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Nov 4, 2013 01:32 PM

Gluten free Chinese dishes

I just posted this message in the China board but I figured maybe you guys can help me out as well:

Every time I travel to China I struggle with getting gluten-free food in restaurants.
Any suggestions on Chinese dishes that are naturally gluten free (e.g. I don't need to request for certain ingredients to be left out)?
I know it seems steamed veggies would be ok but they often come covered on a glaze that makes me extremely sick... probably thickened with flour...
I speak a bit of Chinese so I always ask for no-MSG, but still...
Thanks a lot for your advice!


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  1. many places offer whole steamed fish. just ask for no sauce.

    5 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Thanks hotoynoodle! Do you know the Chinese name of the dish? Is it 清蒸鱼?

      1. re: hoyhacesol

        oh, dear, sorry. cannot help with that.

        1. re: hoyhacesol

          It is 清蒸鱼. But without sauce, the fish will taste like shit. Usually the sauce is soy based.

      2. I am wondering if the issue is with flour in dishes, or whether it's with the soy sauce that they are using. Lots of cheaper soy sauce contains wheat, and it wouldn't surprise me if they were using this at lots of restaurants, or else other sauces w/ gluten ingredients.

        Not sure where in China you are, but in Southern China, it seems like sticking to rice and/or rice noodle dishes could be a good option. For example, sticky rice in claypot.

        1. I know almost nothing about authentic Chinese food, but I know that with American takeout, white sauces are usually safer than brown- no soy sauce, and likely thickened with cornstarch. If you have a severe reaction (and GHG would say that you can still be doing intestinal damage, even if you don't), I'd ask the restaurant and stick to places you trust to avoid cross contam. I know that's often easier said than done, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jvanderh

            Thanks for the advice, jvanderh. Yeah, I usually have trouble when I travel around and can't stick to a particular place :)