Chinese food was something I always missed in the early days of being Coeliac as there wasn't any nearby that could cater to me. In the last few years though I was lucky enough to have a Chinese start doing gluten free almost on my doorstep. I did learn to make a variety of dishes myself in that time too though and also did a wonderful gluten free cooking course at Sweet Mandarin in Manchester!
Even now Chinese seems to be one of the hardest cuisine types to eat out with as they tend cook everything in one wok and only wipe it out, it's finding one that really understands the cross contamination side. The good thing with Chinese though is that they use potato starch to coat chicken in things like sweet and sour, so once you find one that understands the cross contamination implications you usually have plenty of choices available!
Out of all the almost 2,000 places on our where to eat guide we have very few Chinese places that can cater round the UK, if you know of any that cater to Coeliacs let us know, these are the ones we know definitely cater to Coeliacs!
Fullam Restaurant - Barnstaple, Devon
Michael Wan's Mandarin - Blackpool, Lancashire
Hao Wei - Bristol
Swan Lake - Crewe, Cheshire (eaten at this one countless times as it's most local)
Lychee Oriental - Glasgow
Sweet Mandarin - Manchester (I've been here so many times!)
Yang Sing - Manchester
Chopstix - Nantwich, Cheshire
KaHo - Newark, Nottinghamshire
Peaches - Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire
New Ko Sing - North Hykeham, Lincolnshire
Riverbank Chinese Buffet - Norwich, Norfolk
Mr Man's Restaurant - Nottingham
China China - Perth, Perth and Kincross
Dynasty Chinese - Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Hui Wei - Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Watermargin - St Austell, Cornwall
Mr Chans - St Helens, Merseyside
Naturally Chinese - Surbiton, Kent
Lee Garden Restaurant - Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Xen Noodle Bar - Truro, Cornwall
Oriental Delight - Wirral, Merseyside
I am sure there are many more but these are the ones we are aware of, you can of course suggest other places whether Chinese or not via our place request form, you can find more places to eat on our where to eat guide, all suggested by Coeliacs.
On a side note, if you are travelling to China, we have heard it is pretty difficult to eat out though not impossible, it's just not always easy to get them to understand. We do have a travel card in Traditional and Simplified Chinese though to try and make travelling there a little easier, you can buy that in our shop! (We do also have a Coeliac and Other Dietary Needs card too if you are travelling with Coeliac and added allergies or dietary needs).
If you don't have anything local or just fancy making a Chinese yourself, there are so many dishes that are relatively simple to make, for the most part you just need to remember to switch regular soy sauce with Tamari sauce. If you want Oyster sauce for anything it can be difficult to find a gluten free one, however Marks and Spencer's own brand is gluten free.
We have a few Chinese recipes on the website which are super simple, here's a few of my favourites.
This recipe is from Sweet Mandarin's recipe book, they kindly let me share this recipe years ago as it is one of my favourites and I still make it frequently, it's the best sweet and sour chicken recipe out there. And make sure you take the time to do the chicken as it says as it is the best, they also make amazing chicken nuggets!
This sweet and sour is also served in Sweet Mandarin in Manchester, if you ever get to go there, make sure you try it, making itself your good but having the real deal in a restaurant always tastes even better!
There are so many ways of making Sweet and Sour, while this one is by far my favourite there are also lower sugar ways plus alternative methods of making it, another version I make sometimes is Pinch of Nom's Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken. This version is also Slimming World friendly!
Can't beat pancakes, sweet or savoury. Chinese duck pancakes are amazing, especially as a light summery meal served with loads of spring onion and cucumber. These are relatively easy to make and taste fabulous, all the family are sure to love them. The duck has a lovely sauce on which is quick and easy to make, you could even make extra and store it in the fridge so you have some ready made for another time.
If you don't like duck you could use chicken instead. Thighs work best as they are nice and tender, or you could slow cook a chicken and shred it to make beautiful chinese shredded chicken pancakes. These would work well for a lunch time meal too instead of wraps. Pancakes are one of those really diverse things that can be used in so many ways. You could always used leftover ones with simple lemon and sugar as a pudding!
This is a family favourite as it is super simple and you can change it up in so many ways, switch the meat, chuck in whatever veg you have and you can basically make a different meal out of it all week, which I have been known to do before! It really does work with anything but chicken works particularly well. It's a good recipe for using up the left over veg at the end of the week.
The sauce on this can also be changed up, add some extra heat with some chilli powder or change the sweet chilli sauce for sweet and sour. You can play around with the recipe so much and get a ridiculous amount of gorgeous dishes, it really is the basis of Chinese food, a catalyst of so many different things.
I also have a few recipes from across the blogiverse that I use sometimes which are also fabulous.
Becky Excel's Gluten Free Chinese Chicken Curry
Can't beat a good Chinese curry, beats an Indian hands down for me. You can alter the heat according to preference and Becky's is also low FODMAP if you follow a low FODMAP diet. This is perfect to get the taste buds really tingling!
Spruce Eats Vegan Chinese Sesame Noodes
If you aren't one for eating a lot of meat or are vegetarian/vegan there are plenty of meat free Chinese recipes allowed, this noodle one is a lovely recipe which is super tasty and because it's cold you can have this as a tasty and filling lunch while at work!
Becky Excel's Spring Rolls
Spring rolls aren't that difficult to make but since I haven't put my own recipe on yet, here is Becky's, the hardest part is rolling the rice paper wrappers, once you've mastered that you'll be eating spring rolls all the time!
There are just so many delicious recipes out there and so many fabulous ingredients you can use. As mentioned before you can get Oyster Sauce in Marks and Spencer. For Hoisin Sauce, I would recommend Sweet Mandarins which is available on Ocado and in Holland and Barratt, they also have a selection of other sauces available including Chinese Curry Sauce, Sweet and Sour and do a Nut Free Satay too.
If you have a Chinese supermarket nearby you can pick up so many gluten free products you can't get in the high street supermarkets. Tapioca starch and potato starch are staples when it comes to Chinese cooking so you can pick this up easily in Chinese supermarkets and it is much cheaper than ordering online ( and they great for making your own flour blends for bread too). Spring roll wrappers, seasonings, rice noodles of all descriptions and gluten free soy sauce are all readily available too, so get down to your local store, you never know what you might find!
So what are you going to do to celebrate Chinese New Year? Think I might over indulge in some sweet and sour chicken!