as sashimi konnyaku?

If so, melonpan, sashimi konnyaku is another type of konnyaku designed to be eaten like sashimi, sometimes with soy sauce and wasabi but more often with su miso (vinegar and miso based sauce). It isn't freshly made konnyaku.

I'm not 100% sure but I think freshly made konnyaku tastes almost the same as one-month-old one...

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Oh, while we're on about konnyaku, I've got a question for the experienced konnyaku cooks here:

Once when I was dining in my favorite Szechuan restaurant here in San Diego, Ba Ren, I ordered a dish that the menu identified as duck and taro cooked in a clay pot. What the taro turned out to be was konnyaku--only they had managed to get it way more tender than I have managed so far (I mean, without resorting to the shirataki form). When I've tried cutting block konnyaku into the same shape used by this restaurant (slices about the size and shape of dominoes), mine have stayed springy and bouncy even after a couple of hours of stewing. Did the restaurant simply use a brand of konnyaku I don't have access to, that's much softer to begin with? Could they have made their own? Or did they just stew the heck out of it overnight or something? I really liked that soft but still holding-together texture they achieved, and would like to duplicate it.

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At a tiny Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Kirkland, WA, I saw an item on the many that claimed to be made with Konnyaku, but it was processed in such a way that it bore no resemblance in texture to what I have seen in Japan. I don't know how those types are made, but I think there must be some options outside of the spectrum of Japanese-style offerings.

I was able to find sashimi konnyaku at Uwajimaya about a year or two ago, but not recently... grr.

Oh, while we're on about konnyaku, I've got a question for the experienced konnyaku cooks here:

Once when I was dining in my favorite Szechuan restaurant here in San Diego, Ba Ren, I ordered a dish that the menu identified as duck and taro cooked in a clay pot. What the taro turned out to be was konnyaku--only they had managed to get it way more tender than I have managed so far (I mean, without resorting to the shirataki form). When I've tried cutting block konnyaku into the same shape used by this restaurant (slices about the size and shape of dominoes), mine have stayed springy and bouncy even after a couple of hours of stewing. Did the restaurant simply use a brand of konnyaku I don't have access to, that's much softer to begin with? Could they have made their own? Or did they just stew the heck out of it overnight or something? I really liked that soft but still holding-together texture they achieved, and would like to duplicate it.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I wonder if you guys ate the actual konnyaku imo before it had been processed into the konnyaku as we all know it or a very freshly processed kind of konnyaku.

If I am not mistaken the actual konnyaku tuber is a relative to the taro.

a picture of the konnyaku imo and some very fresh konnyaku


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Well, I tried an experiment later last night, and left some konnyaku slices to simmer for a very long time, and it finally did get a *little* bit softer. So long-enough cooking does have an effect eventually.

Now I'm wondering if giving the stuff a bit of time in a pressure-cooker might help here. A future experiment for the next package of konnyaku I buy. (We likes cooking experiments, yes we do! :biggrin: )

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Oh, while we're on about konnyaku, I've got a question for the experienced konnyaku cooks here:

Once when I was dining in my favorite Szechuan restaurant here in San Diego, Ba Ren, I ordered a dish that the menu identified as duck and taro cooked in a clay pot. What the taro turned out to be was konnyaku--only they had managed to get it way more tender than I have managed so far (I mean, without resorting to the shirataki form). When I've tried cutting block konnyaku into the same shape used by this restaurant (slices about the size and shape of dominoes), mine have stayed springy and bouncy even after a couple of hours of stewing. Did the restaurant simply use a brand of konnyaku I don't have access to, that's much softer to begin with? Could they have made their own? Or did they just stew the heck out of it overnight or something? I really liked that soft but still holding-together texture they achieved, and would like to duplicate it.

I did some googling and found that the general rule is this: The less the water, the softer the konnyaku (when making it, of course). I also found one blog that suggests that Korean konnyaku is much softer. melonpan or someone else, do you know anything about Korean konnyaku?

For me and most other Japanese, konnyaku is supposed to have that tough texture, and I have no intention to make it softer. :biggrin:

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I wonder if you guys ate the actual konnyaku imo before it had been processed into the konnyaku as we all know it or a very freshly processed kind of konnyaku.

If I am not mistaken the actual konnyaku tuber is a relative to the taro.

That's a very good question. I did learn on the web that the konnyaku plant is related to taro. Do people cook and serve the konnyaku root as-is? I wouldn't know what its texture is like. It did seem that the "taro"/konnyaku/whatever in my duck stew, while much softer than the konnyaku I have bought at the local Asian market, still had the slight translucency and homogenous texture I associate with konnyaku, so that's what I identified it as. Hmmm ... an interesting little food mystery! :smile:

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Has anyone used Konnyaku powder to make jellies before?

