To take them out for my first test-drive, I decided on a very quick, simple route: noodles in broth. I began by preparing a classic kombu dashi (without the shaved bonito flakes), which takes a little time, because the broth must be brought up to just below a simmer very slowly. This prevents the kombu from turning bitter and spoiling the broth, but it also helps leach the flavor and nutrients out of the seaweed--which of course is the whole point of this exercise. While I was waiting, I set a few dried shiitake mushrooms to soak in a little warm water. Once the broth was lightly colored, I removed the kombu (saving it to add to a batch of brown rice later) and added a little tamari, sake, and mirin.
In a separate pot, I par-boiled the noodles to remove the "authentic aroma," as the package directed. I guess authentic shirataki smell a little like four-day-old fish. Good call to get rid of that, package guys! Not everything authentic enjoys universal appeal.
After rinsing the noodles, I added them to the pot with the mushrooms and reheated the broth. I added a few scallions, sliced thinly on a slight diagonal, and that was that. On a sudden whim, as a final touch, I threw in a pinch of pickled shiso powder--a uniquely salty-sour macrobiotic condiment.
If you've never had the pleasure of shoving noodles and mushrooms into your mouth with chopsticks and slurping them up along with a flavorful broth from the lip of the bowl, I highly recommend trying it at least once. You don't have to use tofu shirataki for this; you'll also enjoy buckwheat soba--my favorite--or regular old wheat ramen, if you're not on a gluten-free diet.
Because these noodles are totally carbohydrate-free, this dish makes a light, tasty--and highly entertaining--snack, or an idea appetizer for a multi-course meal. Shiitake mushrooms are highly medicinal, with some research indicating they help lower the "bad" cholesterol, prevent platelet aggregation, protect the liver, fight cancer, and boost the immune system. They taste good too, which is very important--some would say paramount.