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Sushi Rice... Again


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21 replies to this topic

#1 LivingGF

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:25 PM

This past week I went to a sushi restaurant, which I always have believed was a safe dining option for a celiac (have been since 1997). I was told that the sushi rice was not gluten free, and that the same would be true for all of the restaurants making sushi! (gasp.)

The wait person told me that it was due to the seasoning they put in the sushi rice which contains wheat. I could have a bowl of rice, but not the rice they used for their sushi. This is the first time I have ever been told that the sushi was not safe, yet there have been several occasions where I have left Japanese restaurants not feeling 100%.

Has anyone else had this experience with sushi rice? I've looked at some of the earlier postings and several said they also believed sushi to be a "go to" meal for dining out, so is this a new issue or something we have not been fully informed of in the past?

I appreciate your input. (I am new to this forum and this is my first post.)
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#2 PainfulSpaghetti

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:01 PM

Not only does the soy sauce have gluten / wheat, but the artificial crab meat does as well. I'm allergic to crabs so always thought that was ok. it's not, sadly. So unfair, as Sushi is my favorite food! I also wanted to check and see if the seaweed wrappers have it as a binder, but keep forgetting to.
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#3 lucia

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:04 PM

It's not true for all sushi rice. Sometimes sushi rice is fine, and other times it's not. I unfortunately found out the hard way. My experience is that usually sushi is fine, but of course we can't rely on 'sometimes'.

Besides that, you have to watch out for crab (the imitation meat includes gluten) and sauces.
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#4 LivingGF

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:35 PM

Thank you for your replies.

Yes, I understand that the soy sauce and crab often have gluten, but when in doubt I often just went for a cucumber or avocado roll, and I always bring my own soy sauce.

It was the sushi rice itself that I am asking about because this was the first I had heard of this issue.
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#5 love2travel

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:41 PM

If you really crave sushi it is very simple to make at home. Sushi rice itself is gluten-free as is nori. It is what goes into the rice that can be suspect (i.e. I have seen a few brands of rice wine vinegar that contain wheat). Then it is just a matter of using real crab, shrimp, salmon, whatever. If you use wasabi and/or miso just ensure it is gluten-free. Same with tamari.
http://www.floradawn...ree-nori-rolls/
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#6 PainfulSpaghetti

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:03 PM

That recipe was gorgeous!
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#7 love2travel

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:08 PM

That recipe was gorgeous!

And you can make it even more gorgeous! I have seen such intricate detailed photos of sushi that when sliced portray patterns such as flowers or animals. Lovely. Like I said, it is easy to make. When people say they miss such and such a dish I try to encourage them to make it at home. Homemade is always better and you know precisely what goes into it. :)
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#8 Skylark

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:14 PM

Can someone please explain to me how rice, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar can contain gluten? That's all that is in sushi rice.

I can see how it might be a problem if you're one of the rare celiacs who reacts to distilled grain vinegars, as rice vinegar sometimes has grain vinegar in it, but for most celiacs sushi rice would be fine. I bet your waitress confused "gltuten" with "glutenous rice" which is another name for sushi rice. Of course sushi rice is gluten-free like all rices.
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#9 love2travel

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

Can someone please explain to me how rice, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar can contain gluten? That's all that is in sushi rice.

I can see how it might be a problem if you're one of the rare celiacs who reacts to vinegars, as rice vinegar sometimes has some distilled grain vinegar, but for most celiacs sushi rice would be fine. I bet your waitress confused "gltuten" with "glutenous rice" which is another name for sushi rice. Of course sushi rice is gluten-free like all rices.

I agree! It is rather odd. However, as I mentioned above, a few weeks ago I did see a few brands of rice wine vinegar that had "contains wheat" on the bottle.
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#10 T.H.

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:36 PM

gluten-free as is nori.


We've run into nori that was a problem. Best I can tell, the issue was that it was also processed on equipment that processed wheat - flavored products that were using wheat based soy sauce.

I wonder if the same potential cc issue might be the problem with some of the sushi vinegar that lists 'may contain wheat?'
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#11 love2travel

 
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 05:42 PM

We've run into nori that was a problem. Best I can tell, the issue was that it was also processed on equipment that processed wheat - flavored products that were using wheat based soy sauce.

I wonder if the same potential cc issue might be the problem with some of the sushi vinegar that lists 'may contain wheat?'

That could very well be. Shared lines are tricky things. And of course products can vary from country to country.

Almost all vinegar is safe but as I discovered not all of it is. However, the bottles I saw were specialty items at an ethnic food store. No matter what it is still wise to always read the labels even though it seems safe. And as we all know, labels can change.
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<p>Confirmed celiac disease February 2011 from biopsies. Strictly gluten free March 18 2011.Diagnosed with fibromyalgia April 13 2011.3 herniated discs, myofascial pain syndrome, IT band syndrome, 2 rotator cuff injuries - from an accident Dec. 07 - resulting in chronic pain ever since. Degenerative disc disease.Osteoarthritis in back and hips.Chronic insomnia mostly due to chronic pain.Aspartame free May 2011.

When our lives are squeezed by pressure and pain, what comes out is what is inside.

#12 Skylark

 
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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

I really don't think gluten in sushi rice is a universal thing like this waitress suggested. It's not like unagi, where there will always be soy sauce in the flavoring. Plus I don't react to sushi and I eat it all the time! Agreed there are gotchas like the fake crab, many of the sauces, and roe.
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#13 lovegrov

 
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Posted 24 August 2011 - 05:13 AM

Sushis rice is most definitely NOT universally unsafe. Most that I've found has in fact been OK.

richard
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#14 LivingGF

 
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Posted 24 August 2011 - 07:19 AM

Thanks all!

The waitress made it sound as if it was something in addition to the rice wine vinegar, because I tried telling her that rice vinegar is usually fine for me. She said it was another seasoning that they add to the rice. I agree with you that this was shocking, as a Japanese friend's mother had taught me to make sushi and there was definitely not wheat in anything we used.

I am glad to hear that many of you still have had positive gluten-free sushi experiences, and I will continue to ask and give sushi another chance elsewhere. In fact, now I am curious about another local place (BlueC sushi in Seattle) which has a gluten-free menu, and wonder if rice seasoning has fallen on their radar since I have gotten sick there before.

It would be a terrible thing if we had to knock another food group off of our dining out experiences!
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#15 MaryJones2

 
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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:40 PM

I have only gotten sick once eating sushi. Someone at our table ordered a spider roll and the best answer I can come up with is that the same knife was used to cut it and the cucumber roll I ordered. I generally don't order rolls - only sashimi and occassionally sushi. Never had a problem with sashimi.
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