Can I Eat Pho On A Gluten Free Diet?
If you’ve recently discovered that you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you’ll need to be more careful when eating out or ordering in, this goes for all kinds of cuisines, but what about Vietnamese pho, is it gluten free?
A bowl of pho is gluten free since it contains simply meat, veggies, rice noodles and broth, what can typically make a bowl of pho not gluten free are its condiments such as fish sauce, soy sauce and hoisin sauce, also make sure your pho does not have egg noodles.
In our guide below, we will discuss what pho is made of, which parts might not be gluten free, other Vietnamese dish types which might not be gluten free and a gluten friendly pho recipe.
What Is Vietnamese Pho Made From?
To understand whether or not your pho is gluten free you need to know exactly what your pho is made from.
We’ve broken down the ingredients of a typical pho below and discussed each one below.
- Noodles – Traditionally pho is made from flat noodles which are made from rice, occasionally you might see variations of pho made from egg noodles, which contain gluten, so double check to be on the safe side.
- Vegetables – As we know, veggies are naturally gluten free, but when breaded or covered in certain ingredients they can have gluten, avoid the veggies if deep-fried or breaded in your pho.
- Meat – As long as the meat in your pho has not been breaded or marinated it should be gluten free.
- Broth – Unfortunately, this is the part of pho which isn’t always gluten free, sometimes beef broth can have gluten and the fish sauce inside, double-check with the restaurant to make sure the broth is gluten free and there’s no chance of cross-contamination from other pots and pans.
What Parts Of Pho Are Not Gluten Free?
As we mentioned above, the main parts of pho that are not gluten free can be the stock and the condiments.
Beef stock can often contain wheat which makes it not gluten free, fish sauce inside of the broth can be gluten free, but some sauce has added wheat in it. Condiments such as soy sauce also have wheat inside of them.
Luckily, you can find soy sauce, fish sauce and beef stock which is gluten free, with many restaurants serving their pho with gluten free stock, it’s always best to double-check, however.
Other Gluten Free Vietnamese Dishes
If you are a lover of Vietnamese food, figuring out what is gluten free and not gluten free is not easy.
To help you out, we’ve listed some Vietnamese dishes below which are gluten free below, but as always, make sure they are served with gluten-free condiments.
- Hu Tieu/Tapioca noodles – These are often found in soup and can be eaten wet or dry, they are made from Tapioca which is gluten free, you might also find this Hu Tieu soup made with rice noodles which are also gluten free. Be careful since sometimes this soup can be made with egg noodles.
- Mien – Mien is also known as mung bean noodles, they can be found in dishes such as chicken noodle soup, keeping it gluten free.
- Bun – There are lots of bun soups, most made with rice noodles, just double check there is no soy sauce in the soup.
What Vietnamese Food Is Not Gluten Free?
- Won ton soup – Unfortunately won ton soup is made with egg noodles so is not gluten free, although you might be able to find variations made with tapioca noodles which are gluten friendly.
- Banh Mi – The bread in banh mi sandwiches are not gluten free.
- Koki flour – This is a batter which includes wheat flour and is not gluten friendly, avoid deep-fried items.
Our Best Gluten Free Friendly Pho Recipe
One of the best ways to make sure that your Pho is gluten free is by making your own at home, we’ve listed a recipe below for some cooking inspiration!
- Eight cups of gluten free beef broth.
- Four cups of water.
- Six tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce.
- Two pieces of lemongrass.
- One onion was sliced.
- 10 garlic cloves diced.
- Olive oil.
- Four spoons of gluten free fish sauce.
- Six inches of ginger.
- One pound of beef sirloin.
- 10 ounces of rice noodles.
- Lime wedges.
- Bean sprouts.
- To start, heat two spoons of olive oil in a pan then add in your onion and garlic and all the other broth components, and simmer for around 45 minutes.
- Strain the broth and add in your rice noodles, some thinly sliced onions for around three minutes, then add in your beef and season well.
- Serve with your lime and sprouts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pho Being Gluten Free
Is there soy in pho broth?
This depends on the specific broth used, some broths contain wheat and fish making them not gluten free, you need to double check the ingredients to be on the safe side.
What are pho noodles made from?
The majority of noodles in pho are made from white rice flour which is gluten friendly.
What other Vietnamese noodle soup is gluten free?
Some other soups such as Mien, Bun and Hu Tieu soups can be gluten free depending on the noodles used.
Can people with celiac disease eat pho?
Yes, people with celiac disease can eat pho as long as the broth does not contain wheat and gluten-free condiments are used.
Overall, the majority of pho is gluten free, but you need to be careful when it comes to the beef broth used and condiments such as soy sauce which has wheat.
Also, make sure there is no risk of cross-contamination when eating out from noodles being cooked in the same pan as egg noodles.