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No More Panda Express!
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Wow. I went to Panda Express yesterday and only ate the fried rice. Well, I just looked on their website and in the FAQ section someone asked which foods are gluten-free? They replied "none of our foods are gluten free." Wow, just wow!! I can't accept it...boo hoo. that's just crazy if you ask me! I LOVE Panda Express. Now I wonder if ANY Chinese food is gluten-free? :(

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Chinese food is one of my favorites, can anyone tell me if any Chinese food is gluten-free?

Guess I glutened myself without knowing it with their fried rice!

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Chinese food is one of my favorites, can anyone tell me if any Chinese food is gluten-free?

Guess I glutened myself without knowing it with their fried rice!

PF Chang's has a whole gluten-free menu! They're great. :)

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The key problems with Chinese food are soy sauce and fish sauce, both of which often contain wheat. Be careful with those two things. The problem is that they tend to sneak into Chinese food in ways you wouldn't expect.

PF Chang's is relatively Celiac-friendly, as Monklady123 said.

The problem with fried rice is that it likely has soy sauce in it, and soy sauce usually has wheat. My guess is that Panda Express doesn't want to make guarantees it can't keep and then get into legal trouble when someone is made ill by cross-contamination.

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Luckily, Thai food has many gluten-free offerings, and it's close enough to Chinese food that I don't miss it much. When I really DO miss it, I go to PF Chang's. They added more offerings to their gluten-free menu about six months ago. One of them was my previous favorite meal before I knew I had celiac, so I checked it out. Unfortunately, it was perfectly awful--I was told I was the first person to order it, and I think perhaps the item was so new, the cooks didn't know how to prepare it. Anyway, I complained to the corporate office (because I had originally written them a letter thanking them for expanding their menu), and they sent a letter of apology and asked me to return to the same PF Chang's to order the same dish. They promised that the problem had been straightened out. So...even though the thought of eating such awful food again made me queasy, I went back and ordered the same dish. I was surprised--it tasted exactly the way I remembered before my diagnosis! It was, quite simply, one of the best meals I'd eaten in years. I think the manager suspected I was the "complainer," and he was extremely solicitous--he must have asked me half a dozen times if I'd found my meal satisfactory. He looked extremely relieved when I assured him that I loved my meal and that I would let the corporate office know how wonderful the dish had turned out. I believe that PF Chang's is very dedicated to maintaining a safe and expansive attitude towards people with gluten sensitivity, and I was impressed with how quickly they resolved this mishap.

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Kimbalou, fried rice ALWAYS has soy sauce. In commercial places, soy sauce pretty much always has wheat. AND Panda Express is most definitely NOT a place I would even attempt to eat. I know you're new at this, but a cardinal rule is that you check food BEFORE you eat it, not after.

About the only way to eat Chinese commercially is to avoid anything that has soy sauce or wheat noodles (sometimes dishes with a clear or white sauce), or to find a regular place where their English is good and they'll use your gluten-free soy sauce to make a dish. In practice, you really can't just walk into a Chinese restaurant and eat now. You have to arrange it ahead or go to a place like PF Chang's where they have a gluten-free menu.

richard

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Dying to know what you ordered rosetapper23!

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Whenever I crave Chinese food I make it myself, if I'm feeling like cooking alot I get a bottle of Teryiaki (spelled wrong I know, but my spell check can't find the word :P) some chicken, peas, and I make it. If I'm feeling lazy I get a box of the new gluten-free Chicken Helper Fried Rice! (I add extra pea's to it though, there never seem to be enough) It tastes AMAZING and I just love it.

As for P.F Changs, I'll never eat there. The one time my Dad and I found one, we asked to look around before we decided to eat there,and there were plain wheat filled noodles EVERYWHERE, in all the other food containers, people were using the same tongs for all the foods, and it was chaos. I almost had nightmares about that place :P

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For what it's worth, I've eaten at P.F. Chang's quite a bit and I've never gotten sick from their food.

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When pf changes gets an allergy order, they get a clean pan from a different shelf to cook it in. They then put it on a special plate to keep track of the gluten-free food. Not sure, but I bet a lot of the noodles for regular food are rice. I have eaten at 2 different ones, when very busy, and done well. I

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For what it's worth, I've eaten at P.F. Chang's quite a bit and I've never gotten sick from their food.

