Dry Shirataki Noodles and Rice? Only if You Want to Go Against the Grain | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Emilio Ocampo talks freely and passionately of his venture, Against the Grain. The label offers dry shirataki noodles and rice for both the health-conscious and those curious about alternatives to the usual carbs. 

“My parents and my sister have been eating shirataki for the past three years. They started with the wet kind,” he relates. “When we discovered the dry kind, we found that the available stock here in The Philippines is really low, but it’s in such high demand. When I realized that, I pushed it to make it our business and be more aggressive than our competitors.” 

This drive is why you’ll find Against the Grain on Lazada and Shopee, along with boutique food stops, and is also part of the menu at The Farm at San Benito. Ocampo mentions how he’s also working on entering the major grocery chains to make dry shirataki rice and noodles readily available. 

What is shirataki?

Shirataki is made of a fiber called glucomannan derived from konjac root. Glucomannan is used as a thickener in some recipes, and when combined with water, creates flour for noodles or rice. Since it’s fiber-made primarily, shirataki noodles and rice are comparatively calorie-free to traditional rice. It is also vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. 

On top of that, it won’t taste so different from its carb-loaded counterparts. “The rice might be a little soft, but compared to other grain alternatives, you’ll get used to the taste and texture immediately,” Ocampo says. “This helps make it easier for the people with a more casual interest to make their meals healthier.” 

I tried out the rice myself and found Ocampo is true to his word. As mentioned, the rice was a bit wetter than the usual white rice, but it didn’t feel odd or malagkit. It went well with my laing and other Filipino viands that constantly beg for a cup of rice. “My mother likes to cook it a bit more as to create that tutong,” shares Ocampo. 


Ocampo also vouches how the noodles fit any recipe. Don’t limit it to the Asian sauces reserved for glass noodles, as they can handle thicker and creamier sauces. You can take my word for it or try the Against the Grain recipes developed by Ocampo’s sister Selina. She’s the one behind food delivery service MISE. 

The versatility means that it won’t limit you to specific cuisines and can even allow you to indulge in your high-calorie favorites without much guilt. Say that to the most disciplined fitness buff, and you’ve got a client base hooked for life. 

Long life

Imported from Japan and boasting of a shelf-life of two years, Against the Grain doesn’t leave much for the skeptic. If you’ve hesitated to make that switch, this may be the brand you need. 

One pack of dry shirataki rice/noodles weighs 80 grams and costs PHP175. You can also get a six-pack bundle for PHP950. 


Check out Against the Grain via Instagram


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