Wait, how is sushi not gluten free

Sorry about the silence for the past week. It was a rough one. Couple of the highlights, a little over a week ago we put our house on the market, so we’ve had a lot of late evenings where we can’t be in the house. That’s prime writing time for me. To make matters worse, Saturday last week we took our oldest cat to the vet. The vet wanted more testing so we went back on Tuesday, but things didn’t look good. I mentioned this cat before in my post about cat food. He was the 17 year old, diabetic, picky eater. I say was, because Saturday we had to put him down. It’s really been a rough week.

I just didn’t feel like I could write this week, I’m really sorry about that. I promise another double post coming up, but I just need a little time.

Before the events of the week went pear shaped I was planning on doing a post of sushi. Monday night, even though it was a late night of house showings and Fathom event movies, I actually had a good gluten free sushi experience. The restaurant even had tamari in packets and sauce jars, so bonus win.

We all know what to look out for in sushi places. Anything that goes into a fryer is bad. Anything with panko is bad. Anything tempura is bad. Imitation crab is bad. Ramen, katsu, and teriyaki are bad. Even miso soup can be bad, depending on the type of miso used. The rest of it’s so very good. Unless there’s gluten in the rice.

sushi rice

Sushi rice it traditionally made out of rice, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Sometimes you can use sushi seasoning, which is the salt and sugar and powdered vinegar. And there you start to see the gluten traps. Anything that is powered can include wheat as an anti-caking agent. I don’t know if any of these sushi seasoning powders contain wheat because Japanese regulations for food labeling doesn’t require them to list every ingredient. There are also some reports that black rice vinegar (which is sometimes used in sushi rice) can contain gluten, and you should check the label (which if you remember isn’t required to list all ingredients). So, what I’m saying is, if you’re at a sushi restaurant, ask what kind of seasoning they use in their sushi rice and if there’s sushi seasoning powder or black rice vinegar, choose the sashimi.

The rest of the experience is all about you’re ability to exert your needs. If you say, wash the knives and cutting boards, expect that they’re going to. If you don’t say anything the glutening is all on you. If you say something and they don’t listen, well that’s all on them and you should complain. Other than that, don’t drink to shochu, because it sounds tempting but it’s mostly made our of wheat or sweet potatoes (like vodka.) A really good, and aware, sushi place will have gluten free listed on their menu and will help you find things that you can eat.

This came up on my birthday last year. I wanted one thing, sushi. We went to sushi at one of the conveyor belts places that I liked before my diagnosis. I thought it was going to be safe because rice vinegar is totally gluten free. When I mentioned that I was celiac, the server went back to the kitchen and talked to the chief. She came back out and told me that their rice wasn’t gluten free, but the chief would make something for me. So for my birthday I ate raw fish and spring rolls. Not the experience that I wanted, but the one that I got. This was after my first disastrous sushi adventure where I didn’t say anything and wound up with panko on my roll…yeah…

sushi einSo I have done the full gamut of bad gluten sushi experiences, but I’m happy to say that I finally have more good ones than bad ones. There is a chain of conveyor belt sushi in the Seattle area called Blue C, which is a little more expensive but has really good food and they’re good at the gluten free food. They even have California rolls with real crab and the beauty of real crab in one of those is amazing.

So there’s your primer on gluten free sushi. Feel free to eat away!

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