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Can I Eat Sushi?
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Hi all! I've been gluten free for 4 months and doing extremely well on the diet. My husband and I love to eat out, but I'm not sure about sushi. Can you tell me if it is safe to eat sushi?? I know the imitation crab has wheat in it, so I would need to avoid that and also bring my own gluten free soy sauce, but other than that, what do I need to know? Is the sticky rice safe? Are there other ingredients I need to look out for? Thanks!

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I avoid ANYTHING that has sauce. Stuff like eel is marinated in sauce, and the egg has soy sauce in it as well. While some folks here have noted they've seen sticky rice with gluten (in the rice vinegar? mirin? I don't know how it's getting in there), I've never seen it myself. Additionally, some folks have noted that they have gotten wasabi that has wheat in it. I've seen commercially available wasabi with wheat in it at the store, but haven't had a problem at the sushi place I go to. I'd ask, or just bring your own.

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I saw a medical program recently where a woman and her husband ate some sushi in Africa. They both ended up with worms crawling around under their skin. Personally I don't understand why people think eating raw meat is ok. Of course, animals do it but they get sick from all kinds of parasites too.

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I saw a medical program recently where a woman and her husband ate some sushi in Africa. They both ended up with worms crawling around under their skin. Personally I don't understand why people think eating raw meat is ok. Of course, animals do it but they get sick from all kinds of parasites too.

In the US, the FDA requires fish sold for sushi to be deep-frozen to kill problematic parasites. If you are eating fish that has not been previously frozen, it is wise to be sure the sushi chef is properly trained.

As far as gluten, as you know there is gluten in the fake crab meat. Ponzo and soy sauce both contain gluten. Roe are often marinated in a mix containing soy sauce so you need to avoid them. The sauce that is used on cooked sushi like uni is a problem, as is most tempura batter in the US so you have to avoid rolls with tempura. Wasabi is an issue too. Real wasabi is fine, but cheaper sushi joints sometimes serve fake wasabi that can have flour in the paste.

Safe things are the sushi rice, seaweed, plain fish, any veggies used in the rolls, and the various sprouts and picked vegetables used to flavor sushi. I generally order simple foods like edamame, tuna rolls and pieces of nigiri and I always bring my own soy sauce.

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In the US, the FDA requires fish sold for sushi to be deep-frozen to kill problematic parasites. If you are eating fish that has not been previously frozen, it is wise to be sure the sushi chef is properly trained.

Hmmm, freezing could help I guess. But it is still not getting rid of the yuck factor. Ya all can keep your sushi and those other raw meats, steak tartar etc.. (I know not all sushi is raw fish ). Rice and veggies are a-OK.

Soy almost always has gluten, unless you buy Tamari gluten-free soy sauce. But why eat soy anyway. Another yuck factor food. :P

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Hi all! I've been gluten free for 4 months and doing extremely well on the diet. My husband and I love to eat out, but I'm not sure about sushi. Can you tell me if it is safe to eat sushi?? I know the imitation crab has wheat in it, so I would need to avoid that and also bring my own gluten free soy sauce, but other than that, what do I need to know? Is the sticky rice safe? Are there other ingredients I need to look out for? Thanks!

Regular sushi is fine but you may need to bring your own wheat free soy sauce. LaChoy is wheat free.

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Hmmm, freezing could help I guess. But it is still not getting rid of the yuck factor. Ya all can keep your sushi and those other raw meats, steak tartar etc.. (I know not all sushi is raw fish ). Rice and veggies are a-OK.

Soy almost always has gluten, unless you buy Tamari gluten-free soy sauce. But why eat soy anyway. Another yuck factor food. :P

It, like many other things, is only a yuck factor for many folks in the US because they weren't exposed to it or were told it was yucky. There are a number of cultures that partake in food cooked differently than we do. (Ceviche anyone?)

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I love sushi! And other than the things the others mentioned, you should be able to eat it just fine. As far as "ethnic food" is concerned...I live in California. The people from Mexico eat something called "Menudo", which is cow intestines, cow stomach and other "innerds" and such. Talk about EWww! LOL. But like others have said, to each his own. I won't eat it, but I dated a guy once who loved it, and so did his 5 year old daughter!

:) Celebrate Diversity!

It, like many other things, is only a yuck factor for many folks in the US because they weren't exposed to it or were told it was yucky. There are a number of cultures that partake in food cooked differently than we do. (Ceviche anyone?)

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Much depends on the place you go to and the quality of what they use. As mentioned, wasabi can be dangerous.

