Is Sushi Gluten-Free? – What kind of sushi is safe for celiacs to eat?

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Sushi is safe for celiacs to eat

Are you a diehard fan of Sushi who has stopped eating it due to the reason that it is not gluten-free? It’s high time to get the facts right. Sushi, a Japanese dish, comes in different varieties.

The common ingredients used in its preparation, i.e. rice, fish, seaweed, and vegetables are free of glutens. However, some other ingredients used in preparing certain varieties of sushi contain gluten. As a person following a gluten-free diet, it is necessary to understand those ingredients before staying away from them completely. 

6 Ingredients In Sushi That Contain Gluten

For those following a strict diet, sushi, although well-known for its variety and tastes, may contain unknown gluten sources. Let’s delve deep into those ingredients you need to watch out for before eating sushi.

6 Ingredients In Sushi

1. Surimi Or Fake Crab

Do you love to eat California rolls that are generally found in supermarkets and fast food outlets? It’s high time to realize that most of the time surimi or fake crab is used in its preparation instead of real crab. To make this imitation crab appear like the real crab, they grind white fish, bind it with starch and other ingredients, and add flavor to it. It is to be noted that starch and other ingredients are made using wheat that has gluten in it. Thus, before eating sushi, it is better to check whether they have used real crab or surimi in it.

2. Tempura

Another ingredient used in sushi rolls is the tempura-dipped vegetables and meats. In the majority of the cases, tempura batter is made using wheat flour. However, it is quite easy to distinguish the veggie sushi rolls made using tempura as they come with a distinct coated and fried appearance. It is to be noted that some restaurants use a gluten-free batter while preparing tempura and they will be labeled as ‘gluten-free’.

3. Breadcrumbs

Are you aware that some ingredients such as prawns may be breaded and fried while making sushi? For your information, several brands of breadcrumbs are not gluten-free and thus it is not advisable to eat them.  

4. Soy sauce

The next ingredient to watch out for in sushi rolls is marinated fish. Most of the time, they use unagi (freshwater eel) but salmon and tuna are also used sometimes. Keep in mind that all of these marinades contain soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Since soy sauce is prepared using wheat that contains gluten, it is better to stay away from such sushis made with a marinade or sauce. The other alternative is to check and make sure that the sushi is made using gluten-free soy sauce.

5. Wasabi

As you might know, wasabi, the eye-watering green paste adds a major kick to sushi. However, be careful as several restaurants, especially the ones in the United States do not use real wasabi. They replace it with a mixture of horseradish, mustard, and other ingredients that may include green food coloring as well. Sometimes wheat starch also becomes part of these ingredients, thus making it not advisable for those following a gluten-free diet.

6. Sushi rice

Last but not least, you need to be careful about the sushi rice as well. The reason is that some variety of sushi rice uses non-distilled white vinegar and it is made either from corn or wheat. As you know, if the vinegar used in sushi rice is wheat-based, then it will contain gluten as well. Also, be aware that sometimes sushi rice is prepared with chicken broth. Since chicken broth contains gluten, it is recommended not to eat it.

Also Read: Top 10 Foods To Improve Energy Level


Hope the article clears the air regarding whether sushi is gluten-free or not. As a sushi lover, you may not be able to resist the craving to have sushi. Thus, it is always better to opt for freshly prepared sushi. The reason is that you can specify the ingredients of your choice or the ones you do not want to be added to it.

For example, you can ask to replace imitation crab with avocado. Store-bought sushi is a strict no-no as it may contain additives or ingredients that contain gluten. Moreover, it is difficult to check the method of preparation. Last but not least, if you want to be 100 percent sure that your sushi is gluten-free, it is recommended to prepare it at home.


William John, the chief editor of The Cropsite, is a man with expertise in general medicine who is enthusiastic about helping people from all corners of the world through his content writing. William John covers all the things related to general medicine and is a person who can be described as a walking encyclopedia of general health. His years of knowledge of general medicine have made him a proficient person who is skilled in understanding all aspects of a person’s physical health. With this decade of experience in general medicine, William John greatly contributes to creating content such as articles and product reviews that each reader of The CropSite can depend on for being authentic and backed by research.

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