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Is Sushi Rice Gluten Free?
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I have so many darn food allergies that I can't just have a normal dinner with my family...BUT ANYWAYS...who wants to hear that? haha...my question is...does sushi rice usually contain gluten? I just wanted to get a cucumber roll at the sushi restaraunt but I wanted to make sure it would be safe first.

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Yes, to the best of my knowledge. I would take your own soy sauce. When I want a good taste, I use wheat free tamari. La Choy is also gluten free.

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I know you have multiple food issues, and although it might be safe from gluten, many brands of rice are "enriched"....with corn products. I learned that this summer when I was reacting horribly to rice. Looked up the ingredients---and there were trace amounts of corn. Just something to keep in mind, if corn is by chance a problem for you. Not all rice is a problem though.

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Gluten-free, yes (assuming you stay away from the soy sauce), but besides corn sometimes being used in the carrier for the fortification (though not all sushi restaurants use fortified rice), sushi rice is seasoned, and usually has rice vinegar, sugar, and salt (and sometimes rice wine as well, but cooked).

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I went to a Japanese restaurant recently and asked the manager if the rice was gluten free ... Lucky for me, one of the people who worked in the kitchen was a celiac and was able to tell me that all of their rice has chicken broth in it that was NOT gluten free.

They were so accommodating ... My meal was prepared in the back away from all gluten ... :rolleyes:

marcia

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I went to a Japanese restaurant recently and asked the manager if the rice was gluten free ... Lucky for me, one of the people who worked in the kitchen was a celiac and was able to tell me that all of their rice has chicken broth in it that was NOT gluten free.

They were so accommodating ... My meal was prepared in the back away from all gluten ... :rolleyes:

marcia

I ate at a Sushi place in Vegas (in the MGM Grand)...can't remember the name....anyway the sushi chef was really great, and he told me that their rice was NOT gluten free, based on my dining card, b/c they used a MALTED(?) water/juice for the rice, to make it taste better and make it stickier. He did make me special rice with plain water.

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I've also been told that sushi rice is made with vinegar, which may or may not be gluten free. My gal looked up the vinegar and found that it contained gluten, so I was told sushi is out. Depressing? Yes. However, we could make it at home I suppose.

-Sherri

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Wow thank you so much you guys! I totally forgot about the vinager that they usually add to sushi rice! Vinager has gluten sometimes...right?

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sometimes when i eat sushi, my DH starts to flare... but i always thought it was just the iodine in the seaweed or in the fish, i didnt know the rice can be made with chicken broth, i just thought sushi rice was sticky... if i buy it at the store already made, wouldnt chicken broth/vingar, etc have to be listed in the ingredients?

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I really am intensely curious about this broth in the sushi rice thing... It just makes no sense. I wonder if it's a regional thing? I've *never* seen a real sushi rice recipe with it. I do believe you guys that they said this and they do this, but I remain boggled that they would! ;)

I don't know why any vinegar used in sushi rice would have gluten. I know of two vinegars that can contain gluten - malt and crappy 'balsamic'. Both would screw up the taste. So I'm curious why it was thought that gluten was in the vinegar, unless it was the old vinegar misunderstanding. I also have never seen a sushi rice recipe that called for anything but rice vinegar. Hmm... perhaps someone used seasoned rice vinegar and it had natural flavors?

One very fun alternative is to have your own sushi party. Sushi isn't hard to make, it's just time consuming, which makes it a very fun dinner party activity. Do your socializing while you and your guests all make dinner together! :)

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peace-

distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, etc is safe. it is usually only malt vinegar, and like Tiffany mentioned, lower quality balsamic or flavored vinegars that aren't. but white vinegar, and rice vinegar, are safe, and the American Dietetic Association has stated so.

Laura

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Tiff,

I read it as a "Japanese" restaurant - not necessarily a "sushi" restaurant.

No restaurant would use chicken broth to make sushi - it would defeat the purpose (of making the rice sticky).

