I have always loved Chinese food. Orange chicken, fried rice, chow mein, and vegetable spring rolls are some of my favourite Chinese dishes. However, after going gluten-free, I discovered that I could no longer eat many of my favourite Chinese classics. So, I had to spend a lot of time on the web searching Chinese menus to learn what I could and could not eat.
Here is the best gluten-free Chinese food to eat at restaurants or takeaways.
As a safe assumption, I never expect any kind of noodles, spring rolls, pot stickers, or egg rolls to be gluten-free, because almost none of them are, unfortunately. On a rare occasion, I find a quality restaurant that serves excellent gluten-free rice noodles, but unfortunately, I rarely ever see them on menus. Even if a dish is made without gluten, there may be a chance that it has been cross-contaminated with very small amounts of gluten that can still be very harmful if you are especially sensitive. Cross-contamination can occur when chefs use the same cookware and utensils to cook gluten-free and non gluten-free foods. A restaurant who cares about the well-being of it’s customers will prepare gluten-free foods with the utmost caution and care. If you don’t feel that a restaurant is taking the proper precautions when preparing your food even if they say they are, you should leave immediately – it isn’t worth a potentially fatal reaction to their food!
Generally, I have found that most vegetable dishes served in Chinese restaurants are a pretty safe option. However, it is always a great idea to ask for a gluten-free menu before ordering. If a vegetable dish isn’t listed as gluten-free (even though it probably isn’t made with any gluten ingredients), then you definitely shouldn’t eat it. I have found this to be true at most Chinese takeaway restaurants. Personally, my body can handle small amounts of gluten well, but that may not be the case for you. Know your limits, and when in doubt, just don’t eat it!
Unless a meat is cooked with a special sauce or thickener, the chances of it being gluten-free are pretty good. Some of my favourite Chinese meat dishes that are normally gluten-free are Mongolian beef, Lemon chicken, shrimp, and steak. They are delicious, and I love that I can feel full while avoiding gluten at the same time.
Rice is my go-to side dish at almost every Chinese restaurant – even when I’m at a Chinese takeaway! Rice is wonderful, because it is a grain entirely separate from gluten, and it is very filling. Chinese restaurants typically serve brown or white rice separately without sauce or meat. My favourite kind of rice to order at Chinese restaurants is vegetable fried rice – so yummy! Before putting sauce on your rice, ask the staff at the restaurant whether or not their sauces are gluten-free. Unfortunately, many Asian sauces are not gluten-free, such as soy sauce.
Whether you are gluten-free due to health preferences or food allergies, you don’t have to compromise taste for your health and well-being. If there is a special gluten-free Chinese food that you’re craving, I recommend taking some time to research restaurant menus in your area online. I know that PF Changs has an excellent gluten-free menu that even includes their famous Singapore Street Noodles made with rice! I recommend eating only at quality restaurants that pay careful attention to their ingredients and how they prepare their foods. Remember, you should never risk eating anything that could wreak havoc on your health, or even take your life.