Gluten is an essential group of proteins obtained from grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten, found in food, is essential for maintaining elasticity and providing moisture. Furthermore, gluten in bread helps to retain the chewy texture.
Gluten is safe to consume, but it might have counter-reactions to people suffering from gluten sensitivity and celiac diseases. People suffering from these conditions should avoid the consumption of gluten to keep away any serious health damages.
Most food items and dishes have gluten-containing ingredients as the main part of their foods. If you are allergic to gluten, you should prefer checking the ingredients thoroughly.
A gluten-free diet is beneficial for those suffering from celiac diseases. Celiac disease refers to a condition that triggers the body’s immune system when a person consumes gluten-containing food. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity should also avoid the consumption of gluten-containing food. Gluten-containing food can, however, trigger reactions like stomach pain, diarrhea, and bloating.
Further research needs to be done about the benefits of a gluten-free diet. But various studies suggest that a gluten-free diet can help those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. This chronic condition causes digestive disorders such as constipation, stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Gluten is an essential component of many nutritious food items such as wheat, rye, and barley. Although a gluten-free diet is essential for the body, it can have counter-reactions too. The lack of gluten in the body can increase the risk of essential nutrient deficiencies such as niacin, iron, folate, and riboflavin. Gluten-free diets also contain less fiber, which is why they have a huge impact on digestive health.
If you are allergic to gluten, the consumption of food containing gluten can trigger allergic reactions. However, allergy symptoms include hives, rash, stuffy or runny nose, asthma, sneezing, and more.
What Chinese food is gluten-free?
Chinese festivals often see a massive rise in gluten-free food consumption, and it is all for good. A gluten-free diet can be a little challenging, but it’s not impossible. In fact, around China and the world, several restaurants are selling gluten-free food.
Doesn’t the absence of wheat, rye, or barley make the dish boring? — This is something that may have crossed your mind, and the answer is NO. Being on a gluten-free diet should never stop you from enjoying your favorite Chinese festival dishes. Here are some absolutely lip-smacking gluten-free Chinese dishes.
Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken
Gluten-free Sweet and Sour chicken should be on your list of gluten-free Chinese foods. It has a sticky, sweet-sour sauce with a light batter. You can add some deep-fried chicken to the batter to enhance the taste.
Gluten-Free Crispy Chilli Beef
This is something you can easily make. It’s super tasty with a sweet and sticky fiery sauce. What’s great about this is that you can make it at home for cheap, so it doesn’t hurt your pocket too.
Gluten-free Chicken curry
Who doesn’t love Chinese chicken curry? And for it to be gluten-free is nothing less than a cherry on the cake. Curries are mostly gluten-free, but Chinese dishes often are made of gluten powder whose main component is wheat.
Gluten-free vegan Satan curry
You’re not probably going to find it at any Chinese restaurant, but you can always prepare one at home. Sweet potato acts as the perfect replacement for chicken because it easily soaks up the flavor and pairs perfectly with the spicy sauce.
Gluten-free prawn toast
Prawn toasts are delicious. But, most people often refrain from having it because of gluten content in bread. Well, you can enjoy it with gluten-free bread.
Gluten-free spring rolls
Gluten-free spring rolls might come up as an impossible dish, but they aren’t. To get the maximum effect, you need to ensure that you’ve mixed it up thoroughly. You can enjoy your gluten-free spring rolls with sweet chili sauce.
What Chinese food items are gluten-free?
Apart from the gluten-free food, there are Chinese food ingredients that are gluten-free as well. These gluten-free items are available in Chinese supermarkets for pretty cheap. If you are looking forward to getting your hands on Chinese food items gluten-free, you should totally get these.
Gluten-free oyster sauce
Brands selling oyster sauce clearly mention it in the packing itself. You can use the gluten-free oyster sauce for various recipes and stir-fries. Ah, delicious!
Tapioca starch and rice flour
These are essential starches and flours that do not contain gluten. You can easily make a flour blend of your choice using these gluten-free products.
Spring roll wrapper
The spring roll wrappers are available in the market for a very affordable rate. You can purchase these gluten-free spring roll wrappers and deep-fry them to relish on some delicious spring rolls.
Fresh rice noodles
Fresh rice noodles are available in the chilled section usually. They are a perfect addition to your stir-fries and soup noodles. The other noodles that are gluten-free for you to try include glass noodles and dried noodles.
Most people don’t know what a beancurd is. Beancurd is tofu that has a crispy, fried exterior. They are a perfect replacement for meats.
We all love instant noodles. However, not all instant noodles are gluten-free. So, you must check the ingredients mentioned on the packaging.
Mochi is rice-based treats that have a sweet filling. Mochi is available in two flavors- strawberry and peanut butter.
Seasoning mixes are easy to use and extremely delicious. You can check the supermarket and find the seasoning mix of your choice. However, not every seasoning mix is free of gluten. Thus, you must check the ingredients thoroughly.
Is Chinese rice gluten-free?
Yes, all rice is free of gluten. Thus, brown rice, wild rice, white rice, and Chinese rice are free of gluten. Asian rice or Sticky rice is often referred to as glutinous rice. Despite the name, it is free of gluten. Boiled and fried rice of all varieties are free of gluten.
