RE: Shirataki noodles
Do you have any Japanese/Korean markets in your area? I've never been in one that has not had shirataki, also known as ito konnyaku. They are one of the traditional ingredients in Sukiyaki. Here is one of my favorite recipes for shirataki, from a Kimiko Barber recipe. It's good by itself or with some steamed fish and sauteed spinach with a ground sesame dressing.
Shirataki Noodles with Mushrooms
1 7oz. package shirataki noodles, also known as ito konnyaku, blanched briefly in boiling water and drained
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 tsp. Japanese sesame oil
8 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 oz. shimeji mushrooms, trimmed and separated (shimeji look like the shiitake version of enoki mushrooms, if unavailable use 6 more shiitake. Don’t substitute enoki.)
1 small piece konbu (dried kelp) about 1"x3", wiped clean and torn in half
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sake
2 Tbl. mirin
2 –3 Tbl. Japanese soy sauce, such as Yamasa
Cut noodles into short lengths, about 2". Heat oils together in a saucepan to medium heat, add noodles and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add sauce mixture and konbu and simmer over low heat, skimming often, until sauce has reduced by about half. This can be served warm or at room temperature. It reheats well.