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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Chicken Vegetable Curry (Gluten-Free)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    I love just about every type of curry under the sun. Before I started eating gluten-free, one of my favorite curries to make was S&B's Golden Curry. It's an easy, cheap, delicious curry block that is available nearly everywhere I have ever traveled.

    The S&B company makes a number of delicious curry blocks that I now cannot use because they all contain wheat flour. However, I was shopping at Nijiya market in San Francisco's Japantown recently, when I noticed a red S&B box with Japanese writing. It looked to be an import from Japan. Unlike the other S&B curries, which list wheat flour as an ingredient, this one contained sorghum. The product is called "Curry No Ohji-sama." It comes in a red box with a cartoon of a child with a band of yellow stars across his head.

    Now, technically this product is not sold as gluten-free, so please evaluate it based on your own personal needs and judgement.
    S&B Curry Sauce Mix
    The English label listed the following ingredients: Palm Oil, Corn Starch, Dextrin, White Sorghum, Salt, Sugar Beet, Vegetable Paste (Palm oil, pumpkin, carrot, cabbage, sweet corn, spinach, tomato, bell pepper, molokhiya), Curry Powder, Chinese Cabbage Extract Powder, Caramel, Fruit paste (Canola oil, Mango, Pineapple, Passion fruit, Apple, Banana), Yeast extract powder, Sucrose fatty acid esters, Artificial flavor, Paprika color.

    After my first try, I found that I needed to modify the curry with a bit of additional curry powder, and a dash of soy sauce. However, once I did, the result was a rich, delicious curry that goes great with rice or with your favorite gluten-free noodles.

    Lastly, this recipe also works well with pork or beef in place of chicken. It is also delicious as a vegetarian dish.

    The finished chicken vegetable curry. Photo: Jefferson Adams Ingredients:
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 chicken breast about 6-8 ounces (substitute pork chop or beef)
    1 small onion or ½ large onion, chopped
    1 large potato or 2 small potatoes, chopped
    1 large carrot, chopped
    4-6 Crimini, brown, Shitake, or other button mushrooms
    ½ cup zucchini
    1½ tablespoons of curry powder - I use Trader Joe's.
    1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce or tamari

    Directions:
    Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces. Halve or quarter mushrooms, depending on size.

    In a medium saucepan, sauté onion in oil over medium heat until soft. Add meat and cook until lightly brown.

    Add remaining vegetables and sauté for a few more minutes, until vegetables are slightly cooked.

    Add 2½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam. Remove from heat.

    Add S&B curry cubes, curry powder and soy sauce. Cook according to package directions.

    Serve over rice, or with your favorite gluten-free noodles. Also goes great over quinoa! Makes 4-6 servings.


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    Interesting find! I looked at the manufacturer's site in Japanese (I'm a native Japanese speaker). Tried to list the URL but that's apparently not allowed in a comment. It's www.sbcurry.com/oji/products/products01.html.

     

    While it is true that wheat is not listed as an ingredient, the origin of caramel coloring and emulsifier (which is not included in the translated label, I see) is a mystery... And the site lists the common allergens that are *not* used in this product as: eggs, dairy, buckwheat, peanuts, & soy. (i.e. wheat is not listed as an allergen excluded from this product.) It also says it is manufactured on the same line as products containing wheat.

     

    From this I tend to deduce the "roux type" block (red box) probably isn't safe for celiacs. Interestingly enough, the one below it (powder form in blue box) does say it doesn't contain any wheat (or egg, dairy, buckwheat, peanuts, soy, rice). One thing to note is that things like barley & rye are not included in such common allergen lists in Japan, so I have no way of knowing its gluten content, but at least the blue box (powder mix) is wheat-free, if you can find it.

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    I contacted the company in Japanese and they said that the pouch/retort version of ojisama curry's dextrin is from a corn source (カレーã®çŽ‹å­ã•ã¾ レトルト). I did not ask about this roux but tried some and did not seem to have a reaction. I was, however, concerned that it is made on the same line as wheat. Since I already contacted the company, maybe Aya could ask them about gluten in the roux? I was very impressed with their quick and specific response, and the more people who contact them the better, I think. I was not happy to see that the blue box with powdered mix contains MSG, so I probably will not try that.

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    I meant to say the mizuame was made from corn. Usually it is barley syrup, but sometimes corn syrup. I never eat anything with mizuame unless it is confirmed to be corn.

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    I have also received an email from S&B about this curry roux:

    There is no wheat in any of the ingredients. As you noticed, the package states that it is made on equipment that also processes wheat. In our company, the lines of the machinery are thoroughly cleaned after each use, so there should be no mixing of wheat in this product.

     

    They also state that their curry powder (in a red can) is pure spices and ground in a dedicated spice grinder.

     

    Thank you for introducing me to the curry roux, which is readily available in the baby/infant department of most supermarkets in this area. I have used it twice and have had no ill effects, but if you are particularly sensitive you might want to be aware of the possible cross-contamination. They also have a powdered white stew mix for infants, as well as corn soup powder, which I will try and let you know if it works.

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    Thank you so much for doing this investigation!!! My son 7 years old just got diagnosed with celiac and I feel so much guilt that I have been poisoning him all these years. Also am panicking about what to feed my family as we will all go gluten free. Thank you so much for this info. I am Japanese American (but can't read Japanese) and grew up on this curry. So glad to try it and perhaps the blue box in the baby section!

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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