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I read it. Many restaurants add chicken broth tio their rice for flavor and color.

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I'm back ... about the chicken broth in the sushi rice, the manager checked with the chef and he said it had gluten it .. I would imagine they cook all the rice at one time in one big pot ...

It was a very expensive Japanese restaurant over in Tampa, Fl. The kind where they cook in front of you while throwing knives, food, etc. I was visiting so I don't know the name.

The manager looked Japanese, but very tall ? , and knew all about gluten because of the kitchen person who was a celiac (it could have the chef was a celiac ?? )

Sorry about the bad news ... marcia

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Its probably Ben-hannas or some other type of Hibachi style restaurant.

In any event, I can't help but wonder if there has been some miscommunication between the parties regarding rice, glutrinous rice, fried rice, and sushi rice. All can be prepared differently.

Normally sushi rice, contains rice, rice vinegaer, sugar, salt and soemtimes rice wine or sake. All of these ingredients in limited amounts create the sticky texture and the rice is usually served at room temperature or slightly chilled. This is the reason I don't think the chef/manager was regerring to the sushi rice (as it relates to chicken stock). Chicken stock needs to be either cooked at a high temperature or chilled in a refriegerator. It cannot be kept out at room temperatures as any number of maladies associated with chicken are increased. Furthermore, chicken stock would alter the texture of the sushi rice in that it would not be sticky and likely would become too soft for consumption with sushi.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I have never seen "sushi" rice cooked with chicken stock. I have seen it cooked in almost every other type of rice (remember, these restaurants often have 4-5 different styles of rice depending on the dishes they serve.

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This was not a chain restaurant as far as I could tell. I can ask my neice the name of it, but all small non chain restaurants are going to make things differently. Actually, if you think about it, any chain restaurant manager can change their recipes at any time too.

Best to ask always ...... marcia

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I understand, but I have eaten sushi a few thousand times and have never seen the rice made with chciken stock. It would taste strange and the texture would be gross (withb sushi)

JMHO

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Well, I went ahead and had the sushi! No reaction....yet. But you guys have really made me think!!! My mom actually cooks rice in chicken stock all the time and I've never thought anything of it....perhaps it has gluten! I'm going to go check RIGHT NOW and report back. haha. thanks everyone for all the info!

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Sushi Snob is going speak up now. If they are using chicken stock, or anything other than rice vinegar (plain, no flavors) then its not sushi.

Sushi rice made with chicken stock is absurd. I have had restaurant get confused and say "you can't have this, it has vinegar", then they show me the vinegar, and its just rice. I eat alot of sushi, but I am lucky to be located on the west coast, people are really serious about sushi here.

Someone at a support group meeting swore they put soy sauce on the seaweed they use to make sushi, and though I've asked, this has never been the case. ( and as someone who makes sushi at home, this wouldn't work very well, so never made sense to me anyway). I am leery of cheap sushi, and pre-made sushi, as who knows what they put in it, but straight up nigiri should never be a problem. I have stopped eating wasabi that I can't verify though, as many wasabi substitutes have wheat and real wasabi is uber expensive and not that easy to find. I have had restaurants swear their wasabi was real, only to find it comes from a tube with dye in it.

Stay away from the "spicy" things, and the California Rolls, unless they use real crab. Unagi sadly is off the list as well, because of the sauce.

Kanpai!

Elonwy

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I've never eaten sushi, but I use "sushi" rice for making rice pudding. It gets sticky all by itself when it's cooked, and I'm referring to the ordinary, actual plain rice - not any sort of pre-packaged product. It's the same thing as "glutenous" rice, "sticky" rice, etc, as far as I know. The rice by itself is gluten-free or course, though as has been pointed out, some brands are likely fortified. I've read that all white rices sold in the USA must by law be fortified, in order to more closely match brown rice in nutrient content. What may be used to get those nutrients to cling to the rice is a good question. I would guess that a restaurant doesn't have to use a fortified rice, but I can't say that with any certainty.

