Lauren is a south Florida native and currently earning a masters degree in mental health/marriage and family counseling. Her professional goals and intent as an author are to help others towards fulfillment, wellness, and healthy living among diet restrictions. Lauren seeks to promote celiac disease awareness and has developed a team that makes assessments and standards for gluten-free dining in cafeterias: www.glutenfreenourishme.com
Meticulously picking apart menu items is not fun or convenient while enjoying a meal. At times, sticking to a gluten-free diet tends to result in unappetizing dishes and an unsatisfying experience. With a few alterations sushi is an excellent option for gluten-free dieting. Rice, fish, and vegetables contain simple, natural ingredients, and are gluten-free.
This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2013 edition of Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity.
Celiac.com 10/28/2013 - Meticulously picking apart menu items is not fun or convenient while enjoying a meal. At times, sticking to a gluten-free diet tends to result in unappetizing dishes and an unsatisfying experience. With a few alterations sushi is an excellent option for gluten-free dieting. Rice, fish, and vegetables contain simple, natural ingredients, and are gluten-free.
Consider the following list of safe and unsafe items for gluten-free consumption as a guide when ordering sushi. Treat the rolls listed as examples in identifying unsafe ingredients and how to alter them. Remember, gluten is sneaky and hidden among unsuspicious ingredients and food items.
Always notify your server of dietary restrictions before ordering. Do not be afraid to speak up or feel like you’re being a nuisance. Servers prefer taking an order once, no matter how precise, as opposed to having their customer fall ill.
Unsafe key words:
Crab, sauce, spicy, mayo, tempura, mixed, marinated, creamy, soy, dressing, crispy, wasabi.
The Rainbow and California Rolls are tasty go-to options. A rainbow Roll is a California roll with sashimi (raw fish) on top. These traditional rolls are gluten-free with a few modifications:
A selection of fish, usually halibut, tuna, salmon, and yellowtail are placed on top of the roll. The inside of the roll contains imitation crab, which needs to be replaced. Ask your server to swap the crab out for avocado. For a California roll, swap the crab out for a piece of fish to your liking.
RA Sushi lists a “King Crab Roll” on their menu. It contains: king crab mix, cucumber, avocado rolled and topped with king crab; served with an Asian Pesto sauce. The king crab mix needs to be removed. Ask the server if the mix could be replaced with plain king crab- not imitation and not mixed with any mayonnaise, sauce, etc. The king crab on top needs to be confirmed that it is whole king crab. Replace the Asian pesto sauce with a bit of gluten-free soy sauce. If none is available, squeeze a bit of lemon on the roll for flavor.
Also, stick with simple rolls such as the tuna and vegetarian rolls. Always double check to make sure there are no added ingredients! For instance, RA sushi added wasabi in their tuna roll. Ask the server to add tuna to your vegetable roll for some extra sustenance.
Order some kiwi on the side and place it on top of your roll. This adds sweetness and texture and is completely safe. There is no end to the alterations you can make with sushi. Learn how to make sushi and create renditions of your favorite recipes at home as well!