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Gluten-Free Life In Asia & With Asian Food

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Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to gluten-free (four days to be exact!). This forum has been so helpful in getting started. I was wondering if anyone had advice specifically related to gluten-free life in Asia or with Asian food! I live in Singapore and when I ask people about gluten free items, they look at me as though I have switched to speaking German.

I thought rice would be ok but I am learning rice is often cooked in soy sauce! Any advice of safe dishes?


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I think it all depends on how things are prepared and what type of soy sauce is used. In the US, we are so used to over processed non-traditional Asian food that I'm not sure it bears any resemblance to the real stuff. From what I know (and I could be wrong because I've never actually traveled overseas), but most of the time they use cornstarch instead of flour for coatings and thickening. The soy sauce they use might be a more pure product that doesn't contain wheat (I buy the gluten-free soy sauce which is just soybeans, water, salt and alcohol). The fact that conventional soy sauce used in most places is the stuff with wheat in it baffles me...maybe it's cheaper? How are you with the language? Maybe asking lots of questions is the way to go. Hope you get some good answers - good luck to you!


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Basically, forget eating out. I am in Japan and I never eat out anymore. Everything uses soy sauce. I have been able to find gluten free tamari which I take with me to sushi. Sushi restaurants and a farm type place owned by a friend are the only restaurants I can go to.

Singapore has a quite a few western restaurants so you can see if any of them have gluten free items like salads with no croutons or other oddities (bring your own dressing or ask for olive oil/vinegar). Japanese (sushi/sashimi) should be ok if you can find your own gluten free soy sauce or tamari. I have also put sesame oil on sushi which people think is odd but it is really good! Add a bit of salt too! Indian? Lots of Indian in Singapore. If you can find a place where they use pure spices to make curries it might be ok (get to know the chef!) Curries made from curry roux have wheat in them.

Honestly, if you are only 4 days into it I would seriously forget eating out and focus on cleaning gluten out of your kitchen and get used to preparing and taking your own food with you. It is hard at first but it gets easier. I have only been gluten-free since Feb. and I am finally getting used to a routine with all the food prep. When I head out for the day I always pack a lunch.


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