I don't know if that helps anyone, but that's (for the most part) what I know about sushi rice.

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I just called my niece and she told me it was Kobe steakhouse. They have a website so I just emailed them to see if their rice has gluten ... I'll be sure to get back to you ... I didn't realize it was a chain ... marcia

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RiceGuy-

its *usually* fortified with corn/corn derivatives.

Laura

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Sushi Snob is going speak up now. If they are using chicken stock, or anything other than rice vinegar (plain, no flavors) then its not sushi.

Sushi rice made with chicken stock is absurd. I have had restaurant get confused and say "you can't have this, it has vinegar", then they show me the vinegar, and its just rice. I eat alot of sushi, but I am lucky to be located on the west coast, people are really serious about sushi here.

Someone at a support group meeting swore they put soy sauce on the seaweed they use to make sushi, and though I've asked, this has never been the case. ( and as someone who makes sushi at home, this wouldn't work very well, so never made sense to me anyway). I am leery of cheap sushi, and pre-made sushi, as who knows what they put in it, but straight up nigiri should never be a problem. I have stopped eating wasabi that I can't verify though, as many wasabi substitutes have wheat and real wasabi is uber expensive and not that easy to find. I have had restaurants swear their wasabi was real, only to find it comes from a tube with dye in it.

Stay away from the "spicy" things, and the California Rolls, unless they use real crab. Unagi sadly is off the list as well, because of the sauce.

Kanpai!

Elonwy

I used to consider myself a "sushi snob" too :) I'm from California too, bay area...and sushi is HUGE here. I think it's a "California" thing. LoL. But anyways...I just stick to the vegetarian rolls (nothing fried of course) because of my intense food allergies. And I knew for sure that they don't add chicken stock to the rice...I just wasn't sure about the vinager. But that's good to hear. Gosh, L.A. must have some pretty cool sushi restaraunts...I heard that there were even vegetarian ones over there. I believe there's one of those in San Francisco but I haven't been yet. Very cool.

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I just called my niece and she told me it was Kobe steakhouse. They have a website so I just emailed them to see if their rice has gluten ... I'll be sure to get back to you ... I didn't realize it was a chain ... marcia

Gosh, thank you for all of your detective work Marcia! You're so good, and that's so nice of you :)

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I just want to add, that the place I went to in Vegas (can't remember the name, but it is a sushi place in the MGM Grand, really nice, really expensive, next to Emerils New Orleans Fish House) the cook came out and told me about the vinegar. I didn't ask many questions, just said "ok, what should I order then?" and he said he would make me "special rice". He might have misunderstood about the vinegars or something, but all I know is that he made me "special rice" without whatever he was worried about. I was just glad to be able to eat a meal, so I didn't probe about the vinegar stuff (he said something about Malt, not the best english actually).

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Here are the responses I got from Kobe steak house. I wasn't happy with the first one so I contacted them again .. And I'm not happy with either... what do you think ? I've only had sushi a couple of times from Publix (prior to gluten-free, sf, ef, df, cf), so I don't know what to look for.

Marcia,

I was unable to find out if our rice is gluten free, but I did find out that the Sushi bar uses Nishiki Rice or Botan Rice. The tampan tables use a mixture of white rice and one of the above rice. Sorry we have not had our foods analyzed.

Marcia,

I asked my supervisor and she said that is correct. The rice at the Tapanyaki tables is cooked in Chicken broth. The sushi rice is cooked in water. I also found out that for the sushi rice a vinegar is used., But I couldn't find out if gluten is in it. I looked on the web and found out some vinegars do have gluten and some do not. She told me it is a rice vinegar if that helps? Because I don't work in the restaurant directly I have limited access to the items used. If this is not enough information please call one of the locations directly and and speak to a manager they should be able to give you more information or at least read you the ingredients from the bottles.

Marcia

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