Like these:

http://masak-masak.blogspot.com/2005/05/im...log-jelled.html

http://akatsukira.blogspot.com/2005/05/coc...ly-imbb-15.html

I had a really yummy Chinese shaved ice dessert with mango, mango sherbert and konnyaku jelly pieces (also mango flavored). The shop also sold the konnyaku jellies in all different flavors. I think I will try something like this out on Konnyaku day :biggrin:

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I used three types of konnyaku:

Tama (ball) konnyaku

Tsuki konnyaku

Shirataki

gallery_16375_5_4159.jpg

I seasoned tama konnyaku with instant dashi powder and soy sauce. I made yaki udon with tsuki konnyaku (and udon) and Chinese-style salad with shirataki (and harusame).

gallery_16375_5_28832.jpg

The maitake miso soup does not contain any konnyaku. :biggrin:

Seasoned tama konnyaku is a speciality of Yamagata and other Tohoku prefectures.

Edited to add:

The recipe that I used to make seasoned tama konnyaku may be of interest. Making seasoned tama konnyaku is usually time-consuming, but I succeeded in making it in less than five minutes, thanks to this recipe (Japanese only).

First, heat a pan. Put tama konnyaku. Shake the pan. Add split surume (dried squid) and soy sauce! Keep shaking until the konnyaku soaks all the soy sauce.

I forgot to buy surume, so I used instant dashi powder.


Edited by Hiroyuki (log)

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In honor of konnyaku day one of my local supermarkets was having a sale of half off all of their konnyaku products! I picked up a 3 month supply. :biggrin:

gallery_6134_2590_28096.jpg

Yesterday was a really rushed day so for my konnyaku dish I prepared the tama-konnyaku (top left), it came with a sauce pack and some karashi as well. It was quite good and a excellent deal at only 64 yen (about $.50)

gallery_6134_2590_15736.jpg


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Hiromi made houtou and I twisted up some konnyaku... hopefully I'll have a photo shortly.

By the way, if anyone gets around to blogging something, let me know, I'm a bit of a slacker tonight so it will be another day or two.


Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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157058467_e28331a11a.jpg

This was my contribution to Konnyaku day: ito-konnyaku to sakura-ebi no itame (konnyaku "strings" sauteed with dried baby shrimp). I liked it a lot, and even my konnyaku-hating husband enjoyed it.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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torakris: How long did it take for you to make that tama konnyaku?

smallworld: What is that on top that looks like shredded ao jiso leaves?

I searched for ito konnyaku, but in vain. I used tsuki konnyaku instead. Tsuki konnyaku is similar to ito konnyaku but is shorter (about 5-6 cm). My wife, who is native to the Uonuma district of Niigata, says that ito konnyaku is the same as shirataki. I know that the term "shirataki" is used in Kanto while "ito konnyaku" is used in Kansai, but why in Niigata??

My understanding is that ito konnyaku is thicker than shirataki, but this is not at all universal in Japan.

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torakris:  How long did it take for you to make that tama konnyaku?

I searched for ito konnyaku, but in vain.  I used tsuki konnyaku instead.  Tsuki konnyaku is similar to ito konnyaku but is shorter (about 5-6 cm).  My wife, who is native to the Uonuma district of Niigata, says that ito konnyaku is the same as shirataki.  I know that the term "shirataki" is used in Kanto while "ito konnyaku" is used in Kansai, but why in Niigata??

My understanding is that ito konnyaku is thicker than shirataki, but this is not at all universal in Japan.

It took about 3 minutes with the prepared sauce pack.... :biggrin:

I, too, always thought that ito konnyaku was just fat shirataki, I had no idea they were called different things in different regions. :hmmm:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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sorry, I just had to bump this up. I was reading an old thread on natto and somehow I was directed to this...funny how egullet works.

so are shiritaki noodles the same thing as konnyaku? After reading this read, I noticed that you can't eat too much. What, in your opinion is too much for one person? I don't want to eat alot of this stuff and then have to be rolled to the restroom. Also, is it hard to find in the us? Here in Boston we have a pretty asian supermarket chain (which carries shiritaki) but it caters mainly to chinese & vietnamese. There is also a japanese grocery store but it is very small compared to the chinese/vietnamese one, hopefully they carry it


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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sorry, I just had to bump this up.  I was reading an old thread on natto and somehow I was directed to this...funny how egullet works.

so are shiritaki noodles the same thing as konnyaku?  After reading this read, I noticed that you can't eat too much.  What, in your opinion is too much for one person?  I don't want to eat alot of this stuff and then have to be rolled to the restroom.  Also, is it hard to find in the us?  Here in Boston we have a pretty asian supermarket chain (which carries shiritaki) but it caters mainly to chinese & vietnamese.  There is also a japanese grocery store but it is very small compared to the chinese/vietnamese one, hopefully they carry it

Shirataki (not shiritaki) is a thread-like version of konnyaku.