I do too and I'm ridiculously sensitive. They prepare gluten-free foods in a separate area of the kitchen. I love it there :)

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I love PF Chang's. It's my special treat for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I'm the only Celiac in my family, but their gluten-free menu is so good, my whole family orders off of it when we go. Unfortunately, they cc'd my last birthday. Since my whole family orders gluten-free, it must have happened in the kitchen or on the way to our table. :-(

When I get cc'd, I'm sick for 7-10 days, so it's a big deal. But, but, but I'll def try PF Chang's again because they're great there - food and service for Celiacs. And I miss Chinese food SOOOO much. I wonder how hard it is to cook on my own?

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It's not that hard. My mom took a Chinese cooking class a while back and showed me how. I learned a little more from a Chinese roommate. The trick is to lightly blanch the vegetables, use a really hot wok with peanut oil, and then you need decent recipes for the sauces. Americans don't tend to heat the wok up hot enough. Sauces are usually thickened with cornstarch so no gluten issues other than the soy sauce and you can use San J.

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There's a Mongolian Barbecue-style restaurant in my town that I'm headed to tonight with a group for a work event. The cool thing is that when I called, they said they'd had a Celiac nutrition expert come through and evaluate their grill, ingredients, and sauces for gluten so that they could make their offerings more Celiac-friendly! And they always have gluten-free noodles available for whenever I want to stop in, kept in a separate part of the kitchen!

I was bowled over at how easy they made it seem. The jury's still out on the ingredient buffet (with the tongs and other diners' messiness and the possible cross-contamination) but so far, so very good.

This is all relevant because the place I'm going to is "pan-Asian", which in this case I think means somewhat similar to Chinese food perhaps.

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Luckily, Thai food has many gluten-free offerings, and it's close enough to Chinese food that I don't miss it much. When I really DO miss it, I go to PF Chang's. They added more offerings to their gluten-free menu about six months ago. One of them was my previous favorite meal before I knew I had celiac, so I checked it out. Unfortunately, it was perfectly awful--I was told I was the first person to order it, and I think perhaps the item was so new, the cooks didn't know how to prepare it. Anyway, I complained to the corporate office (because I had originally written them a letter thanking them for expanding their menu), and they sent a letter of apology and asked me to return to the same PF Chang's to order the same dish. They promised that the problem had been straightened out. So...even though the thought of eating such awful food again made me queasy, I went back and ordered the same dish. I was surprised--it tasted exactly the way I remembered before my diagnosis! It was, quite simply, one of the best meals I'd eaten in years. I think the manager suspected I was the "complainer," and he was extremely solicitous--he must have asked me half a dozen times if I'd found my meal satisfactory. He looked extremely relieved when I assured him that I loved my meal and that I would let the corporate office know how wonderful the dish had turned out. I believe that PF Chang's is very dedicated to maintaining a safe and expansive attitude towards people with gluten sensitivity, and I was impressed with how quickly they resolved this mishap.

I eat a lot of Thai food. I've gotten to know the man who runs the local restaurant and he keeps a separate pan for me and I bring in my own bottle of olive oil for him too use as that' the only oil I can currently tolerate. I went to PF Chang when I was first following the gluten-free diet but unfortunately I've become much more sensitive to almost everything. I loved their food the first time I went there but would probably not be able to handle the oil they use. I do agree that they go out of their way to accommodate us.

Loey

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Wow. I went to Panda Express yesterday and only ate the fried rice. Well, I just looked on their website and in the FAQ section someone asked which foods are gluten-free? They replied "none of our foods are gluten free." Wow, just wow!! I can't accept it...boo hoo. that's just crazy if you ask me! I LOVE Panda Express. Now I wonder if ANY Chinese food is gluten-free? :(

My parents were very good at cooking all kinds of ethnic foods. When I went through the sauces in the fridge, all, I repeat, ALL, of the chinese sauces contained wheat - Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Hoi Sin Sauce, etc. At a mall type chinese restaurant, if I were to eat anything, I would only eat the white rice. At a regular chinese restaurant, steamed vegetables, white rice, and meat with no sauce would be safe. Sorry :( Oh, and PF Chang's is awesome.

