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Gluten-Free Dining At Chinese Restaurants


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#1 cdaviles

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

Hello everyone! I'm new to this website. Recently diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, I'm still new to dining out. I've stayed away from Chinese restaurants but its supposed to rain this Friday so my boyfriend wants to have a movie marathon complete with Chinese delivery.. I called a few Chinese restaurants and asked them specifically about their soy sauces -- I found one that does have gluten-free soy sauce. I know that if it came down to it, I could have steamed veggies and rice, but what else is gluten free? Has anyone tried mei fun? I heard that the noodles are rice based so would those be okay? How about fried rices? Any help would be much appreciated, thank you!
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#2 Gemini

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:02 AM

Hello everyone! I'm new to this website. Recently diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, I'm still new to dining out. I've stayed away from Chinese restaurants but its supposed to rain this Friday so my boyfriend wants to have a movie marathon complete with Chinese delivery.. I called a few Chinese restaurants and asked them specifically about their soy sauces -- I found one that does have gluten-free soy sauce. I know that if it came down to it, I could have steamed veggies and rice, but what else is gluten free? Has anyone tried mei fun? I heard that the noodles are rice based so would those be okay? How about fried rices? Any help would be much appreciated, thank you!


The problem with Chinese food is you have to have them use a dedicated wok to cook your food in or you risk getting sick from cc. I only know of a couple of Chinese restaurants that boast a dedicated wok.....that is not the norm. It is not all about finding out what is gluten-free...you have to be concerned about what they cook it in. I gave up on Chinese food when I was diagnosed because of this issue and the one place near me that does gluten-free Chinese food with a dedicated wok is PF Chang's and I don't think their food is very good.

I would stick to making your own food unless they can convince you they take enough precautions with your meal. Good luck!
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#3 rosetapper23

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

I haven't dined at a Chinese restaurant since I was diagnosed with celiac nearly nine years ago except for PF Chang's. It's too risky, in my opinion. Is there any chance that you could have Thai takeout instead? Much safer!
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#4 cdaviles

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:42 PM

I haven't dined at a Chinese restaurant since I was diagnosed with celiac nearly nine years ago except for PF Chang's. It's too risky, in my opinion. Is there any chance that you could have Thai takeout instead? Much safer!



What could you recommend at a Thai place?
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#5 TGK112

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:13 PM

I went for Thai food for the first time since diagnosis. They cooked my meal with fish sauce which is gluten free.
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#6 cindylou7

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

I recommend you make your own. I make a version of Mei Fun with chicken or pork cut into thin strips and cooked in a gluten-free chicken broth, toss in some gluten-free soy sauce, add cabbage, carrots, portobello mushrooms, sliced thin. Soak rice noodles in hot water while cooking. Add shrimp last, season with onion and garlic powders. Drain noodles and toss into mixture... Serve with lemon slices and soy sauce. Yummy!
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#7 Lisa

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:25 PM

If you are new to the diet and need to dine out, I would recommend buying the gluten free dining cards from:

www.triumphdining.com

They come in multi languages and it can be essential for newly diagnosed people with Celiac, dealing with foreign language restaurants. I used them and found them effective.

I understand that there are some apps that can be bought that may do the same.....but, I still like the written word and people contact :)
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#8 rosetapper23

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:49 PM

There are many options at a Thai restaurant, because they tend to use rice noodles. Simply tell them you can't have gluten, and they will omit any soy sauce. Otherwise, just about everything they serve is gluten free. However, if the server or chef does not understanding what you mean by gluten free, you should move on to another restaurant. So far, I haven't had that problem at Thai restaurants--they seem to get a lot of gluten-free patrons.
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#9 oceanmom

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi, I have been gluten-free for 15 years. Mandarin Bistro in Newbury Park, CA is a great restaurant to eat at. I explained my gluten-free needs to the managers. They said anything I wanted gluten-free, if they could do it, then they would. I bring my own bottle of soy sauce. I have had great dishes there. If you are ever in the Santa Clara Area of CA, China Stix is amazing! Much of the dim sum is gluten-free. The management also told me they will make accomodations any way I need it. I never hold off going to a Chinese restaurant. I just need to come with soy sauce in hand, request a clean pan, and ask about potential gluten-free ingredients and ask for appropriate substitutes.

I have had great success at Thai and Vietnamese restaurants too. Caution: Many Vietnamese restaurants marinate their meat in soy sauce. I have not found these restaurants too accomodating. So I go to another town to eat Vietnamese.
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#10 HowdySunshine

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

Finding Chinese food that is gluten-free is hard!


I'm new to all this but wanted Chinese a couple days ago and had heard that PF Chang's had a gluten-free menu.

So I was really intrigued.

In a rare turn of usual biases, I was actually thankful that it was a big chain because that means that their staff is likely knowledgeable and trained on gluten-free. At mom-and-pop shops, its hit or miss.

They also have two gluten-free desert items: Flourless Chocolate dome and a Chocolate Torte Sweet Treat.

I ordered the Gluten-Free Caramel Mango Chicken.

I asked for a side of gluten-free soy sauce, and the waitress brought it out without hesitation.

You don't need to ask for a special menu. They print the gluten-free menu on the bottom half of the last page of every menu.

Here's a list of the gluten-free items available:

* gluten-free chang's chicken lettuce wraps
* gluten-free singapore street noodles
* gluten-free buddha's feast
* gluten-free vietnamese crab salad
* gluten-free egg drop soup
* gluten-free p.f.chang's fried rice
* gluten-free p.f. chang's fried rice combo
* gluten-free crab fried rice
* gluten-free spinach stir-fried with garlic
* gluten-free garlic snap peas
* gluten-free shanghai cucumbers
* gluten-free asian tomato-cucumber salad
* gluten-free chang's spicy chicken
* gluten-free mongolian beef
* gluten-free ginger chicken with broccoli
* gluten-free caramel mango chicken
* gluten-free moo goo gai pan
* gluten-free beef with broccoli
* gluten-free norwegian salmon steamed with ginger
* gluten-free shrimp with lobster sauce
* gluten-free philip's better lemon chicken
* gluten-free dali chicken
* gluten-free beef á la sichuan
* gluten-free pepper steak
* gluten-free flourless chocolate dome
* gluten-free chocolate torte sweet treat

They do have many pertinent notes written in small print at the bottom of various pages of the menu.

I was greatly fascinated by them, so I've retyped the small print here...

First they say: "All Gluten Free items are served on a special plate with the P.F. Chang's logo. These menu items are either gluten free as prepared, or are modified to be gluten free."

Another one: "The following ingredients are used in P.F. Chang's gluten free sauces: chicken broth, oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, water, wheat free soy sauce and white pepper. The marinades for beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and scallops are gluten free and contain cornstarch. The soy sauce on the table is not gluten free. Please ask your server for our gluten free soy sauce."

And: "Products containing gluten are prepared in our kitchens."

And lastly: "Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy. Additionally, if a person in your party has a special dietary need (e.g., gluten intolerance), please inform your server at the beginning of your visit. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. Please be aware that our restaurants use ingredients that contain all the major FDA allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, soy and wheat)."

I hope other restaurants take note of the great gluten-free example that PF Changs is setting, and start having similarly clearly stated menus on the subject of gluten.
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#11 kareng

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:09 AM

Yes. PF Chang's has the best corporate policy for gluten-free. A little secret- most things can be made gluten-free. They just put some on the menu at a time. Ask and see if there is something else you would like. Obviously, a wheat thing like a dumpling can't be made gluten-free.

Pei Wei is the fast food version of PF Chang's. they have a more limited gluten-free menu but I have always had good luck with them, too.
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