If you’ve realised that there are still great options for you for dining out and what complications to expect both socially and practically, there is still a whole lot you can do to get back to a normal life full of great food and awesome desserts. This article outlines the final strategy for reclaiming your life if it has gone gluten free not by choice but by necessity. If you’re avoiding gluten for ideological reasons (like Instagram trends) you’re kind of crazy, but will find this highly useful too.
Also to put my wallet where my mouth is, there are crepes in here. Read now for instant relief and gastronomical satisfaction.
Japanese food and Gluten
The Japanese for a long time lived relatively isolated from the rest of the world, with food based on what could easily and naturally be produced within an island nation. While some habits have changed over time, like eating beef (nowadays some of the worlds best beef cattle is raised in Japan) others haven’t. Bread for example isn’t at all the mainstay that it is compared to parts of Europe or the North Americas. And the basis of traditional Japanese food is quite gluten friendly both in what kind of cooking methods and philosophy applied as well as the ingredients used
The Japanese kitchen is pre-occupied with clean unobscured flavours based on quality ingredients. Soaking ingredients in various sauces or mixing many ingredients together is not something that is particularly significant for Japanese cooking. This makes Japanese food, with its healthy bias towards vegetables, fish and meat as well as cooking techniques not naturally geared towards a lot of wheat, quite practical from a gluten free perspective.
Phở sho – Vietnamese Food
Considering the sheer awesomeness of Vietnamese food, the herbs, the sweet and savoury, the fresh vegetables and the diverse culinary influences, the Vietnamese kitchen is also fairly mild on the gluten allergic state of being.
While, like Japanese food, some of the deep fried stuff will contain gluten, some dishes which you might assume would be full of gluten can easily be made skipping gluten (more about that later).
The national dish of Phở, rice noodles in a super savoury broth, with herbs and vegetables and a topping of thinly sliced beef, contains no gluten in it’s common form. So if your therapy bills have sky rocketed due to not being able to down a massive bowl of ramen whenever the fancy strikes you – get a hold of yourself and enjoy some Pho!
And you’ll find many other awesome Vietnamese eats like Bun Cha, summer spring rolls and the vietnamese version of the Galette, Ban Xiao frequently made without gluten.
Korean and the Celiac
No that’s not the title of a Kpop song by Izone. I think it’s non controversial to state that Korean food is genius. It not only combines heat, spice, sweet & savoury flavours with tangy fresh pickled vegetables and of course the Mighty Kimchi. Korean food is also innovative and constantly evolving. Everything from ingenious indoor barbecue systems to pragmatic usage of tools you just don’t see in many other cultures (pliers, scissors and other practical implements of food management).
The tactic of control
While there is absolutely no reason for you to give up on dining out there will be times when you will feel discouraged. Your dinner company, quite understandably, won’t have a great deal of understanding for your less than liberal approach to restaurant and food exploration.
Because really, if you aren’t yourself risking either being sick or just not having that many options or personally experiencing the fact that your dietary limitations are making dining out a lot rarer (and perhaps then even a bigger deal when they do occur), it’s not that realistic to expect your friends to be aligned with your food agenda. And getting new friends with similarly dysfunctional intestinal complications may not be realistic nor the best option. This means you also need to use a second mitigation strategy:
you need to learn how to make great gluten free food that both you and others would want to eat.
You’ll get awesome thin crepes perfect for filling with jam, a fruit or berry coulis, cream, nutella, cream and fruits or berries. These crepes taste just like their gluten filled counterparts and the only difference might be that they’ll possibly have a slightly lighter complexion.
The basic recipe is for making one serving of about 4-5 crepes. The recipe scales very well so just multiply ingredients for each serving. One life hack when making crepes according to this recipe is to be aware of the flour used being more dense than regular wheat flour. This means that while you’re frying the pancakes you need to do two things:
Stir the pancake batter mildly between each pancake made, to avoid the batter thickening to much at the bottom of the bowl/container. And for something like every fourth pancake you might want to add a little bit more milk (like a quarter of a deciliter). This part is the one you’ll get better at gauging and might vary a bit with the quality of flour you’re using.
Ingredients (1 serving of 4 crepes):
2 dl Milk (0,9 cups)
1 dl Glutenfree flour (0,45 cups)
1 Spoon of melted butter for the batter
Additional butter for greasing the crepe pan
- Cast iron crepe pan (ideally. But you can use whatever you have at hand)
- Thin spatula
- Decilitre measure
- Mixing bowl
- Paper towls for quick cleanup