Fresh vegetables abound in Thai cuisine, which is flavorful, wholesome, and frequently served with gluten-free rice noodles.
It’s crucial for those with celiac disease to employ caution when eating at a Thai restaurant, even though vegetables and rice are a large part of authentic Thai dishes’ gluten-free menu.
Thai food may contain gluten in certain sauces and seasonings.
That is why we set up this guide to help you understand Thai cuisine if you must eat gluten-free, whether preparing Thai food at home, eating it out in a Thai restaurant, or tasting it at a gathering.
Here's What's In Store For You...
Gluten-free Thai dishes
A healthy diet should primarily consist of fruits and vegetables, protein sources, whole grains, and essential fats (sometimes dairy free).
With the addition of spices and herbs like coriander, turmeric, and lemongrass, Thai cuisine easily meets the nutritional requirements of these food groups while also giving lots of health benefits and is excellent for gluten-free living.
While brown rice is typically available, white rice, or jasmine, is the traditional rice used in Thai cooking.
Brown rice is known to be an excellent source of dietary fiber and is a naturally gluten-free rice option.
Thai Fried Rice
Thai fried rice is not the same as Chinese fried rice primarily because they use fish sauce which makes it gluten-free.
In the Thai version, a lot of Thai basil is added to it, giving it a distinct flavor, and you can choose between chicken, shrimp, and pork when placing an order.
It is a stir-fried dish of rice noodles with egg, bean sprouts, onion, chicken, and freshly ground peanuts in a tamarind sauce that is regarded as one of the most well-known Thai dishes in the world.
You should try out this gluten-free friendly food; it really is tasty.
Ensure that the peanut sauce and noodles are gluten-free when ordering this gluten-free meal in your local Thai restaurant (avoid oyster sauce and soy sauces).
Mango Sticky Rice
Traditional Thai mango sticky rice is a gluten free dessert made from rice, coconut milk, and sweet, fresh mango fruit.
Thai Rice Noodles
A fantastic base for soups or tossing with a delectable sauce. Thai noodles are a great addition to your diet and are entirely healthy.
They also contain less fiber than other types of noodles.
While this delicious dish is typically gluten-free, always check the packaging or check with the restaurant to make sure it is made with rice and is entirely free of gluten.
Thai Green Salad
Thai green salad is a refreshing gluten-free side dish that pairs beautifully with hot curries, pad thai, and other Thai gluten-free items.
Some of its ingredients include coconut milk, fresh basil, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions.
Tom Kha Soup
This is a traditional Thai dish with ingredients such as tender chicken, galangal, lemongrass, cilantro, lime leaves, and rich and creamy coconut milk.
Tom Yum soup
The Tom Yum soup is yet another classic Thai dish.
Tom Yum soup differs from Tom Kha soup because Tom Kha is made with flavorful, rich, and creamy coconut milk and tender chicken.
In contrast, tom yum is a hot and sour soup made with shrimp and seasoned broth.
The best part is that both are gluten-free.
Since many curries are naturally gluten-free, they are a good option for people with celiac disease.
Thai curries typically have three main ingredients: curry paste, coconut milk (or water), and herbs, with the addition of various portions of meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruits.
Another delicious gluten-free Thai seafood dish is garlic prawns.
It is referred to as the “prawns in garlic” and contains cilantro and black pepper, among other things.
It is mainly served on top of rice and fresh broccoli.
Some Thai ingredients That Are gluten-free
1) Fish sauce
Thai food substitutes fish sauce for soy sauce, which is naturally gluten-free.
This ingredient, which is naturally gluten-free and made from fermented anchovy fishes (A small, widespread forage fish belonging to the Engraulidae family is called an anchovy.), may be peculiar to you.
Still, it has a deliciously rich, salty flavor. (You should avoid fish sauce with wheat in it).
2) Shrimp paste
Fermented shrimp and salt are used to create this flavor-packed seasoning.
It is mainly used in curry, soups, and dressings.
However, using this ingredient is optional when you already have fish sauce.
3) Palm sugar
The Palm is a natural sweetener made from the sap of the coconut palm tree’s flower buds that has a mild caramel flavor.
It provides the essential sweet component for balancing the flavors in Thai cuisine.
4) Coconut milk
Thai cuisine relies heavily on coconut milk, which gives its soups and curries a creamy texture.
Because of its distinctive and distinctly lemon-scented flavor, lemongrass is a key ingredient in Thai cuisine and cannot be easily substituted.
Is Pad Thai Gluten Free
Traditional Pad Thai is gluten-free when you have it without any gluten-containing oyster sauce or soy sauce (Take only gluten-free soy sauce).
One of the most well-liked dishes on the Thai menu is this one.
It consists of rice noodles that have been stir-fried with egg, bean curd, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts.
What you need to remember when ordering pad Thai is that the nutrition of Pad Thai is occasionally questioned due to the sugar in the dish because most people do not anticipate a savory dish with high sugar content.
Also, since pad Thai contains a lot of sodium, it might not be the best choice for people who are watching their salt intake.
Eating gluten-free at Your local Thai restaurant- Tips to Consider
a) When eating out at a Thai restaurant, avoid ordering deep-fried foods like Thai fried banana, seasoned rice, soba noodles made with wheat, soy sauce that contains gluten, a fish sauce that contains wheat, oyster sauce, and brown gravy.
b) When ordering from a regular menu, you have a wide variety of options since there are naturally Thai gluten-free dishes.
However, it would be best if you are still cautious of cross-contamination because of shared kitchen utensils.
You should confirm that cross-contact with gluten is being avoided and inquire about the gluten-free status of any dishes you are interested in getting.
c) Before ordering, request to see the ingredients on the package, as some restaurants use a small amount of wheat flour or wheat starch to wrap their rice paper rolls.
d) Avoid bread at restaurants; if possible, come with your own gluten-free bread.
e) Finding a Thai restaurant where the chef prepares everything from scratch will give you the best chance of making an inquiry and finding out the specific ingredients used.
Find a reputable restaurant that will accommodate your requests, and it would be best if they offered a gluten-free menu.
Make as many inquiries as necessary to ensure you are comfortable with the menu options.
Simply refuse to eat the food if you don’t feel like your needs are being respected and understood to maintain your gluten-free diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Thai dishes are usually gluten-free?
Some Thai foods gluten-free options include Pad Thai, Tom Kha Soup, Thai Green Salad, Mango Sticky Rice, and Thai Fried Rice.
What Thai food is not gluten-free?
Foods like Thai fried banana, seasoned rice, soba noodles made with wheat, soy sauce that contains gluten, a fish sauce that contains wheat, oyster sauce, and brown gravy.
Is pad Thai always gluten-free?
Depending on the restaurant and ingredients used, a particular pad may or may not be gluten-free.