Shirataki & Seitan

I do not consider myself a picky eater. Sure, I don’t care for bananas, raisins remind me of bugs, and balsamic vinegar turns my tummy, but it’s not like I’d refuse to eat any of those things were someone to offer me one of them or use them [sparingly] in a dish. (Unless it was some sort of balsamic-raisin-banana hybrid, in which case I’d politely refuse and vomit quietly in a corner.) And, truthfully, I used to be much pickier – I didn’t like squash or sweet potatoes or pasta as a kid. Pasta! Oy.

I’ve since discovered the joys of squash and sweet potatoes and pasta. In fact, these days, I’m quite adventurous in the food realm – I’ll try anything! I credit much of my foodventurism to becoming vegan – as an omnivore, I never went out of my way to try new foods, but now every trip to the grocery store is a chance to buy a new type of bean or experiment with an unfamiliar grain. In the past, you probably could not have paid me to purchase a product called “seitan tidbits” from the Asian section of the grocery store, nor could you have convinced me that fish-scented noodles made from tofu would be remotely palatable. But omnivore-Kelly is a girl of the past, and vegan-Kelly relishes the chance to try such a delightfully-named product as “seitan tidbits”.

Tidbits!

So… have y’all ever tried shirataki noodles? I’d heard rumors that fresh out of the package they smell like fish, and THEY TOTALLY DO. It’s weird and a little off-putting, but after taking a nice bath in some cold water, the odor of the sea dissipates (thank heavens). Apparently they’re a dieter’s best friend because they are quite low in calories and carbs, but I just wanted to try them because they’re so weird! You buy them in a squishy package from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and they’re swimming around in fish-scented juice… mmm.

As you can see from that photo right up thurrr, I added my noodles to a broccoli-laden stir fry. Said stir fry also featured the aforementioned seitan tidbits, and let me tell you, this was one bizarre-o stir fry. The noodles were a little chewy, but they tasted just fine. The seitan tidbits, however, were just… weird. I ate one and thought, “Oh, these are okay!” but after chomping a few more, I changed my tune slightly. They were very, very squishy, and they kind of oozed some sort of liquid-y, oily substance. I didn’t even check their nutritional stats when purchasing them, but because they’re packed in oil, they’re disgustingly fat-laden, to the point where I felt a little sickish after dinner. Bleh.

So, for a dish that featured two new-to-me and slightly less than mainstream foods, this wasn’t half bad. (It was only 1/3 bad.) I’m glad I can cross shirataki noodles and canned seitan off my vegan bucket list, and I’d definitely consider using the noodles again, but next time I’ll stick to homemade seitan. :)

Have you ever tried either of these two items? What did you think about them?