By Amber Williams
When it comes to eating gluten free, it’s hard to go wrong with sushi. And if there’s one thing this Midwestern city can surprisingly do well these days, it’s serving up raw fish delicacies of the sushi and nigiri varieties, thanks to the opening of high-standard niche restaurants such as Wasabi Chi, Wasabi Tao and Achebono 515, to name only a few.
And what better way to start out a meal than with the light, dainty and aesthetically orgasmic sushi roll. It’s just pretty. When the waiter sets a platter down upon the table beneath your salivating cheeks, everyone at the table turns to gaze upon this delectable work of art. Upon first blush, it seems so simple, the sushi roll, but a masterpiece it is.
“Nicely cut tuna on top avocado,” explains Gui Liang at Wasabi Tao downtown. “Inside, white tuna, yellow-tail salmon. On yellow paper.”
When he puts it that way, it seems so easy, but surely the chefs behind curved glass at the sushi bar slaved over this roll to give it the picturesque perfection it possesses, and gluten-free no less.
But Liang explains that most sushi, particularly nigiri, is inherently gluten free, “as long as it has no crunch,” he said.
“Pretty much anything with crunch is going to have gluten,” Liang advised. “But at almost any sushi restaurant, you can just tell the chef, whatever roll you choose, and the chef can make a gluten-free version. Almost any of our specialty rolls, even, are gluten free.”
However, food writer Jane Anderson warns against that soy sauce temptation.
“It usually comes as a shock to people who are new to the gluten-free diet when they find out that soy sauce usually isn’t gluten free — in fact, most brands contain wheat as their first ingredient. However, there is a type of soy sauce that’s traditionally made without wheat — it’s called tamari. There’s a small (but growing) handful of tamari-style gluten-free soy sauce brands on the market,” she wrote on http://www.celiacdisease.com, which offers tips on the gluten-free lifestyle.
But even without the soy sauce, sushi is a delightful, refreshing starter to any gluten-free meal. Save the fork. Let the chopsticks do the walking. RELISH