LE KONJAC A slimming and detox root.








A slimming and detox root.

A plant of the Araceae family, named Amorphophallus konjac and related to yam, cultivated throughout Asia. Its enormous tuber (up to 80 cm in circumference) is reduced to a fine white powder, a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine, then processed into blocks or vermicelli.




Konjac capsules can be found in pharmacies, while konnyaku and shirataki can be found in Asian grocery stores or on the Internet ( www.kioko.fr, www.workshop-isse.fr, www.konjacmarket.com, www.asianmarket.fr). Expect to pay between €3 and €5 per 200 g for konnyaku and shirataki. The best part? Konjac keeps for several months in its packaging.


Konjac contains no vitamins or minerals! It should therefore be part of a diversified, plant-rich diet. But it has many other virtues.

Light : Konjac contains a soluble fiber, glucomannan. In the presence of liquid, it absorbs up to 100 times its volume of water, becoming a viscous gel that traps fats and sugars. At 3 calories per 100 g, konjac beats other slimming foods (10 calories per 100 g for cucumbers)!

Detox : in Japan, they are eaten to cleanse the intestines. Rich in fiber: the richest natural source of fiber available. While oat bran contains 14%, konjac contains 64% (on a dry matter basis). As a result, it helps regulate lazy transits. What’s more, “it’s a very interesting prebiotic that feeds the micro-organisms in our intestines”, adds Catherine Serfaty-Lacrosnière, a nutritionist (3).

Appetite suppressant : the advantage of konjac is that, when eaten, it fills the stomach. So we’re less hungry. In fact, it is one of the very few foods that can display a “weight loss” claim granted by the European authorities. On the other hand, it has no effect on cravings for sugar, fat or salt, or on food urges.

Balancing : beyond its slimming qualities, konjac helps stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you have diabetes, you should discuss it with your doctor, as it can alter the effectiveness of certain medications.Neutral: it’s hard to define the taste of konjac. It’s slightly elastic, neutral in the mouth, firm and transparent… Heat-resistant, it adapts to a wide range of preparations.

(3) Author of “Secrets de l’alimentation anti-inflammatoire” (published by Albin Michel).


In blocks : called konnyaku, it is white (mildest taste) or gray (slightly stronger taste). After rinsing, scald for a minute and rinse again. This block is cut into larger or smaller pieces before cooking. Vegetable gratin: blanch 200 g broccoli florets + 1 zucchini cut into 1 cm slices in boiling water for 5 min. Arrange in a small gratin dish with a dozen cherry tomatoes + a few black olives + 100 g konnyaku in 3 x 3 cm cubes. Cover with a mixture of 2 eggs + 20 cl milk + 2 tbsp. tablespoons flour + salt + pepper. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C (gas mark 6). Fruit salad: mix pieces of 1 pear + 1/2 Victoria pineapple + 1/2 grapefruit + 25 g konnyaku cut into tiny pieces. Add the juice of 2 oranges and a little chopped mint. Leave overnight in a cool place.

Vermicelli : known as shirataki. This konjac “pasta” is eaten like spaghetti. Before cooking, they should be rinsed, scalded for 1 min and rinsed again.

Korean-style shirataki: marinate 100 g minced beef fillet with 1/2 minced garlic clove + 1 tbsp. tablespoons soy sauce + 1 tbsp. tablespoon sesame oil + 1 pinch baking soda. In a frying pan, sauté 1 onion + 1 small carrot, thinly sliced. Add the meat, then 100 g spinach shoots, and sauté. Finish by adding 150 g scalded shirataki. Season with soy sauce and sesame seeds.

Shirataki + zucchini + pesto: sauté 1 chopped onion + 1 diced zucchini. In a dish, mix with 150 g scalded shirataki + 1 handful roasted pine nuts + 1 tbsp. tablespoons pesto + chopped parsley and mint.

Thai tofu curry: in a frying pan, brown 1 tbsp. teaspoon red Thai curry. Moisten with 20 cl of coconut milk. Add 1/2 chopped green bell pepper + 50 g pineapple + a dozen tofu cubes. Leave to cook for 10 minutes. Serve with shirataki and coriander.

Capsules and powder : We recommend taking 1 or 2 capsules or sachets with a very large glass of water 30 minutes before a meal, once or twice a day. Our favorites: Konjac by Arkopharma (approx. €6 per 45 capsules), Diet Partner Phase d’Attaque by Innéov (€18 per 15 sachets).