Most wasabi made from powder has wheat starch. The vast majority of restaurants outside of Japan use a foodservice grade of S&B powdered wasabi which does contain gluten. The few places that have nama or fresh wasabi or tubed wasabi chances are its safe.

YOu also have to be careful of the nori or seaweed. Many of the seaweeds that came from Korea are processed in a soy sauce type a based which contains wheat.

Plain fish with or without rice with the gari (ginger) and your soy sauce is fine

good luck

Hi all! I've been gluten free for 4 months and doing extremely well on the diet. My husband and I love to eat out, but I'm not sure about sushi. Can you tell me if it is safe to eat sushi?? I know the imitation crab has wheat in it, so I would need to avoid that and also bring my own gluten free soy sauce, but other than that, what do I need to know? Is the sticky rice safe? Are there other ingredients I need to look out for? Thanks!

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Thanks for sharing that tip about the Nori. I didn't know it could contain soy sauce/gluten. So far I've been OK eating it but I think I'll switch to sashimi and rice.

I found that wonderful gluten-free San-J Tamari sauce in packets the other day so now I just have to remember to bring it.

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Never saw the san-j in packs yet -- guess they didnt make it to Hawaii. Although the company is Japanese they make this in Kentucky if I remember right. We just got another 6 or 7 gluten-free sauce they make in at my local store. The president of San-J in Japan is really a nice guy.

Most Nori is ok

If where you go the chef is Japanese and not Chinese or Korean you just make sure he/she knows that you have a ko-mugee allergee (wheat flour allergy) In some places in Japan flour is called ko-mugi but in many others and with old timers its called merikenko meaning american powder!

Ken

Thanks for sharing that tip about the Nori. I didn't know it could contain soy sauce/gluten. So far I've been OK eating it but I think I'll switch to sashimi and rice.

I found that wonderful gluten-free San-J Tamari sauce in packets the other day so now I just have to remember to bring it.

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Another thread with a claim that S&B wasabi has wheat flour. Yet S&B's website lists no wheat flour in any of its wasabi. Does anybody know otherwise for certain?

http://www.sb-worldwide.com/products/powder.html

ALSO, does anybody know of a wasabi that DEFINITELY has gluten? Please tell us the brand.

thanks

richard

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I've seen it list wheat on the side of the box-- I don't have it here for obvious reasons but it has said that as recently as last May when I showed the box at the store to another celiac. S&B "Oriental" mustard and curry powder is fine. The curry mix is not.

ken

Another thread with a claim that S&B wasabi has wheat flour. Yet S&B's website lists no wheat flour in any of its wasabi. Does anybody know otherwise for certain?

http://www.sb-worldw...cts/powder.html

ALSO, does anybody know of a wasabi that DEFINITELY has gluten? Please tell us the brand.

thanks

richard

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Hi. I am new to gluten allergies and to this forum. Thanks for your post. I love sushi and learned that the immitation crab meat had gluten but wondered why some of the sushi rolls still made me sick. I thought it was the seaweed since I had seen some gluten free seaweed wraps in a store, but since I don't know how to make my own sushi I did not buy them. Should I just stay away from the rolls in a restaurant? I like Ebi but really loves the rolls too.

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I have a terrible time finding rolls that don't have gluten. It's in the fake crab, tempura batter, in most of the cooked fish like eel or salmon skin, and in the sauces they tend to drizzle over them.

I order either nigiri sushi (the fish on a block of rice) or sashimi and make sure they understand that I am "allergic" to soy sauce.

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Some kinds of wasabi paste have wheat flour; others don't. I don't know about that particular brand, but Whole Foods carries a type that doesn't have gluten - don't remember the name so check the labels. I've mixed up my own wasabi paste before and brought it with me, along with my gluten-free soy sauce.

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I have a terrible time finding rolls that don't have gluten. It's in the fake crab, tempura batter, in most of the cooked fish like eel or salmon skin, and in the sauces they tend to drizzle over them.

I order either nigiri sushi (the fish on a block of rice) or sashimi and make sure they understand that I am "allergic" to soy sauce.

Thank you!

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By the way, San-J makes packets of gluten-free tamari sauce you can bring with you to sushi bars. I find them at a local health food store.

http://www.san-j.com/product_info.asp?id=26

That's awesome!

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I'm going to be the odd one and say that you cannot eat sushi. Although the end product looks simple, there is a plethora of ingredients in sushi. On top of this, the cheaper you go or the further away you are from a source of seafood, the more ingredients are used in order to compensate for the lack of flavour in fish that isn't fresh.

