What Chinese Food is Gluten Free?

Whether celebrating the Lunar New Year is part of your culture or just a prompt to try a new recipe, you might be wondering what Chinese dishes you can enjoy safely this week.

This Friday, people across the world will be celebrating the Lunar New Year and ushering in the Year of the Ox. Things might be different due to the pandemic, but you can still make amazing gluten free food at home to celebrate! We've developed 4 recipe ideas and a guide to gluten free Chinese takeways below.

4 Gluten Free Lunar New Year Recipe Ideas

1.Dumplings/Jiaozi
Chinese dumplings with sweet chilli sauce

Dumplings are a traditional food to eat on Chinese New Year, especially in North China – many families make a big batch together to enjoy on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Associated with wealth and good luck, it's believed that the more dumplings you eat on Chinese New Year, the more money you will make that year. It’s a good reason to fill up your plate!

Wondering what to dip your dumplings in? Try mixing chillies with rice vinegar, which is gluten free. Alternatively, tamari soy sauce is gluten free and safe for people with coeliac disease. Shop bought sweet chilli sauce may contain gluten - as always, check the label on any products to make sure they are gluten free.

Check out our step-by-step recipe here.

 

2. Noodles
Noodles ina  bowl

Have you ever made your own noodles? In parts of China, families celebrate the Lunar New Year by making extra-long noodles by hand, called Long Life Noodles or Yi Mein. They represent longevity and good luck!

Read our basic noodle recipe here.

 

3. Prawn Toasts
Prawn toasts

This takeaway favourite is really easy to make at home. We recommend using the Juvela Fresh White Loaf for that perfect toasted texture!

Read our simple recipe here.

 

4. Crispy Chilli Beef
Crispy chilli beef

Follow our recipe to make this classic dish to a restaurant standard!

Read our gluten free Chilli Beef recipe here

 

Thinking of ordering a Chinese takeaway?

Chinese takeaways use a lot of ingredients that are unsuitable for people with coeliac disease. Finding a place that offers dedicated gluten free dishes and has an awareness of cross contamination is important. Here’s a list of dishes that can be gluten free, but always check with the restaurant or takeaway first and ask if separate fryers are used to avoid cross contamination. 

  • Meat, fish and vegetables
    These are naturally gluten free. Be sure to ask if the sauce is gluten free and if the meat is battered or breaded, as this will be unsuitable for people with coeliac disease.

  • Rice
    Rice is gluten free, as are products derived from rice. Check if rice noodles are available instead of wheat noodles, and if spring rolls can be made using rice paper.

  • Plain tofu
    Plain tofu is naturally gluten free - check with the restaurant or takeway if it has been marinaded or contains flavouring first.

  • Prawn crackers
    If they are made in a dedicated fryer, prawn crackers are likely to be gluten free. 

Foods to avoid

Sauces
Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and wheat noodles all contain gluten and should be avoided.

Noodles
Noodles used in takeways such as egg noodles or ramen noodles contain wheat and are unsafe for coeliacs. Rice noodles are a safe alternative! 

Mock meats
Seitan is often used to make mock meat dishes, and it is not gluten free. Tempeh can often contain grains which are not gluten free, so it's best to avoid mock meat dishes.

Sides
Fortune cookies are not gluten free, and neither is anything made with wonton wrappers.