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Sira Raven

Trip To Japan In August

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I was wondering if anyone has had any experience eating gluten free in Japan. My parents and I are taking a trip there in August to visit my twin sister (who's currently teaching English over there). My mom has Celiac disease, and I'm non-celiac gluten intolerant (not super sensitive, but I still try to avoid it). We'll be in Japan for 2 weeks, with trips to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and we'll be staying at my sister's apartment about half of the time. I realize that we can eat stuff we make at her place and can pack meals, and my sister speaks Japanese, so she'll be able to communicate with anywhere we want to eat. I'm really just not sure what to expect. Does anyone have any general advice about eating gluten free in Japan, or even better, any specific foods/places that you know are safe?

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I was wondering if anyone has had any experience eating gluten free in Japan. My parents and I are taking a trip there in August to visit my twin sister (who's currently teaching English over there). My mom has Celiac disease, and I'm non-celiac gluten intolerant (not super sensitive, but I still try to avoid it). We'll be in Japan for 2 weeks, with trips to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and we'll be staying at my sister's apartment about half of the time. I realize that we can eat stuff we make at her place and can pack meals, and my sister speaks Japanese, so she'll be able to communicate with anywhere we want to eat. I'm really just not sure what to expect. Does anyone have any general advice about eating gluten free in Japan, or even better, any specific foods/places that you know are safe?

If you do a search on the forum for Japan(type it in the search box) you'll see our responses to other similar posts as well as reports from those of us after getting back from our trips. Plenty of posts from me here. Long story short, when I went last time I stayed at MIL's house and packed my bentos every a.m. before heading out for the day. The only time I ate out was at a shabu shabu restaurant that used only konbu(kelp) for the broth. Your sis could purchase some wheat-free soy sauce for use while you are there. There are several kinds made from millet, quinoa etc. My DH is going this summer and it's on his shopping list to bring back for me, since some is also soy-free and I am allergic to soy. Lots of wonderful fresh fruits and veggies to enjoy and I always do! I'm in love with the white peaches :) I flew JAL and they provided me with a nice gluten-free meals, even some good gluten-free bread.

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I live in Japan now. I am a 20 year resident but only 4 months into eating gluten free. I find it very hard when it comes to eating out because of all the soy sauce used. You are lucky to have your sister's apt. and can prepare food. For me, sushi is the easiest thing to eat out. I just bring my own tamari (wheat free soy sauce). Other than that I end up with salads and white rice. It's hard. I'll follow this thread if you have any specific questions.

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Beware of rice bread! This is a new issue since my past posts. It has become popular in the past couple of years, some really cool breadmakers for it and bakeries making it, but it contains gluten added back in as an ingredient :( My understanding is that their point in making it is not to avoid wheat/gluten so much as to utilize their traditional staple crop.

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I recently bought that bread maker! It is called Gopan made by Panasonic (originally Sanyo but Sanyo was bought by Panasonic). The majority of the recipes with the machine are rice with gluten added. However there is one, and ONLY one, function on the machine for "gluten zero."(their words, not mine!) It uses whole grains of rice, rice flour, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil. I make it once a week. It is actually good and bread-like. We don't have gluten free breads here so this is as good as it gets for me right now! I would not trust "rice bread" from bakeries because it probably isn't 100% rice.

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I recently bought that bread maker! It is called Gopan made by Panasonic (originally Sanyo but Sanyo was bought by Panasonic). The majority of the recipes with the machine are rice with gluten added. However there is one, and ONLY one, function on the machine for "gluten zero."(their words, not mine!) It uses whole grains of rice, rice flour, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil. I make it once a week. It is actually good and bread-like. We don't have gluten free breads here so this is as good as it gets for me right now! I would not trust "rice bread" from bakeries because it probably isn't 100% rice.

Thanks for the info.! I've been wondering and yes, GoPan is the one I had in mind. We were so excited at first, until we found gluten listed in the ingredients. My DH is still debating on buying one for me when he goes this summer but we wondered if the cost was worth it, for what we surmised as limited function/recipe/variation if any. What do you think? So you use the funtion that grinds the whole rice into flour? We are also debating about the usefullness of this since we can obtain rice flour easily and cheaply here, but I don't have ny bread recipes using it alone without the starches etc.

I have allergies currently to tapioca and potato and corn, which are in most of our American gluten-free recipes and commercially made breads so that particulare recipe you mentioned would work well for me at the moment.

Last time we went about 6 years ago, I bought some bread from sokkensha(online), but they were roll type and aimed at kids and probably pricey for daily use. Have you looked into Foreign Buyers Club for gluten-free products?

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Hi Missy's mom

hope your doing well. Been awhile! Im headed back to Tokyo on the 29th.

Was thinking of coming home with a gopan but i dont have that much bread anyway and tend to make it from scratch or make dosa or flat breads. A few times a year my wife will make me gluten-free french bread. What I was in japan a few months ago I had a lot of yuba ryori and various nabe with gluten-free shoyu or braggs aminos which I bring with and leave at friends restaurants around tokyo.

