konnyaku

Pronunciation: [kohn-NYAH-koo]

A translucent, gelatinous cake made from the starch of a yamlike tuber known as devil's tongue. Although konnyaku has no noticeable flavor, it readily absorbs the flavors of the simmered dishes to which it's added. There are two types—shiru konnyaku, a refined pearly-white version, and kuro konnyaku, an unrefined cake with dark specks in it. Konnyaku is available in the refrigerated section of Asian markets. See also shirataki.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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