On a gluten-free diet, Asian cuisine can be very difficult to navigate. On the Facebook group, Coeliacs in the UK, I see so many people asking where they can find a Chinese takeaway that can cater to a gluten-free diet. Unfortunately, if you need to maintain a very strict gluten-free diet, you need to avoid all possibilities of cross-contamination, and most UK Chinese takeaways cannot cater to this, given the prevalence of soy sauce, which contains wheat. Additionally, most noodles are made of wheat flour. If you know of a great Chinese takeaway that defies this, however, please let me know!
Since his coeliac diagnosis, Michael hasn’t had a Chinese takeaway. But it doesn’t matter – because we can make it at home at a fraction of the cost, for a fraction of the calories, and a fraction of the time it would take for your takeaway to be delivered anyway!
I think my homemade Chinese food suits my taste buds better anyway. Chinese take-away foods are often very heavily laden with oil, salt, and sugar, and I like my food a lot fresher tasting!
We love our veggies, so this stir-fry is composed of a rainbow of cheap and cheerful vegetables, with a protein punch from the edamame beans and cashews.
We’ve also found gluten-free noodles really difficult to come by, or the types we have bought have been a mushy, gloopy mess. Obviously, you could use rice noodles here, but they are often quite sticky, so we use gluten-free spaghetti in this recipe instead.
Tamari is a naturally gluten-free Japanese soy sauce, which tastes exactly the same as ordinary soy sauce, so a simple swap does the trick for any Asian recipe you want to try out.
When I first moved out, I used to buy packets of ready-to-go stir-fry sauces. With a simple pantry stock of tamari, rice (or even balsamic) vinegar, sesame oil, some sort of sweetener, and lime juice, in the long run you will save money and be able to whip up your own sauces at a moment’s notice.
- 300g gluten-free spaghetti
- ½ cup of raw cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium red onion, cut into thin strips
- 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 125g baby corn, halved down the middle
- ½ cup frozen edamame beans
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (or balsamic)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp sweetener (e.g. maple syrup, agave, sugar)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Optional: Sesame seeds and sriracha hot sauce to top
- Boil the spaghetti according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, toast the cashew nuts in a dry wok on a medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and toss in a separate bowl when they adopt a dark brown, toasted colour.
- Glug vegetable oil into the wok and on a medium-high heat, fry the onions and peppers until softened, around 8-10 minutes.
- Add the baby corn and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Toss in the edamame beans and carrot, cooking for a further 4 minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and toss together. Drain your cooked spaghetti (but don't rinse it) and toss this through the stir-fry vegetables in the wok, ensuring everything is coated evenly. Cook until heated through, and remove from the heat.
- Divide amongst 4 bowls, and top with optional sesame seeds, sriracha, or extra tamari.