Sometimes pampering yourself with going to a classy restaurant and ordering a bowl of gluten-free sushi can be a great idea. Imagine yourself munching on a delicious raw fish wrapped in crispy seaweed, sidelined with some lovely gooey rice. Undoubtedly! a good way to spoil yourself after a tedious week.

But how would you know if the sushi you ordered is gluten-free? Gluten-free food isn’t always exactly “gluten-free”. Gluten tends to hide in areas of your food where you wouldn’t even think of checking, and it can easily trigger your intolerance in the form of allergies. 

Sometimes even pre-packaged foods are susceptible to gluten cross-contamination. Unless you want your weekend wind-down scrumptious experience to go downhill in no time, it is worthwhile to know how to get gluten-free sushi to save you the stress.

Let’s start with checking out how to order gluten-free sushi.

How to Order Gluten-Free Sushi

So, you, my sushi-loving friend, are probably making plans for a sushi night out with friends; Great! The only way to steer clear of gluten is to make your sushi at home or get them from a restaurant that makes gluten-free sushi. 

When you visit a particular sushi restaurant, you should let them know that you are on a gluten-free diet. Sticking to one or two restaurants that you can trust is better than visiting several restaurants and trying your luck.

Types of Sushi You Should Avoid

Here are a few types of sushi that you need to avoid due to their Gluten content.

California Rolls

California rolls are great but if you are getting them from the supermarket or fast food point, then you need to watch out. If you ask me, I will say ditch it! The red flag that you need to watch out for in a Surimi is that the crab meat is often an imitation and the starch used to make a Surimi contains wheat. However, not all California rolls contain gluten ingredients but if you aren’t sure, get back into your car, and drive off. You can have your California rolls next time when you find a reliable restaurant.

Marinated Sushi

Even if your Sushi looks amazing with the delectable fish piece sitting on top, be aware that the soy sauce used, is just another source of gluten. Soy sauce is the ingredient used to marinate the fish, especially Unagi. You should also watch out for any fish including Tuna and Salmon that’s listed as marinated and make sure that they were prepared with a gluten-free soy sauce. Now, you see why finding a credible restaurant you can trust is essential.


This one is the biggest sign of “Danger,” if you are on a gluten-free diet. Tempura is made with fish and vegetables that have been battered and deep-fried with most stages of the process screaming GLUTEN; so it’s only wise to run away from this one!

4 Tips to Help You Find Gluten-Free Sushi

Whether you want to make your sushi or you are getting it from a restaurant, these tips will help you stay gluten-free. The ingredients that go into your beloved sushi play a great role in whether they are gluten-free or not, therefore;

1. Pay Attention to the Sushi Rice

This kind of rice is short and sticky with high starch content. You will find this organic California sushi rice very helpful.  Rice is usually gluten-free but just so they can give us a lasting impression, chefs sometimes used vinegar to make the rice sticky. Vinegar is made from rice but if barley or wheat is used, then it’s no longer gluten-free.

So always order plain rice! No sugar, no vinegar, just pure plain rice. If you want vinegar, quickly ask if they used rice-derived vinegar.

2. Be Wary of the Sauces

Sauces can take your sushi straight from an economy class to a business class but you have to be sure that they are gluten-free. The following sauces may contain wheat:

  • Teriyaki sauce:
  • Soy sauce
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Eel sauce

Vinegar (another Gluten-element) is used in the preparation of Salmon, what you could do is to ask if the vinegar is used in the preparation or simply replace salmon with a spicy tuna roll and you are good to go.

You can add wasabi to your soy sauce to give your sushi a taste to remember.

3. Request the Right Crab Meat

Oh, the crabs! Sometimes the crabs used in your favorite sushi meal are fake.  Some chefs remove the fish parts and add flavors and colorings which include gluten. However, most restaurants will tell you they are using imitation crab.

4. Choose Seaweed

As long as no additional ingredients are added, like soy or teriyaki sauces, Seaweed is Gluten-free. This is also known as sushi nori. If you want to make your sushi at home, especially California rolls, you need this element of delight. Luckily, you can get this seaweed at a very good price. 

3 Gluten-Free Sushi You Must Try

These types of sushi are mostly prepared without gluten but unless you are making them by yourself, then you should always ask if they are gluten-free.

Rainbow Roll

It is a type of Sushi that features raw fish toppings like Salmon, Halibut, Yellowtail, and Tuna. It differs from regular Sushi, as it is sort of inside-out. Make sure to ask the chef if the meat is fake and to replace it with either real meat or avocado.

King Crab Roll

Quite harmless, the King Crab roll is a great gluten-free option. Avocado, cucumber, and King crab are the main ingredients. You can always avoid mayonnaise and sauce unless it is gluten-free.


This roll will send you on a one-way trip to flavor town, or an express flight to the yumminess, or well, you get the idea.

Vegetable Rolls

Also known as Spring rolls, most Vegetable rolls are gluten-free. They are delicious, light, and healthy.

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