Today, this post will be about Asian food, in particular, Korean food! :)
If there's one thing that T and I can agree on besides kpop music is how amazing Korean food is!
What I love about Korean food is that it has a really homey kind of feel since everything is warm and filling. Plus, there are so many awesome gfree selections!
Whenever I have a hankering for Korean food, and I don't have much cash to spare (which is most days!), I find myself heading towards Kimchi Garden which happens to be a little down from our famous Berkeley Asian ghetto. Kimchi Garden is run by a family of Koreans whose restaurant, when you step inside, makes you feel as if you went home. The place is spacious and the smells from the kitchen are just incredible. Besides the great prices, the portion sizes are also huge so you could have a meal for dinner and then save the other half for the next day's lunch.
So, the sad thing about Asian restaurants is that they really don't know about gluten or its existence in the food allergy world. In fact, most are unaware of food allergies in general. I'm Chinese and I can definitely say that Asian cultures are rather indifferent about food allergies and don't see it as a major illness. But now with the rise of food allergies, especially with more and more people getting diagnosed with celiac disease, I hope that they will know more about it and start to treat it as a serious issue.
One thing to be really cautious about with Korean food is that they like to use trace amount of soy sauce in their dishes such as japchae and perhaps even the fried rice. Also, certain chili sauces like their red pepper paste most likely contain wheat. Kimchi usually has the red pepper paste incorporated in it (either prepared by the chef or store bought) so it is probably not 100% safe to eat. Koreans also like to put fish cakes into their dishes and from last time I checked most fish cakes from the Korean market also contain wheat.
So, you must be wondering, what can I eat then?
Well, here are some dishes that I know about and have tried that are probably the safest to eat if you ever find yourself at a Korean restaurant:
1) Bibimbap- a rice, meat and vegetable dish that is traditionally served in a stone hot pot. Eat this without the chili sauce they give you. The vegetables are mostly stir fried with salt and sesame oil so these components should be fine.
2) Kimbap- a type of Korean sushi. Everything is gfree except the fish cakes and perhaps BBQ meat (soy sauce contaminant). If you're not highly allergic you can do what I do and pick them out and eat everything else. I've been fine every time I've ordered it.
3) Tofu stew- eaten with rice and contains soft tofu, vegetables or meat. You can order the non spicy version at most Korean places and it won't contain chili or red pepper paste (if the dish even has it!). If it is spicy, it may or may not contain the red pepper paste.
4) Japchae- potato based clear glass noodles that are 100% gfree except if they decide to season with soy sauce and add fish cakes. If you're not highly sensitive, the little bit of soy sauce won't affect you.
5) Omelet rice- A huge omelet stuffed with fried rice. Be wary of soy sauce in the fried rice.
|The giant omelet rice dish!!|