I have been living in Japan for the past two and a half years in a region renowned for its seafood and, subsequently, its sushi and sashimi. Unfortunately after being sick for months I did some research into sushi and found out that most of it is not gluten free.

Nori (seaweed) is usually flavoured. This is typically with MSG. Although MSG is gluten free in North America (bacterial fermentation), in Japan and China MSG is sometimes still derived from gluten. If your chef is using nori imported from either of these countries, it may not be safe. Unfortunately MSG is rarely labelled as MSG and is therefore hard to spot.

Su (rice vinegar) also contains wheat at times.

I have been off sushi for about 3 months now and, as hard as it is, I have never felt better.

Do not assume that if you can find gluten free rice vinegar in your supermarket, it means your local sushi chef is using something similar. Chefs will often use imported items that do not contain the same ingredients.

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Well, it doesn't seem fair to try to taint the restaurants here in North America that do manage to serve gluten free sushi, just because the Japanese restaurants and vendors in Japan don't do well with the concept of "gluten free" and sourcing their ingredients. We do have rudimentary labeling laws here in the USA for the eight major allergens (one of which is wheat) which must be declared on packaged product labels, so that is not perfect, but something. This means that a rice vinegar made with wheat has to be labeled as such here, even if it is imported, or the FDA will recall it as soon as the problem is discovered and brought to their attention.

I predict that, in the future, because of the year 2010 tsunami and nuclear tragedy which will be causing a lot of thyroid problems, one result will be that the Japanese food labeling regulations just might become more attentive to items containing gluten, because by then it really will matter for a greater number of Japanese consumers.

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As far as the rice is concerned you have to know the type of vinegar they use with it. I've been glutened with just a rice bowl and sashimi, turns out they were using a vinegar made for sushi rice and it had some barley syrup as a sweetner.

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Nori (seaweed) is usually flavoured. This is typically with MSG. Although MSG is gluten free in North America (bacterial fermentation), in Japan and China MSG is sometimes still derived from gluten. If your chef is using nori imported from either of these countries, it may not be safe. Unfortunately MSG is rarely labelled as MSG and is therefore hard to spot.

Su (rice vinegar) also contains wheat at times.

Do not assume that if you can find gluten free rice vinegar in your supermarket, it means your local sushi chef is using something similar. Chefs will often use imported items that do not contain the same ingredients.

That's helpful -- I also live in Japan, so sushi is everywhere. I suspect some chirashi on plain rice should be OK, like a maguro-don ordered without any sauces on top (Japanese mayo has something bad in it...I don't know what, but it's probably one of my million non-gluten food intolerances).

For folks not in Japan, it's still worth knowing, as tomutomu points out: if you have any Japanese friends or anyone who makes sushi at home who has a connection to East Asia, they may serve you sushi with these ingredients. Also, in big cities like New York and LA, they may be importing their ingredients, too. Doesn't hurt to be aware of Japanese food market standards.

Between tomutomu's post and idonteatwheat's on the barley syrup, I have to say that I am now slightly terrified to eat out in Japan. I just have one Indian place that I know to be totally safe and one Okinawan taco rice restaurant I trust.

I think I'll just down a rice cake on the way over, order only a glass of wine, and then eat at home if I have to go anywhere else.

One thing I didn't notice mentioned here was the usual complaint about sushi places: cross-contamination. There are no dedicated gluten-free bamboo rollers or mats at any sushi place I've ever been, and there are tempura crumbs and soy sauce drips everywhere. I'd been just ordering kappa maki and crossing my fingers, but I'm convinced now to just leave well enough alone.

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SOmetimes its the seaweed. Much of the cheaper Korean seaweed is process in soy sauce making it really rotten for us.

The only rolls I get -- when the nori (seaweeh is good) are the oshinko ( pickles) and cucumber or natto rolls.

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I have a terrible time finding rolls that don't have gluten. It's in the fake crab, tempura batter, in most of the cooked fish like eel or salmon skin, and in the sauces they tend to drizzle over them.

I order either nigiri sushi (the fish on a block of rice) or sashimi and make sure they understand that I am "allergic" to soy sauce.

I've found, when I want sushi at home, places like whole foods are the best for helping me out. They make it order as well as have several already there waiting. The majority of them aren't breaded and don't have sauce. It's about $7 a roll so it's not robbery and considering how you know you won't get sick I'm ok with that.

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