Emilio Ocampo speaks freely and passionately about his endeavor, Against the Grain. The label offers dry shirataki noodles and rice for the health conscious and those curious about alternatives to regular carbs.
“My parents and my sister have been eating shirataki for the past three years. They started with the wet kind,” he narrates. “When we found the dry type, we found that the available stock in the Philippines was very low, but the demand was very high. When I realized that, I encouraged him to make it our business and be more aggressive than our competitors.”
Drive is why you’ll find Against the Grain on Lazada and Shopee, along with boutique food stops, and also part of the menu at The Farm at San Benito. Ocampo mentions how he’s also worked his way into a major grocery chain to make dry shirataki rice and noodles available.
What is Shirataki?
Shirataki is made from a fiber called glucomannan which is derived from the konjac root. Glucomannan is used as a thickener in some recipes, and when combined with water, produces flour for noodles or rice. Since the main ingredient is fiber, shirataki noodles and rice are relatively calorie-free compared to traditional rice. It’s also vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.
In addition, the taste will not be much different from its carbohydrate-laden counterparts. “The rice may be a bit soft, but compared to other grain alternatives, you quickly get used to the taste and texture,” says Ocampo. “This helps make it easier for people with more relaxed interests to make their meals healthier.”
I tried the rice myself and found Ocampo true to his word. As mentioned, the rice is a little wetter than regular white rice, but it doesn’t taste weird or malagkit. It went well with me other Aand others Filipino food that constantly asks for a cup of rice. “My mother prefers to cook it than make it tutong,“Share Ocampo.
Ocampo also guarantees how the noodles fit into any recipe. Don’t limit it to the Asian sauces reserved for glass noodles, as they can handle thicker, thicker sauces. You can take my word for it or try the Against the Grain recipe developed by Ocampo’s sister, Selina. He is the man behind the MISE food delivery service.
Its versatility means that it won’t limit you to certain cuisines and can even allow you to enjoy your high-calorie favorites without much guilt. Say that to the most disciplined fitness enthusiast, and you have a client base that is addicted for life.
Imported from Japan and boasting a two-year shelf life, Against wheat doesn’t leave much for skeptics. If you’re hesitant to make the switch, this might be the brand you need.
One pack of dry shirataki rice/noodles weighs 80 grams at a price of PHP175. You can also get a six-pack package for PHP950.
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