How much is too much?? :blink: Just make sukiyaki or gyudon and you'll know that!

I suppose you should ask your other questions in the appropriate U.S. forum. :wink:

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sorry, I just had to bump this up.  I was reading an old thread on natto and somehow I was directed to this...funny how egullet works.

so are shiritaki noodles the same thing as konnyaku?  After reading this read, I noticed that you can't eat too much.  What, in your opinion is too much for one person?  I don't want to eat alot of this stuff and then have to be rolled to the restroom.  Also, is it hard to find in the us?  Here in Boston we have a pretty asian supermarket chain (which carries shiritaki) but it caters mainly to chinese & vietnamese.  There is also a japanese grocery store but it is very small compared to the chinese/vietnamese one, hopefully they carry it

First. I love konyaku! I love the thin konyaku (itokon) best, but block konyaku is great in simmered dishes, like oden. And I have always been an enormous konyaku eater.

Along with all of the seaweeds, kanten (only sometimes), and natto, it is the best food to add to a meal for good health and figure!! I ate so much of it, especially in high-school, when I had a huge appetite all the time, but of course, I had to be able to wear my uniform!

I refuse to believe all of the health risks of konyaku that people are bringing up in this thread. I'm sure there are so many things that are worse for you, and no one in my family (all konyaku lovers) has ever had any problems. None of my friends either.

So I don't know of a serving size that is "safe", because I think that you will know when you're too full to eat more, like with any other food.

And I need to share my favorite preparation! (or one of). Konyaku has a very funny smell/taste when it comes out of a package, so it's really necessary to either cook it for a long time (like with oden) or to boil it first. If you boil the strands of konyaku for about 5 minutes, drain them, and then toss them with a little mentaiko... so good!!

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Here in Boston ... there is also a japanese grocery store ... hopefully they carry it.

Yoshinoya and Kotobukiya do, indeed, both have it in stock.

John

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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

Thanks everyone for their replies.

I think Schielke referred to glucomannan contained in konnyaku flour, not konnyaku itself. Konnyaku is 96 to 97% water plus konnyaku flour.

There are no health risks associated with konnyaku, only health benefits!

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I bought some yesterday although it was labeled "yam cake"

I bought "white" and "seaweed" flavor. It smelled pretty gross coming out of the package.

I thought it contained alot of fiber? on the nutrition label it had 0% dietary fiber...where did it all go? That was one of the main reasons I wanted to buy it

do any of you marinate it? I feel that that definitely helps with the flavor. I marinated some overnight in shoyu and lime juice (because I was too cheap to buy ponzu)


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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Also, is it hard to find in the us?  Here in Boston we have a pretty asian supermarket chain (which carries shiritaki) but it caters mainly to chinese & vietnamese.  There is also a japanese grocery store but it is very small compared to the chinese/vietnamese one, hopefully they carry it

So far, I have yet to see any form of konnyaku turn up in a mainstream (i.e. catering to non-Asians) supermarket, even in those stores' "ethnic foods" aisles. However, a number of the local Asian supermarkets here in San Diego carry several varieties all the time--especially 99 Ranch and Vien Dong markets.

I do remember having a bit of fun trying to hunt the stuff down for the very first time, never having even seen it before other than in photos on the web. I asked a very helpful manager at 99 Ranch--he had decent English skills, but there was apparently still a bit of a language gap going on. I'm guessing that as a Chinese guy he wasn't so familiar with Japanese products; or else my pronunciation of the word "konnyaku" was way the heck off somehow. When I called it "yam cake," he guessed I meant Chinese style turnip cake--which I did buy and enjoy a lot, but I could tell immediately it was not the product I'd been looking for. Thankfully, on a later visit to 99 Ranch I did stumble upon their stock of konnyaku, in the same refrigerator case where they kept tofu, fresh noodles, pickled veggies, and other chilled products of that sort.

(Edited for clarity)


Edited by mizducky (log)

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I thought it contained alot of fiber?  on the nutrition label it had 0% dietary fiber...where did it all go?  That was one of the main reasons I wanted to buy it

That's strange. Glucomannan is a dietary fiber.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucomannan

I don't marinate konnyaku. Konnyaku is usually parboiled for a few seconds before use.

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I bought "white" and "seaweed" flavor.  It smelled pretty gross coming out of the package.

I thought it contained alot of fiber?  on the nutrition label it had 0% dietary fiber...where did it all go?  That was one of the main reasons I wanted to buy it

The more processed it is the less fiber it is going to contain, the white and flavored versions are going to have the least fiber of all.

I couldn't find too much info (and I don't have any konnyaku in the house at the moment) but a couple sites gave 2.2% fiber (per 100g) for konnyaku made from the powder and 3% (per 100g) for that made with fresh yams (potatoes/tubers/whatever you want to call it)


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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