Rice is one of the best and most popular gluten-free grains for people suffering from celiac diseases. A lot of Chinese goods are made of rice instead of gluten because of their gluten-free nature. However, not every rice is free from gluten, so it is necessary to check it.
Is Chow Mein gluten-free?
Noodles made of wheat aren’t gluten-free. The Chow mein noodles are made of wheat flour and eggs, same as that of Italian pasta. ‘Mein’ is the Chinese name for noodles. Chow mein is one of the most popular Chinese noodles. If you love chow mein but are allergic to gluten, you should refrain from using it because it can have counter effects.
Chow mein noodles are healthy, provided you know how to prepare it. Gluten-free chow mein made of rice flour can have benefits. However, since it is made with lots of vegetables and lean proteins, you can consume chow mein.
Do Chinese dumplings have gluten?
Dumplings are one of the most loved Chinese dishes. There are certain Chinese etiquettes for the consumption of dumplings. Chinese dumplings are wrapped in wheat dough. Hence, it can be concluded that Chinese dumplings aren’t gluten-free. Chinese dumplings have fillings wrapped in the tough. The dough is often made of wheat flour, potato, or bread. The filling consists of sweets, vegetables, cheese, meat, and fish.
If you love Chinese dumplings and are gluten cautious, you should refrain from this. The dough is prepared with a combination of tapioca flour and wheat starch. Hence, if you’re looking for the answer to ‘are Chinese dumplings gluten-free?’ sadly, they’re not, but there’s always an alternative so that you can savor the delicious Chinese dumplings.
You can always prepare Chinese dumplings from scratch, even if you are on a gluten-free diet. Instead of wheat starch and tapioca flour, you should use gluten-free flour.
Are spring rolls gluten-free?
It totally depends on what the wrap is made up of. Mostly, the spring roll wraps are made of wheat. Hence, it may not be gluten-free. A lot of spring roll wrappers are available in the market made up of rice paper. These rice paper spring roll wrappers are 100% gluten-free.
You can also find gluten-free spring roll wraps in the market. Fresh Chinese spring rolls are healthy, especially if you make the filling rich in raw vegetables and lean protein. The rice paper or rice spring roll wraps are low in calories and fat, making it extremely healthy. Spring rolls are a staple dish for Chinese holidays. Chinese spring rolls and black tea can be an ideal evening snack.
Is there gluten in soy sauce?
No. Soy sauce is not gluten-free. Soy sauce is made up of essential ingredients like soybeans, salt, water, and wheat. Soybeans are cooked with wheat, to which aspergillus mold is added. The mixture is left for fermentation for a few months so that the soy and wheat can break down by hydrolysis.
The soy sauce is hydrolyzed, and the gluten content is broken down into smaller particles, peptides. Soy sauce isn’t gluten-free, which is why it is still capable of causing damage to people suffering from celiac diseases.
Is there any alternative to gluten-free Chinese sauces? If you’re looking forward to a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, then you can always choose tamari. Tamari is thick and has a stronger flavor as compared to soy sauce. If you’re dining at a restaurant and choosing gluten-free dishes, then you should always check if the dishes contain soy sauce too. A lot of restaurants use soy sauce for deep frying certain dishes.
Is Chop Suey gluten-free?
Chinese Chop Suey made up of rice is often gluten-free. However, if grains such as wheat, barley, and rye are used to make chop suey, it won’t be gluten-free. Chop suey is one of the best traditional Chinese dishes that consists of several vegetables. But, it may also contain seafood, poultry, and meat. The gluten-free version of Chop Suey is served with sticky rice.
You can make gluten-free chop suey at home or order a bowl of delicious chop suey with noodles from the restaurant. However, you must check with the restaurant about whether the chop suey is gluten-free or not before confirming your order, especially if you are on a gluten-free diet.
Can you eat gluten-free in China?
You can follow a gluten-free diet in China, especially if you’re committed to it. China is the land of dumplings, wheat production, and noodles. You might often feel that following a gluten-free diet in China is nearly impossible, but it is not. Although it might get a little tough, there are surely several gluten-free dishes you can try in China if you’re on a strict diet.
Here are some of the tips to follow a gluten-free diet in China
Know what to order and what to avoid
Gluten allergy is taken very seriously across Chinese restaurants. Chinese dishes such as wontons, dumplings, soy sauce have gluten in them. These details are mentioned in the menu itself. You can choose dishes made of gluten-free Chinese ingredients. You may prefer directly speaking to the chef if you want to have a delicious gluten-free Chinese meal.
- Gluten-free Chinese food to try
- Steamed rice and vegetable
- Non-thickened soup
- Non-bread meat and fish.
- Foods to avoid
- Cereals, wheat
- Deep-fried food (as it may be consisting of soy sauce)
- Soy and oyster sauce
- Food made of rice wine and beer
Carry snacks with you
When you travel to China and want to keep up with your gluten-free diet, it is always a clever idea to carry snacks with you. You can find several gluten-free backup snacks in China, such as nuts, protein drinks, boiled eggs, and crackers. Fruits are also one of the best snacks that you can carry with you.
