My Best Gluten Free Chinese Food Recipes | Say Goodbye to Takeout (2024)

These gluten free Chinese food recipes (I know that if you're not from the U.S., maybe some of this food seems crazy, but this is pretty standard American Chinese restaurant fare) bring it all back—better than ever!

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What Chinese food is gluten free?

Many recipes for Chinese food, at least those made in the American take-out style, seem like they should be safe to eat on a gluten free diet. Think about it: Many Chinese recipes involve lots of veggies and meats, both of which do not contain gluten.

Unfortunately, many also make use of breading, especially on chicken, and the dough used to wrap your favorite dishes like dumplings and won tons are wheat-based. You can't even grab regular soy sauce as it also contains wheat.

We’re lucky enough to have a Chinese restaurant about 20 minutes from where we live that offers reliably gf dishes. But the options that are on the gluten free menu are more limited, and everything is super expensive.

This restaurant, like most Chinese restaurants that offer gluten free food, is able to offer us rice-based options, sauces being made with cornstarch, and dishes with rice noodles. But anything breaded and fried is off-limits.

And, of course, there’s no gluten free won ton soup. And no gluten free egg rolls offered. But that’s okay!

Even if we eat gluten free, we can make everything ourselves at home. Here’s how.

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The best gluten free Chinese food recipes

As I developed these gluten free Chinese food dishes, I worked hard to create the authentic taste that we all know and love. And I'm happy to say, I exceeded my wildest expectations on many of these recipes. If you're ready for gf Chinese food, dig in!

The Best Gluten Free Won Ton Wrappers and Won Ton Soup

We begin with an easy, no-fail recipe for gluten free won ton wrappers. We make them with just a few gf flours, a couple eggs, and water.

The wrappers actually freeze quite well, so you can make them ahead of time. They’re simple, but still a labor of love. Make them into won ton soup, too.

I like to shape, fill, and then freeze won tons. Boil the won tons right from the freezer, and voilà‎. Instant dinner.

Click for the recipe

Gluten Free Scallion Pancakes

Try some gluten free scallion pancakes to go with your won ton soup. Crispy and chewy, all at the same time, these scallion pancakes have layers and layers of flavor, just like you remember.

I love this gluten free Asian food recipe because it's the perfect appetizer when you're making Chinese food, but it's also awesome for other occasions. If you have the time, try serving them instead of chips and dip at your next get-together.

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Gluten Free Sesame Chicken

If you’re ever looking for a quick, healthy, and easy dinner, try this baked version of gluten free sesame chicken. I like to serve the tasty brown sugar and honey sauce on the side, since some members of my loving, kind family like lots of sauce. Others, just some for dipping.

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Gluten Free Lemon Chicken

Bright, lemony, and delicious gluten free lemon chicken is made without a super crusty breading, and mostly just dipping and then lightly fried. A classic.

With this gluten free Chinese recipe, I teach you how to prepare two separate components: the tender, crunchy chicken pieces and its bright and tangy sauce.

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Gluten Free Orange Chicken

If you’ve ever wished that Panda Express would make their orange chicken gf, this super easy Chinese-style gluten free orange chicken recipe is for you.

As you may be aware, orange chicken combines crunchy chicken pieces with a citrusy sweet and sour sauce. I accomplish the crunch with gf panko style bread crumbs and then bake the chicken so that the meal stays on the healthier side.

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Gluten Free Egg Rolls

Light and crispy gluten free egg rolls are one of the things that I missed the most when we first started eating gluten free. For this gluten free Asian dish, you'll roll the wrappers as thin as you can, but without rolling them so thin that they crack when you fold them.

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Gluten Free Fried Wontons

These fried wontons are made with very little oil in an air fryer, but are still super crispy and crunchy. These gluten free Asian appetizers will be the first thing to go at a party! If you don’t have an air fryer, you can always fry them the traditional way.

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Gluten Free Steamed Chinese Meat Buns

You won't find steamed gluten free Chinese meat buns, made with the same incredibly light and fluffy dough used to make bao buns and filled with a simple savory meat mixture anywhere else!

This gluten free Chinese dish really is a delight. The ingredient list is a bit long, but it's filled with Chinese food staples like ginger, gluten free soy sauce, and sesame oil. Prep takes less than 30 minutes, and then it's only another 10 for steaming.

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Gluten Free Lo Mein

Satisfy your craving for Chinese take out with this gluten free recipe for classic lo mein sauce. Add chicken, your favorite stir-fried vegetables, or just rice noodles!

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Gluten Free Potstickers | Savory Dumplings

Cook up these gluten free potstickers, and I guarantee your family will be wondering which restaurant you picked them up from. This recipe takes my gluten free won ton wrappers and fills them with ground meat and savory seasonings before a quick fry. As an added bonus, they're also dairy free.

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Low Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice

I'm not going to tell you that this gluten free cauliflower fried rice tastes just like the "real thing", but I will say that it's incredibly tasty in its own right.

Here's the thing, it's pretty easy to get bored with rice, so when the hankering for a gluten free Asian recipe comes along but you want something different, this is the recipe I suggest you try.

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Gluten Free Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

You might recognize these gluten free Asian chicken lettuce wraps as being similar to what you'd find at PF Changs… and I will totally admit that's the inspiration for this recipe!

I'll always be grateful that PF Changs was ahead of the pack when it came to having a gluten free meal menu. But now that I've got this awesome copycat recipe, there's no need for us to head out to enjoy these simple but delicious gluten free chicken wraps.

