I wasn't aware that they are considered diet food, but apparently so, according to google's search results. I like them, and eat them somewhat often. But, mostly in winter, because I can't think of any Japanese dishes other than nabe-mono
or "things-in-a-pot." For example, they are almost always an ingredient in sukiyaki.
You're right to suspect, vitauta. They are a bit rubbery in texture, but that's in comparison to wheat pastas. I would think that the way it looks would throw people off a bit -- translucent grey with specks of brown and black. Unlike the beautiful coil or drape of a strand of spaghetti, shirataki in comparison is curly and squirmy, kinda wormy.
Asian markets sell the noodles suspended in liquid, in sealed bags. I've never heard of them made as a dried product. It also comes in a block form called konyaku
. Its rubbery, tough gelatin texture is quite pronounced as say, a slice of two-by-one-by-quarter inch. You would find that in a pot of oden
, a stew of mostly root vegetables popular at subway stations among drunk businessmen trying to catch the last train.
I'm not a fan of konyaku in large pieces, but I like shirataki in sukiyaki or shabu-shabu pots very much. Try it, you might like it.
If you haven't looked it up already, here's the wiki, mostly accurate...
Shirataki noodles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia