I know what you must be thinking. How on the earth am I going to be able to find Gluten Free street food in Asia, especially with the language barrier?
These were my exact same thoughts when I first started travelling abroad, but once you are there and you find out what is available and what you can and can’t eat, it’s really not that bad.
But before you do venture over to Asia, the best thing to remember when it comes to finding gluten free street food in Asia is that rice is a huge part of their diet, it’s the staple food of Asia which gives us Gluten Free peeps a great advantage.
So, what other Gluten Free street food in Asia can you wrap your taste buds around other than a boring old bowl of rice.
Japan is such an amazing country to visit in regard to the food and the people. I was fortunate enough to live in Japan for 3 months back in 2014. It was one of the greatest 3 months of my life, largely because there was quite a lot of great Gluten Free food on offer.
What you should look out for and try is an Onigri, which is similar to sushi. It is rice balls or in some instances triangles (with or without being wrapped in seaweed) with fillings in the middle. Be sure to check what fillings they are before you dig right in, but I found some of these that were Gluten Free.
Another delicacy in Japan to try that is Sashimi, which is the most delicious seafood you will ever taste! Also try out some Sushi, of which, there are a fair few that you will find are Gluten Free.
In China you can stick to the basics and be safe with just eating meat and vegetables. Or you can also try some of their curries and main meals from restaurants although you may want to ask what is in their sauces.
But as for the Gluten Free street food, you can try filled dumplings which are often made with rice and fried, although, most often the fried food usually contains a slight cornstarch coating . But what you should certainly get stuck into are some Shanghai Spring Rolls which are made with rice wrapping.
India is a great country to visit, especially for its food. Of the most famous and traditional food is their Poppadum’s, which are made with either chickpea or lentil flour. Or you could try out some Agar Pudding, which you will be sure to find somewhere, either being sold as street food or in a restaurant.
For another snack you could try out some Vadas which are spicy fried potato balls.
When it comes to ordering some mains, you may want to try a famous rice dish called Biriani, which is made with chicken or could be vegetarian. Often you may get some Rice Pilafs that are served with mains that are Gluten Free too.
Here you will also be greeted with lovely people on your travels. One delicious gluten free treat you should taste in Indonesia, if you like seafood are their Shrimp Chips which are called Krupuk Udang.
However, if you are looking for something to really fill you up such as a main meal. You can try Nasi Goreng, which is one of Indonesia’s traditional dishes.
One of my favourite countries ever and not because the food is great but because there is also so much to see and do!
When looking for some Gluten Free street food in Asia, particularly in the Philippines you should try their Spring Rolls, the Filipino version which are called Lumpia, is made from either corn starch or rice flour.
There are the rice noodles, which they call Pancit, meaning you can order Pancit Bijon, which is a meal with rice noodles.
For something sweet though, remember to try their Champorado, which is a rice pudding either with or without chocolate.
I haven’t yet been to Vietnam on my travels, but just like all travelers, it is on the list. Especially as I hear such great things about it.
In Vietnam the best thing you can try are their famous Vietnamese Spring Rolls, which are made from rice paper. You can also try Bán Cuõn, which is another type of spring roll that is also Gluten Free but not fried.
Oh man I love this place for its food. It is so delicious and also very cheap. Every sitting I would sit down and eat 2 meals! Yea I know I pigged out but it was only for 2 weeks so why not right.
Anyways, what is the best Thai Gluten Free food? Certainly Thai Coconut Pancakes has to be an all-time favourite, along with Coconut Custard and Sticky Coconut Rice.
When it comes to ordering mains, I was able to stick to most of the fried rice dishes. And for curries and other meals, you should just check with the cook if there is wheat in any of the sauces. Generally you will find something that is Gluten Free and delicious!
This is a harder country to find Gluten Free food, as they tend to stick to rye and wheat more so than anything else. However, most of their Potato Salad is Gluten Free, which is usually served with most meals. Along with Kisel, which is pureed fruit that you can try as a desert.
So there you go, some great types of Gluten Free street food in Asia, weather you buy some of these as a snacks or order them as a full meal is up to you. But remember; be sure to double check the ingredients in what you eat before you eat it, to make sure that it is gluten free. As sometimes, not always, but sometimes each of these foods can be prepared with gluten or they may even possibly contain just a trace amount of Gluten.
So when it comes to trying Gluten Free street food in Asia, it is up to you to be safer rather than sorry. After all, you can and will find Gluten Free street food in Asia, but as a disclosure, there is no harm in ALWAYS checking.