Does Chinese Food Have Gluten in It? 4 Foods to Avoid at Chinese Restaurants

Does Chinese food have gluten in it? Do you love Chinese food?

As a chef, I have spent countless hours in the kitchen creating delicious Chinese dishes for my customers.

But recently, I have noticed an increasing number of people asking if our Chinese food contains gluten.

This got me thinking, does Chinese food have gluten in it?

As a well-known journalist, I decided to do some research and bring you the answer.

I know that eating out can be challenging, especially for those with dietary restrictions, so I am here to help.

In this article, I will share with you my first-hand experience and knowledge about whether Chinese food contains gluten or not.

does chinese food have gluten in it

Does Chinese Food Have Gluten in It? Gluten Foods to Avoid at Chinese Restaurants

As much as there are gluten-free options at Chinese restaurants, there are also foods that gluten intolerant individuals should steer clear of.

Some Chinese dishes contain hidden sources of gluten that can be easily overlooked.

Being mindful of these foods can help prevent gluten-related reactions.

Here are some gluten foods to avoid at Chinese restaurants:

Soy sauce:

Soy sauce is a staple in many Chinese dishes, but most soy sauce brands contain wheat, making them a source of gluten.

If you have to use soy sauce, it is best to opt for tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.

Fried foods:

Many Chinese restaurants use a flour coating to make their fried foods crispy, which contains gluten.

Fried rice, dumplings, and egg rolls are some of the gluten-laden foods you should avoid.


Noodles are an essential component of many Chinese dishes, but most of them are made with wheat flour, making them a no-go for gluten intolerant individuals.

Opt for rice noodles or dishes that do not contain noodles.

Hoisin sauce:

Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savory sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine.

Unfortunately, most brands of hoisin sauce contain wheat as a thickener, making it a hidden source of gluten.

By avoiding these gluten foods, you can enjoy your Chinese meal without any worries.

However, be sure to inquire about the ingredients used in the dishes you want to order to avoid any potential cross-contamination.

It is best to communicate your dietary restrictions to the restaurant staff to ensure that you receive a safe and delicious meal.

If you or someone you know has a gluten intolerance, this information can be beneficial in avoiding hidden sources of gluten at Chinese restaurants.

Being mindful of what you eat can help prevent gluten-related reactions and ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.

Gluten-free Chinese Foods to Try

As a chef, I know that finding gluten-free options can be challenging, especially when it comes to Chinese food.

However, there are some delicious gluten-free Chinese dishes that you should definitely try.

Not only are these dishes safe for those with gluten sensitivities, but they are also packed with flavor.

  • Ma Po Tofu – This Sichuan dish is made with soft tofu and a spicy chili sauce. It is naturally gluten-free and a great option for vegetarians.
  • Hot and Sour Soup – A classic Chinese soup that is tangy, savory, and gluten-free. It is made with ingredients like bamboo shoots, tofu, and mushrooms.
  • Kung Pao Chicken – This popular Sichuan dish is made with diced chicken, peanuts, and vegetables in a spicy sauce. It is usually gluten-free but it is important to check with the restaurant to ensure that they are not using any gluten-containing ingredients.
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables – A simple but delicious dish that is gluten-free and packed with nutrients. It is usually made with a variety of vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and mushrooms.
  • Moo Shu Pork – This dish is made with thin slices of pork, scrambled eggs, and vegetables like cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots. It is served with thin pancakes that are gluten-free.
  • Shrimp with Lobster Sauce – This Cantonese dish is made with shrimp, ground pork, and a savory egg sauce.

It is gluten-free and a great option for seafood lovers.

It’s important to note that while these dishes are gluten-free, cross-contamination can still occur during the cooking process.

Make sure to communicate your gluten sensitivity with the restaurant and ask them to take precautions to avoid cross-contamination.

Trying these gluten-free Chinese dishes is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal without worrying about gluten.

Whether you have a gluten sensitivity or just want to try something new, these dishes are sure to please.

So next time you order Chinese food, give one of these gluten-free options a try!


In conclusion, as a chef and a well-known journalist, I can confidently say that Chinese food may or may not contain gluten, depending on the ingredients used.

Soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and oyster sauce, which are commonly used in Chinese cuisine, contain gluten.

However, many Chinese dishes can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free sauces and ingredients.

I hope this article has helped you understand whether Chinese food has gluten in it and how to order gluten-free Chinese food.

As someone who loves food and helping people, it’s important to me that everyone can enjoy the delicious flavors of Chinese cuisine, regardless of dietary restrictions.

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