There are a lot of options if you know what to ask for and are not vegan like I am. communications and knowing chefs is helpful for me since I trained as one there almost 30 years ago. Yuba is tofu skin that you make yourself at the table, Its a great meal and experience. Miso is fine if its made with rice (kome koji) and not with barley. So cooks dont want to bother with checking but you need too. Dont be fooled by rice balls onigiri at 7-11 or family mart stores -- they usually contain wheat fillers,

learn to say -- ko mugi allergy ( ko moo gee alrergee) sort --of -- maybe once a chef in a neighborhood place understands they will go out of heir way to make sure you have something you enjoy. they need to know that soy sauce (Shoyu) is not soy but mostly wheat.

if you let me know where you'll be in tokyo maybe I can recommend some places.

ken

Thanks for the info.! I've been wondering and yes, GoPan is the one I had in mind. We were so excited at first, until we found gluten listed in the ingredients. My DH is still debating on buying one for me when he goes this summer but we wondered if the cost was worth it, for what we surmised as limited function/recipe/variation if any. What do you think? So you use the funtion that grinds the whole rice into flour? We are also debating about the usefullness of this since we can obtain rice flour easily and cheaply here, but I don't have ny bread recipes using it alone without the starches etc.

I have allergies currently to tapioca and potato and corn, which are in most of our American gluten-free recipes and commercially made breads so that particulare recipe you mentioned would work well for me at the moment.

Last time we went about 6 years ago, I bought some bread from sokkensha(online), but they were roll type and aimed at kids and probably pricey for daily use. Have you looked into Foreign Buyers Club for gluten-free products?

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for sure try thew yuba (tofo) ryori in Kyoto -- a good place or at a ryokan like Matsubatei near kiyomizudera will makeyou think your in the 1700s!

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience eating gluten free in Japan. My parents and I are taking a trip there in August to visit my twin sister (who's currently teaching English over there). My mom has Celiac disease, and I'm non-celiac gluten intolerant (not super sensitive, but I still try to avoid it). We'll be in Japan for 2 weeks, with trips to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and we'll be staying at my sister's apartment about half of the time. I realize that we can eat stuff we make at her place and can pack meals, and my sister speaks Japanese, so she'll be able to communicate with anywhere we want to eat. I'm really just not sure what to expect. Does anyone have any general advice about eating gluten free in Japan, or even better, any specific foods/places that you know are safe?

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The Gopan doesn't grind rice to flour. Is more like a rice cooker in that the water and rice get heated and ground up into mush. Somehow that mush magically becomes a loaf with the rice flour, sugar, yeast, salt and olive oil. It uses 320 grams of whole rice and only 80 grams of rice flour. You are right about repetition. I can only make that. I tried to substitute butter for olive oil once and the loaf didn't turn out very well. I suppose if I added something like cinnamon it would be ok. Haven't tried yet. Apparently it took Sanyo YEARS to come up with this machine so I guess I can't expect to create new recipes over night!

One good thing is that the machine comes with two tanks: one that grinds the rice and makes rice bread and one that makes regular "flour" bread. I have bought Bob's Red Mill gluten free bread mix from FBC before. I made that in the machine with the flour tank.

The machine is expensive. It runs about $600 (was expensive in yen, looks worse in dollars!). For me it is a good investment because I live here and it is my only source of bread. The FBC bread mix runs about $10 a box. The 6 ingredients I need to make the rice bread are relatively cheap and are already in my kitchen.

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TKS for the info. Pauliewog. I'll keep that in mind.

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FYI: I'm told that although Soba Noodles are listed as "buckwheat", which would be ok, they're actually often made with wheat as an ingredient as well.

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YOU have to make sure its juwari soba which is 100% buckwheat-- there are special juwari soba restaurants -- since you cant have the usually dipping sauce you can ask for the soba yu which is the water the noodles are boiled in. Add some ginger and onions and its pretty good. You could also bring some braggs aminos or gluten-free soy sauce to add to it

FYI: I'm told that although Soba Noodles are listed as "buckwheat", which would be ok, they're actually often made with wheat as an ingredient as well.

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We are currently in Japan for three weeks visiting relatives. I have a daughter who is celiac. We brought a couple of loaves of Udi bread, homemade pancake mix, and homemade muffins that we froze when we arrived here.

We found one restaurant in Harajuku that serves gluten free and vegan fried tofu that looks and tastes like fried chicken. It is called Vegecate. You can google Vegecate in Harajuku. It has the menu in English. Everything on their menu is gluten free. The only other restaurants that we were able to eat at were Vietnamese noodles and sushi. We brought our own gluten free soy sauce to the sushi place. My cousin was able to buy gluten free udon, soba, pizza, and pastries from an internet website called a-soken.com. The products were delivered to their house before we got here. Tomorrow, we are traveling to Osaka to visit other relatives. I'll post more if we find anything in that area.

We purchased the GoPan bread maker when it first came out about a year ago. We were very excited about getting it until we made our first loaf of bread. The machine is very loud when it is grinding the rice, it sounds like a generator motor. It only lasts a few minutes, but it does it several times while making the bread. The bread came out hard and not very tasty. We prefer making it by hand using a mixer and gluten free flour instead of using the GoPan.

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I just finished lunch which included bread from my Gopan! I have the newest model (Dec 2011-I think). Yes, it is noisy when it grinds but it doesn't bother me. It isn't that long. I find that the bread is actually moist. I like it better after I slice it and toast it. It is not a perfect replacement for bread. But for someone living in Japan where there are few options I think it is worth it. I make a loaf of bread a week and that is my only source of "bread."

Thanks for the a-soken.com link. I noticed they have gyoza! That is one thing I have been craving. I tried to make them with rice paper and had a mushy mess. I'll try theirs.

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