Click for the recipe

Gluten Free Instant Noodle Cups

This recipe for gluten free instant noodle cups may feel a little bit like cheating as you need store-bought gluten free Chinese noodles, but I promise that we use plenty of spices to make an incredible broth that gives this meal that tenderly homemade touch.

Click for the recipe

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Tips for making the best gluten free Chinese

Preparing American-style Chinese dishes isn't nearly as foreign an experience as you might think. Yes, you may use some ingredients that you'd never use but to make Chinese food, but a lot of the techniques will be familiar to those who cook on a regular basis.

All the same, I do have a few tips to help you make the best gluten free Asian dishes.

Always check your product labels

You already know this by now, but gluten can be hiding anywhere. While I don't rely on many bottled sauces or spices for my gluten free Chinese food recipes, there are some Asian food essentials you just can't go without.

Soy sauce and hoisin sauce are two big ones, and you can't just buy them off the shelf without checking the label, because traditional varieties will definitely contain gluten. Instead, you'll want to look for their gf counterparts, or in the case of soy sauce, an alternative like tamari or coconut aminos. I've linked some of my favorite gluten free brands below, but product labels are pretty explicit these days.

Use the freshest ingredients possible

One thing that really sets apart Chinese cuisine from other styles of cooking is the use of fresh ingredients. You know that many Chinese food options contain fresh meats and veggies, but don't underestimate the power of fresh spices.

While you can get away with using things like powdered ginger and garlic, I implore you to try the fresh stuff at least once so you can see what kind of difference it makes.

Prep your ingredients ahead of time

Many gluten free Chinese recipes are rather quick to prepare. But you can get dinner on the table more quickly and with less hassle if you spend a few minutes prepping before you start cooking.

Rather than chop veggies and slice meat as you need it, take care of these tasks first. Keep your veggies separated as some may take longer to cook than others, and when a recipe calls for it, be sure to marinate your meat.

Give your meats time to marinate

Chinese food is special because every bite you take is full of flavor. Using high quality ingredients is part of the equation, but another major factor is infusing flavor into the meats that you use for stir fries and other dishes.

If you're in a rush, I can see how you'd be tempted to skip marinating, or maybe just give the meat a few minutes. Believe me, when you allow beef, chicken, or pork time to absorb sauces, your meal will be elevated to the next level.

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FAQ

Is Chinese food gluten free?

If you're considering gluten free Chinese takeout, you'll be disappointed to learn that your local restaurant probably can't accommodate you. This is because while there are plenty of gf ingredients in Chinese cuisine, you're likely to see cross contamination due to the breading and dough on fried options, not to mention that not many restaurants will have a dedicated fryer.

If you're cooking Asian gluten free recipes at home, though, you have the freedom to make all your favorite Chinese dishes, without the worry of contamination.

Here's a quick gluten free Chinese food list that you can use when cooking at home or exploring local restaurants:

  • Meats – All the different varieties of meat that you'll find in Chinese food options are naturally gluten free, including beef, chicken, fish, pork, and shrimp.
  • Vegetables – Whether they're fresh or frozen, nearly every vegetable is also naturally gluten free. However, be careful if you're reaching for bags of frozen veggies. You'll want to read their product labels carefully to be sure that they haven't been packed with gluten containing binders or spices.
  • Rice – Plain white rice is gluten free, as are items made from rice. You can find rice noodles and wraps that make a perfect alternative to those made from wheat.
  • Tofu – So long as it's plain tofu, you can rest assured that it's free of gluten. Those that have been been marinated or otherwise seasoned, however, could contain gluten.
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Are there any gluten free Chinese sauces?

The most popular gf Chinese sauces are gf hoisin (I like Wok Mei brand gluten free hoisin sauce; that's an affiliate link) and gluten free soy sauce. In lieu of the latter, you can also use tamari or coconut aminos — they offer a similar taste with not a single trace of gluten.

“White sauces”, or those made using cornstarch, can also be gluten free. If you're eating out, you'll need to ask your specific restaurant about how it prepares its cornstarch-based sauces to be sure that gluten doesn't sneak in.

Most darker sauces, including duck sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and teriyaki sauce, are sure to include wheat, usually due to the inclusion of traditional soy sauce. Thankfully, you can find gluten free variations of most. I like this Panda Brand gluten free oyster sauce (affiliate link) and this Thai Kitchen gluten free fish sauce (affiliate link). I buy San-J Tamari Soy Sauce (affiliate link) in half-gallon containers, too, since we go through so much of it!

There are also plenty of ingredients you can use to make your own sauces that are free of gluten. Apple cider vinegar, ginger, honey, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil are a few examples.

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What are the best gluten free flours for gf Chinese food?

Cornstarch, rice flour, and tapioca starch are the most common gf flours you'll find in Chinese gluten free recipes.

Some of these flours are already common in traditional Chinese fare (for example, cornstarch is the base for many white sauces), but I promise that switching out wheat flour for one of these ingredients as a breading or sauce thickener won't make any difference when it comes to taste or texture.

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Do I need a wok to make gluten free Chinese food recipes?

Long ago, I would have said that you absolutely do not need a wok to prepare gluten free Chinese dishes. Today? I would say that you should definitely consider investing in a wok.

To be honest, no, the truth still is that you don't need a wok to make gluten free stir fry or orange chicken. But, I think you'll enjoy a more authentic taste (plus cut down on cook time and oil usage) if you use one.

If you don't have a wok and aren't in the market for one right now, just stick with a skillet.

My Best Gluten Free Chinese Food Recipes | Say Goodbye to Takeout (2024)
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