Cooking Gluten and Allergen Free Asian Style

Dairy Free Nut Free Fish Free Soy Free Gluten Free 

Take-out Chinese food is something those on a gluten free or allergen free diet miss the most. But what many don’t know is that most favorite Asian restaurant dishes can be made quickly and easily at home. Making Asian dishes at home is quick, easy and healthy; and is a perfect way to prepare delicious and nutritious meals that are allergen agreeable for all family members.   Although many Asian dishes do contain the top eight allergens, there are many dishes that can be converted to be allergen free. Plus, the use of corn starch as a thickener in Asian foods also is a plus for those on a gluten free diet.

Not only is cooking Asian food fast and healthy, it is also fun to prepare, and can involve the whole family in preparing nutritious meals together. Following are some basics on cooking Asian foods at home:

The Basis: Long grain rice and rice noodles are the basis of most Asian dishes. Not only are these both easy to prepare – they are also gluten free.

The Protein: Chicken, pork, beef or seafood can be added to most Asian dishes to up the protein.

The Vegetables: Although certain vegetables, such as snow peas, water chestnuts and bean sprouts are synonymous with Asian cooking, many other types of vegetables can be added easily and successfully. Add in the vegetables that your family enjoys the most to up the “can we have seconds” factor!

The Seasonings and Spices: The fragrant attributes associated with Asian cooking are credited to the unique seasonings and spices typically used. One of the all-time favorites is five-spice which incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking - sweet, sour, bitter, savory, and salty. Asian food also gains it flavors from garlic, ginger, chilies, rice vinegar and flavored oils.   Regardless of which Asian spices are used, the bold and distinctive flavors are a welcome addition to any dish prepared with no gluten or allergens, which often can be bland or lacking flavor.

The Equipment: The one basic piece of equipment used in Asian cooking is a wok, which is designed to distribute heat quickly and evenly, and allows control of cooking items. However, many use a large skillet or fry pan for results that are the equivalent to wok cooking. Another piece of equipment used often in Asian cooking is a    bamboo steamer; which again can be substituted with a metal steamer insert for the same effect.

The Result: Because of the fresh ingredients and the Asian technique of cooking dishes by stir-frying and steaming, the results are healthy gluten and allergen free meals that are prepared without sacrificing flavor and nutrition! 

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