Making Sure Your Sushi Is Gluten-Free

Gluten Tidbits To Watch Out For

If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you’d think sushi is perfectly safe. That is, if you’re sure you are getting gluten-free sushi. You might think sushi is just fish and rice, but there may be tiny details you are missing out on and those can render your sushi actually not gluten-free. You can find them in soy sauce-based marinades, faux crab meat and even the sushi rice itself.

The major sources of gluten in sushi are the fake crab and tempura. California rolls that are supermarket- bought and available in most fast-food sushi type outlets mostly contain fake crab or surimi. It’s just imitation crab made out of grounded white fish and binded with starch, other ingredients and flavorings. The starch and other ingredients therein almost always have wheat in them.

Aside from surimi, gluten-free eaters should also be wary of tempura sushi that also have vegetables and meats dipped in tempura. That’s because tempura batter is almost always made with wheat flour. Make sure your restaurant really uses gluten-free batter for their tempura; some even label their tempura appropriately gluten free.

Know that some sushi rolls contain marinated fish, typically unagi or freshwater eel, but there’s also tuna and salmon. The marinades contain soy sauce or teriyaki sauce and most contain wheat, hence, not gluten-free. So it’s best to avoid sushi prepared with marinades or sauce, unless it is certainly using gluten-free soy sauce.

Another item is wasabi. It’s a common issue that most Japanese restaurants in the US don’t use real wasabi, the real one being difficult to obtain and very pricey. Instead of real wasabi, a mix of horseradish, mustard, green food coloring and other ingredients are used.

Finally, gluten grain-derived vinegar. Chefs use this vinegar to season their sushi. This vinegar most often is distilled from rice, but it occasionally can include distilled gluten grains, like barley. In this case, better ask your sushi chef to make you sushi out of plain rice and not sushi rice, which uses rice vinegar. Better still, go for sashimi and be very safe.

Real Gluten-Free Sushi in Bothell

Over at Sushi Hana in Bothell, when it’s gluten-free, it’s gluten free. Be safe enjoying our gluten-free sushi rolls. We ensure the freshness and safety of our selections via our belt system’s RFID.