The celiac friendly snacks are available in supermarkets and aren’t expensive as well.
Visit a doctor if allergy triggers
Suppose your gluten allergy triggers make sure to visit a doctor immediately. The doctor will prescribe you medicines accordingly that will help to treat the allergy. If you have celiac disease, you should prefer getting yourself admitted into the hospital.
Get medications for yourself
We always want the best, but it is better to stay prepared for the worst. If you are allergic to gluten, you should always keep medications at hand. If you are native to China, you can get these medications at the local chemist. But, if you’re visiting China from any foreign land, you should carry your medications because sometimes it may get tough to find your respective medications at your arrival.
How to make Chinese food gluten-free?
Not all foods are gluten-free but are loved by all, especially wonton, spring rolls, and dumplings. Although these aren’t gluten-free, you can surely make these. If you love pizza, you can always make gluten-free bases. You can buy gluten-free flour to prepare the base of these dishes.
Fast-food takeaways are not usually gluten-free. However, certain Chinese restaurants do provide the option of gluten-free foods. If you want to make gluten-free food, you need to purchase gluten-free ingredients.
What Chinese takeaway food is gluten-free?
If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you will want to choose gluten-free foods. Wheat noodles contain gluten. So, you might want to refrain from gluten. However, there are rice noodles available in the market as they are gluten-free. Rice is a great alternative to gluten-containing wheat.
Soy sauce is used in most Chinese dishes. Hence, when meat, vegetables, and fishes are cooked in soy sauce, they become gluten. On the other hand, vegetables, meat, and fish are gluten-free in nature, until it is cooked in soy sauce.
Spring rolls contain gluten if they’re made of wheat as the base wrap. But, if they’re made of rice base wrap, the same spring rolls will be gluten-free. It entirely depends on what the food is made up of.
Which Chinese food are sauces gluten-free?
Soy sauce is the primary Chinese food sauce. But, it contains gluten. However, not all sauces are made up of gluten. Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Cooking wines, and fish sauce are the primary sauces that do not contain gluten. However, it completely depends on brands. Hoisin and oyster sauce is 100% gluten-free.
Furthermore, it depends on the ingredients it is made of. Sweet and Sour sauce is one of the essential sauces, but it is not gluten-free either. If Sweet and Sour sauce is made without gluten ingredients, it can cater to the needs. The sweet and sour sauce is thick. Cornstarch is thus used to make sweet and sour sauce gluten-free.
Which Asian food is gluten-free?
Not every Asian food has gluten. Having a gluten-free Asian diet is pretty easy. This is because most of the ingredients in Asian foods are free of gluten-diet, such as sesame oil, tofu, and rice.
Some of the prominent Asian sauces that are gluten-free are oyster sauce and hoisin sauce. On the other hand, some of the prominent Asian gluten-free foods include
- Rice noodle dishes
- Beef and chicken.
- Buddha’s delight
The Do’s and Don’ts of Sticking to a Gluten-Free diet
Being on a gluten-free diet isn’t tough. You don’t necessarily need to give up on noodles and rice.
1. Consult a dietician
A gluten-free diet isn’t meant for everyone. You should consult a dietician about whether or not you should be on the gluten deficit diet because it may have an important impact on your nutritional health.
2. Maintain a balanced diet
Carbohydrates aren’t unhealthy. It would help if you consumed sufficient levels of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
1. Just flow with the trends
If you are intolerant to gluten, a gluten-free diet can be beneficial for you. Please do not jump on the bandwagon because it fits the trend. Follow a gluten-free diet only if you are comfortable with it.
2. Giving up on social life
Being on a gluten-free diet shouldn’t mean you give up the social life. Several restaurants provide gluten-free dishes as well, so you can feast.
Chinese Food Gluten-Free Recipes
Here are some of the best gluten-free Chinese food recipes you should try if you are on a strict gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free sweet and sour chicken balls
When made of gluten-free materials, the crispy sweet and sour chicken balls can be extremely beneficial. Moreover, they are dairy-free as well, which can help you even if you’re lactose intolerant.
Sweet and sour chicken
If you are more inclined towards non-veg dishes, then the sweet and sour chicken is one of the best dishes for you. Instead of wheat, you can coat the chicken in cornstarch and fry it before putting it in the oven.
Believe it or not, but sesame Tofu is extremely beneficial. Coating tofu in sesame sauce and gravy can play an important role in enhancing the overall taste.
Vegetable fried rice
Vegetable fried rice is one of the best gluten-free Chinese dishes you can try. You can add tofu and egg to your traditional fried rice recipe.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
If you have an instant pot in your home, you can always prepare instant pot orange chicken. These are easy to cook and take less than 30 minutes.
Gluten-free diets are healthy for you, but it comes with certain drawbacks as well. It is also necessary to keep in mind that a gluten-free diet isn’t for everyone.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you need to consider all aspects. Before bringing any changes to your diet, you should consider talking to your dietician.
The article originally published at https://east-asian-cultures.com/what-is-chinese-gluten-free-food/