At the end of a long week, one of my favorite weekend fun activities involves a glass of chilled white wine and sushi from one my favorite sushi bars. You might be thinking what I’ve always thought, “Raw fish, rice and seaweed…its so very simple and delicious, what could possibly go wrong?!”
Isn’t the how most gluten horror stories start out?
The bastardized American version of sushi with it’s fancy sauces and deep fried wonder creates a ton of hiding places for gluten. That’s right my friends, gluten has found a way to ruin yet another good thing for us glutards, that is if you don’t know what to avoid. But you can all consider yourselves saved, my gluten free sushi lovers, because I’ve put together a quick list of 5 major gluten containing sushi accoutrements to avoid on your next sushi date!
Tempura. Fancy word for battered and deep fried. Definitely not gluten free.
Panko. If you aren’t already familiar, panko is a Japanese style of breadcrumb that is know for it’s light and airy quality. This sliver-shaped BREADcrumb can be used interchangeable with regular breadcrumbs. Bottomline: Yes it’s made from bread, no it is not gluten free.
Soy Sauce. It’s a little known fact to us Americans that traditional soy sauce does not contain gluten. However, the demand for longer shelf lives has give gluten a home in almost any store bought soy sauce. The same soy sauces typically found in American sushi restaurants. Pro tip: bring your own gluten free soy sauce from home, leave it up to fate and ask if the restaurant has gluten free soy sauce or pass on it all together. I’m actually a purist when it comes to sushi, I just like pickeled ginger and wasabi.
Brown Sauces. In a lot of Asian cooking, the base of most brown sauces is almost exclusively soy sauce or a combination of ingredients that includes soy sauce. Always ask about the ingredients in the sauce before you place your order.
Specialty Rolls. Specialty rolls tend to contain harrowing combinations of glutinous ingredients (see above) so make sure you read all the ingredients carefully and notify your server if you are concerned even about cross contamination.
Go forth and prosper my gluten free sushi guppies!