Ah sushi…..a food I have loved since I was 19 years old. I have to thank my ex-husband for introducing me to it. This is about the only thing he was good for, except giving me my son. Who, by the way, shares my love for it. Maybe because I ate it before I knew I was pregnant. Eating raw fish when pregnant is a big no-no.
When I was married to my second ex-husband (yes, third time is the charm) every time I was pregnant, he would make sure to eat sushi in front of me, knowing I couldn’t eat it. This is one of many reasons he is my ex.
In fact, I love all Japanese food-dumplings, tempura, hibachi, teriyaki. Unfortunately, I have had to give all of this up. But I can still eat sushi, with caution. What, you say, sushi can have gluten in it? Oh yes it can. Like a lot of other foods, gluten can be hidden in the most unusual places.
Thanks to celiac.com for the information in this post.
Let’s start with soy sauce. Now sushi itself does not usually contain soy sauce, but the dipping sauce does. This is why teriyaki is also out of the question.
Then there’s imitation crab. That california roll you love could send you straight to the bathroom. Yes the crab can have wheat in it. Should it? Nope. But it might, and is it worth the risk? Hell no.
Next is eel sauce and ponzu sauce. Don’t ask me what the heck these are-just that they might be in your sushi. Both contain soy sauce.
Spicy tuna may contain wheat in the sauce, and it often contains mayonnaise, which might also have gluten. Best to avoid it.
Wasabi-Surprise! It might contain wheat. The wasabi served in restaurants is most always horseradish, mustard, and coloring, and it can be mixed with corn starch or wheat flour. Mustard is not always gluten-free and neither is “coloring.”
Safe items in sushi include lobok which is chinese radish, masago-the tiny fish eggs that are sometimes used for garnish, sushi rice, nori and vegetables. Go for a simple roll if possible. Celiac.com recommends substitutions in california or rainbow rolls-personally I think this is an accident waiting to happen. Why mess with it and cause problems? There are plenty of rolls, sashimi and other choices you can eat. But that is your choice. Maybe you are adventurous.
Now, some people are brave and bring their own gluten free teriyaki sauce and order hibachi. Just remember, woks and utensils are already contaminated with gluten containing sauces. Ask the chef if he will clean the wok and utensils. You should let your server know you are gluten free anyway.
And remember to bring your own tamari-or gluten free soy sauce. And of course, two chopsticks!