Fried konjac rice: cut out hundreds of calories and carbs without sacrificing great taste!
Growing up, my family had a tradition of eating dinner every Friday at a restaurant downtown. It was the perfect way to decompress, talk, connect, and enjoy great food together. One of my favorite things to eat as a kid was Chinese style fried rice. I could literally eat several plates full (And we did!). Now, being more educated about nutrition and generally more health conscious I try to find recipes that are healthy, delicious, accessible, and easy to prepare. I recently found a product called "Shirataki" which is made from Konjac also known as glucomannan (1). Konjac/Shirataki rice is derived from the tuber-like underground stem known as the corm and has been used in Asia for centuries (1,2). I started cooking with this ingredient and to my delight it tasted very similar to rice. Here is a great fried rice recipe that I use to make Konjac fried rice. This is a great way to replace white rice (which is loaded with calories and carbohydrates then converted to sugars in the body) and replacing it with a low calorie, high fiber item without a significant sacrifice to flavor.
Check out the video instructions
Konjac rice, 2 packs (200 g each pack, wash and rinse before use)
Low sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons (more or less to taste)
Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
Yellow onion, 1/2 cup (diced)
Peas & carrots, 2 cups (frozen)
Garlic, 5 cloves (diced)
Green onion, 1/4 cup (chopped)
Eggs, 2 large
Optional: bean sprout, other veggies
Optional: proteins like chicken, turkey, shrimp, etc.
Optional: some recipes call for oyster sauce add added flavor
Concept: "Substituting high-carb, high-calorie white rice for very low calorie, plant based Konjac rice can save you hundreds of calories per meal and add up to many pounds lost over the long term"
On low-medium heat add sesame oil to pan with onion
Add garlic after about 3 minutes just before the onions start to brown (garlic cooks cooks faster than the onion so you don't want to burn it)
Once onions start to brown add peas and carrots until warmed
Add konjac rice and stir (make sure you rinse off the Konjac rice)
Add soy sauce and stir
Add chopped green onion
Move rice to one side of the pan and create space to place your eggs to cook
Add your eggs to the pan to cook
Once eggs are cooked (about 2 minutes) stir back into the rice
Continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes to get rid of excess water and firm up the konjac
Add additional optional ingredients. I love shrimp in my fried rice.
Keep refrigerated. I find this rice tastes better the next day as the konjac soaks up the flavors over night.
The bottom line
Substituting regular white rice with konjac rice is a great way to replace a high calorie food with a low calorie, high fiber one without significantly sacrificing flavor. Also, konjac rice is compatible with many different diets: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, diabetic friendly, weight loss friendly, & gluten free. Konjac can also aid in lowering blood pressure (3), improving blood sugar (2-4), cholesterol (2,3,5). Konjac rice is a most notable for its significant difference in calories: 5 calories per serving of Konjac vs. 210 calories per serving of white rice. If you eat white rice regularly then this would add up to thousands of calories per year and pounds lost by switching to konjac rice. In fact one clinical double blind research study showed that diet supplementation with Konjac over an 8 week period resulted in significant weight loss (6). Numerous other studies have shown positive effects on weight loss (7-10). Obviously Konjac rice is not going to taste exactly like your favorite rice dish but in order to make a difference in your health it's important to try new things and make certain sacrifices. I'm not saying give up white rice but only eat white rice on occasion and make konjac (and other healthy options like cauliflower rice, chickpea rice) you regular go-to rice for everyday purposes. Also, there are so many recipes out there for fried rice dishes and rice dishes in general to I urge you to try your own and customize your diet to suit your individual needs.
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Link to cauliflower rice blog post:
Healthline. What is Konjac? What Is Konjac? Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects (healthline.com). Accessed 10/04/21.
Miracle Noodle. Welcome to Miracle Noodle. Shirataki Noodles, Zero Calorie & Carb Free Noodles at Miracle Noodle. Accessed 10/04/21.
Ramya Devi Devaraj, Chagam Koteswara Reddy, Baojun Xu,Health-promoting effects of konjac glucomannan and its practical applications: A critical review, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. 2019;(126): 273-281.
Huang CY, Zhang MY, Peng SS, Hong JR, Wang X, Jiang HJ, Zhang FL, Bai YX, Liang JZ, Yu YR, et al. Effect of Konjac food on blood glucose level in patients with diabetes. Biomed Environ Sci. 1990 Jun;3(2):123-31.
Nagasawa T, Kimura T, Yoshida A, Tsunekawa K, Araki O, Ushiki K, Ishigaki H, Shoho Y, Suda I, Hiramoto S, Murakami M. Konjac Glucomannan Attenuated Triglyceride Metabolism during Rice Gruel Tolerance Test. Nutrients. 2021 Jun 25;13(7):2191.
Walsh DE, Yaghoubian V, Behforooz A. Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study. Int J Obes. 1984;8(4):289-93. PMID: 6096282.
Vita PM, Restelli A, Caspani P, Klinger R. Impiego cronico del glucomannano nel trattamento dietetico delle obesità severe [Chronic use of glucomannan in the dietary treatment of severe obesity]. Minerva Med. 1992 Mar;83(3):135-9.
Salas-Salvadó J, Farrés X, Luque X, Narejos S, Borrell M, Basora J, Anguera A, Torres F, Bulló M, Balanza R; Fiber in Obesity-Study Group. Effect of two doses of a mixture of soluble fibres on body weight and metabolic variables in overweight or obese patients: a randomised trial. Br J Nutr. 2008 Jun;99(6):1380-7.
Livieri C, Novazi F, Lorini R. Impiego di fibre a base di glucomannano altamente purificato nell'obesità infantile [The use of highly purified glucomannan-based fibers in childhood obesity]. Pediatr Med Chir. 1992 Mar-Apr;14(2):195-8.
Birketvedt GS, Shimshi M, Erling T, Florholmen J. Experiences with three different fiber supplements in weight reduction. Med Sci Monit. 2005 Jan;11(1):PI5-8.
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