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There's a Mongolian Barbecue-style restaurant in my town that I'm headed to tonight with a group for a work event. The cool thing is that when I called, they said they'd had a Celiac nutrition expert come through and evaluate their grill, ingredients, and sauces for gluten so that they could make their offerings more Celiac-friendly! And they always have gluten-free noodles available for whenever I want to stop in, kept in a separate part of the kitchen!

I was bowled over at how easy they made it seem. The jury's still out on the ingredient buffet (with the tongs and other diners' messiness and the possible cross-contamination) but so far, so very good.

This is all relevant because the place I'm going to is "pan-Asian", which in this case I think means somewhat similar to Chinese food perhaps.

... but then they glutened me. So much for being great about Celiac. They brought me wheat noodles.

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I have no food allergies of any kind, but my best friend recently was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so I've been becoming more aware and educated. I randomly typed in Panda Express and gluten free, and this thread popped up in my search engine. I scanned through and registered just to write this reply. I actually have a super easy recipe for fried rice. (trust me, I'm a terrible cook, so if I say it's easy, and I can make it, trust me, it's easy) All you really need to worry about is finding gluten free soy sauce, and the only really "exotic" ingredient is sesame oil, which if I found at WalMart for less than $4.00 shouldn't be too hard to find. It's not an exact recipe by any means, so you can vary it to taste or depending on my how many people you're serving. Also, I'd pre-thaw the frozen vegetables to reduce cooking time.

All you need is:

Vegetable Oil

Eggs (scrambled)

Frozen Peas and Carrots

Lime Juice

Soy Sauce (Gluten Free)

Sesame Oil

Cilantro

Garlic Powder

Cooked, Chilled Rice (Brown or White)

Scallions

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan large enough for how much you want to make. Add the scrambled eggs and cook through. Add the peas and carrots and mix with the eggs, add a splash of lime juice, a generous splash of soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil, a generous sprinkle of cilantro, and seriously, the tiniest pinch/sprinkle of garlic powder. (a lot of this is to taste and depending on how many eggs and how much rice) Mix everything through and add a little extra vegetable oil before adding the rice. Combine everything together, alternate between letting it sit and stirring until it's heated through, sizzling, and some of the rice has a little bit of crispiness. Add chopped scallions at the end, mix together, and you're done!

I usually add more eggs than you usually would, just because I like eggs and because I use that as my protein, but you can add shrimp, chicken, etc to make it a full meal, but with just eggs and without any other protein, it really does taste just like Panda Express. :) And with Gluten-Free Soy Sauce, it's completely Gluten-Free, and because you made it, you'll know exactly what's in it, to make sure you don't get sick. Unfortunately, that's the only recipe I've got. Lol. Another recommendation is the Taste of Thai Pad Thai Kits. Those are gluten free, and I use exactly the same recipe as the fried rice, just adding the Pad Thai sauce in the kit, substituting the rice noodles in the kit for the rice, subtracting the soy sauce, and adding peanuts. :) Good luck to all of you!

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Thank you! What a good friend you are for taking the time to learn about your friend's illness. Many are not so fortunate!

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You're welcome! I'm actually disabled with a very rare heart condition, so I understand the difficulty of being sick, not looking sick, and dealing with other people's less than helpful responses to an illness that can't be seen. I've been through these past few months with my best friend finally being diagnosed after a lifetime of struggling with many numerous allergy and medical issues. She came to visit me a few weeks ago, and I was determined to be ready to ensure that she wouldn't get sick on my time. :)

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Pei Wei also has a great gluten-free menu. They're in Austin, and most cities in Texas, but I'm not sure if they are nationwide.

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This is a very old thread. PF Changs has a gluten-free menu. I can't vouch for them because I have never eaten there. That being said, if we were out somewhere and my daughter got hungry we would look for a teriyaki place and get her some plain white rice. Yes, I suppose there is a chance of cross contamination. And I know it's not a meal. But it was a safe snack for her.

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