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Where can I buy Gluten Free Chinese food products?

(15 Posts)
moosemama Tue 05-Feb-13 16:32:18

Ds1 has just brought a letter home saying they are having a Chinese food tasting afternoon at school soon.

Apparently the teachers are buying snack type food for them to taste from a large Chinese supermarket. I know from experience that this means they won't be labelled regarding gluten content. On top of that he's vegetarian, which makes things even more difficult.

He is really upset that he can't join in the food tasting and is struggling enough with feeling different than his classmates at the moment (for reasons unrelated to his diet) so I want to try and help if I can, by sending in some foods for him to taste and share.

He already knows he can't have soy sauce, although we use tamari at home and I could send some in. Same with noodles, we use rice noodles and again I could send some of those in. In fact I thought I could make up some noodles with tamari for him to take in a container.

I have managed to find some gf vegetarian spring rolls from a specialist shop online, but the delivery is almost £9.00, so I thought I'd post here before ordering to see if anyone knows of anywhere else I might be able to source vegetarian, gluten free, Chinese snacks - a tall order, I know - sorry.

If I can't source them any cheaper I will splash out on this occasion, because I think it's going to be hard for him watching all the other children noshing away of spring rolls etc without being allowed any himself and he really doesn't need any more disappointments or upsets just at the moment.

Does anyone have any ideas - I was wondering about some more unusual Chinese fruit/veg - lychees maybe?

Any/all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Ilisten2theradio Tue 05-Feb-13 17:49:24

I can't remember when Lychees are in season but I bought them in M&S and waitrose when they were. I suspect you might get tinned ones in Waitrose too but not positive.
Where do you live? Is there any chance you can go to a chinese supermarket and look at the ingredients yourself. There is one near me and I have to do this for the eggs nuts and ubixuitous sesame.

Meloncita Tue 05-Feb-13 18:24:17

I bought some lychees at a market stall last weekend, so you may be able to get hold of some if you look around.

I don't know much about gluten free foods but I'm veggie and DH is half Chinese so I know you may have a difficult task. Egg fried rice? Anything coconut based? If you can get to a Chinese supermarket (or even an Indian one might have some of these things) you may be able to get preserved plums or ginger, haw flakes (though I could not guarantee these are gluten free) and you can get some sweet dessert type things made out of rice flour which they use a lot. There are lots of juices e.g. mango, coconut water etc. A lot of ethnic supermarkets now have the ingredients printed in English as well, making it easier.

Good luck smile

moosemama Tue 05-Feb-13 19:02:18

Thank you for your replies. smile

Ilisten, unfortunately I can't get into the city to go to the Chinese supermarket.

Just checked and Waitrose/Ocado and Sainsburys all have fresh lychees available online. Might give the nearest ones a call tomorrow and see if they have any in stock.

Melconita, I wondered about things made with rice flour as well. We regularly have rice noodles, but I couldn't think of anything else - other than rice cakes, but I wasn't sure if they were traditionally Chinese. Preserved plums and/or ginger sound good, as he loves both of those. Not sure about egg fried rice, as it would have to be kept chilled and eaten cold.

I might google for Chinese dessert recipes and see if I can make something myself.

Charmingbaker Tue 05-Feb-13 19:25:45

M&S egg fried rice is GF (I would guess other supermarkets would be as well)- if you have a sympathetic teacher they may be willing to heat them up. Pretty sure that Waitrose Prawn Crackers were GF last time I checked.

notapizzaeater Tue 05-Feb-13 19:31:44

You can buy spring roll wrappers from most supermarkets and thy are gf, then add bean sprouts and make your own. Make your own "prawn" toasts without the prawns and using gf bread just dip gf bread in egg and then sesame seeds and fry. "seaweed" is just very very finely shredded dark green cabbage fried. I think m and s do a gf version.

moosemama Tue 05-Feb-13 19:33:27

Thanks Charming, unfortunately, I know from experience that they won't heat it up for him.

I had a feeling prawn crackers might be gf in some cases, but they're not vegetarian so no good for ds, unfortunately.

notapizzaeater Tue 05-Feb-13 19:36:21

Aldi does some Indonesian crackers that are like prawn crackers but no prawns ! Just a bit spicier

moosemama Tue 05-Feb-13 19:55:29

Some great ideas there notapizzaeater. Thank you.

Meloncita Tue 05-Feb-13 20:12:55

My MIL makes a dessert called bobochacha (no idea if that's how you spell it!) which is balls of rice flour and fruit cooked lightly in coconut milk with sugar added. Might be a bit messy to take into school though.

At Chinese restaurants my ILs always eat a coconut jelly after dim sum, you may be able to make something similar with coconut milk, sugar and agar agar or similar. Might be a bit complicated though, depending how good you are in the kitchen!

looseleaf Tue 05-Feb-13 20:15:35

a big Sainsburies near us sells a box of noodles in a delicious Oriental sauce that you just hear up , I'm fairly sure the make is called Tiger and they are DD (6)'s absolute favourite - I fry them with a bit of onion and bean sprouts

moosemama Tue 05-Feb-13 21:02:39

Oo great, some lovely ideas here, thank you everyone.

I shall have to get onto googling some recipes.

Looseleaf, we buy a few Tiger products and they are usually tasty. The school wouldn't heat them up for him, but I'm going to check them out for him to have at home. Thank you.

Ilisten2theradio Sun 10-Feb-13 15:33:08

I also meant to add that I have some GF soy suace in my cupboard. It came form one of the big supermarkets- I think it was either Tesco or Waitrose - more likely my local wiatrose as they have a good "free from" section.

DazR Sun 10-Feb-13 21:41:11

Sainsburys do tins of waterchestnuts which would be fun to taste. My teenage daughter loves them!

mackeyoyj Thu 07-Mar-13 10:59:41

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