Gluten is a plant protein that is found in some grains, such as barley, rye and wheat. Over the years, protein has been problematic for patients of celiac disease as well as people with gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is a disorder that can lead to intestinal damage, if the patient consumes food containing gluten. If you are one of such people, it is highly advisable that you avoid gluten containing foods. Currently, there is an array of gluten free Chinese food in Chinese restaurants for such people, some of which will be discussed in this article.
Gluten Free Chinese Food
Rice is highly nutritious and gluten free. In this regard, you should consider including steamed white rice in your Chinese diet because it is also low in calorie and fat. Alternatively, you may also opt for brown rice, which is gluten free and is a rich source of fiber. You may also order for vegetable fried rice in a Chinese restaurant. Other gluten free food alternatives you may ask for in a Chinese restaurant include steamed meat, such as chicken or shrimp meat, with rice and gluten-free soy sauce with rice. You should specify that you need gluten-free soy sauce because the conventional soy source is made with caramel color and brewed with wheat, both of which contain traces of gluten.
2. Steamed Vegetables
In their pure form, vegetables do not contain gluten. However, fried vegetables may contain traces of the protein. This is because the breeding process of the fried vegetables incorporates bread crumbs or wheat floor, both of which contain gluten. Additionally, you should not order for brown sources with steamed vegetables in Chinese restaurants because they are made of ingredients that contain gluten, such as flour. Instead, you should order for white source with steamed vegetables. If you would like to have vegetables in a Chinese restaurant and are trying to avoid gluten, you may order for the Buddha’s feast. This comprises of steamed vegetables over steamed rice.
3. Steamed Meat
The majority of main course meat meals in Chinese restaurants comprise of either deep-fried or breaded meat. Such food options contain gluten, hence not ideal for Celiac disease patients. If you would like to have a meat entrée meal in a Chinese restaurant, you should order for steamed meat because it is one of the Gluten free Chinese foods you can have in a Chinese restaurant. Additionally, you need to enquire from the chef whether the meat was marinated before it was steamed as some marinades comprise of ingredients that contain gluten. Some of the meals you may order for, that have meat as the main courses, yet gluten-free include Sauteed chicken, pork and beef. All these meals are gluten-free, low in calories and rich in proteins. Alternatively, you may order for sautéed or steamed seafood or meat with steamed rice, along with steamed vegetables.
4. Gluten-Free Noodles
Just like any other rice product, tofu strands and rice noodles do not contain gluten in their natural form. Other noodle options served in Chinese restaurants that are gluten-free include cellophane noodles – also referred to as mung bean noodles and glass. If noodles are your preferred dish, you should order for these gluten-free options, which are transparent when cooked, and avoid noodle options that may contain gluten, such as wheat noodles.
5. Natural Soya and Tamari Sauce
If you have decided to have gluten free Chinese food, you should order for either Tamari or natural soy sauce along with your food. Although soy sauce is made from fermented wheat, natural fermentation ensures that the sauce is gluten-free. However, if a chemical extraction process is used to make this sauce, it may contain traces of gluten. Tamari sauce, on the other hand, is made from soy beans and is naturally gluten-free.
6. You May Take MSG
As opposed to the olden days when monosodium glutamate (MSG) flavor agent was made from wheat, it is now made from beets, hence gluten free. While many people still think that this flavor agent contains gluten, it is safe for consumption for people trying to exempt gluten from their diet.
7. Avoid Deep-Fried Foods
Unless you are sure that the batter used in making the deep fried food is from rice flour or cornstarch, you should avoid ordering for deep-fried dishes in Chinese restaurants. This is because most of the deep-fried Americanized Chinese dishes, such as lemon chicken and Tso’s chicken, are prepared using wheat-flour-based batter. Additionally, you should also avoid foods that have wheat floor based wrappers, such as egg rolls and dumplings.
Trying a Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is normally found in some grains, such as rye, barley, wheat and triticale, a cross between rye and wheat. A gluten-free diet exempts such gluten sources and is recommended for Celiac disease. When consumed by Celiac disease patients, gluten causes inflammation of the small intestines and may lead to further complications. As such, such patients are advised to take gluten-free foods to prevent manifestation of Celiac disease symptoms. At the beginning, adhering to a gluten-free diet may be challenging for some patients. However, you will find that there are many alternatives to gluten-rich foods that you can have as time goes by. Currently, there are various foods that are gluten-free, which you may take if you are suffering from Celiac disease, such as fresh eggs, vegetables and fruits, most of dairy products, nuts and beans in their unprocessed form as well as fresh poultry and fish meat that is not marinated.
While ordering for such foods in a restaurant, you should also ensure that they are not mixed with preservatives, additives or grains that contain gluten. Additionally, there are some grains and starches that are gluten-free, such as buckwheat, amaranth, cornmeal and corn, arrowroot, hominy (corn), flax, quinoa, millet, tapioca, sorghum, teff, rice, soy and gluten-free flours like soy, potato, rice, bean and potato floor.