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Is Seaweed Gluten Free? Find Out Here!

  • Amy 

Does Seaweed Have Gluten In It? – Our Guide!

If you are a lover of seaweed or sushi, you might be wondering if you can still go ahead and eat it or if it contains gluten? 

Seaweed is gluten-free and simply made from thinly pressed paper seaweed, you can get some nori sheets with added ingredients, however, so we would double-check just in case.

We’ve put together a short guide below that will discuss if seaweed is good for you, if sushi is gluten-free as well as a gluten free sushi recipe for you to try at home. 

Does Seaweed Have Hidden Gluten?

Seaweed is typically regarded as gluten free since it’s just pressed seaweed into thin paper-like bits, you should take caution when it comes to seaweed however due to sauces such as soy sauce which is not gluten free because it comes from wheat.

Although seaweed is naturally gluten free too, it comes in different grades such as gold and silver to indicate purity, this could indicate there might be other added ingredients.

Is Seaweed Good For You?

Now we know seaweeds are naturally gluten free, you might be wondering if there are any benefits to adding this into your gluten-free diet as an easy snack.

  • It has iodine and tyrosine – Your thyroid inside of your body needs iodine to make hormones, tyrosine is also an amino acid which helps this process, both can help your thyroid to work better.
  • Full of anti-oxidants – Seaweed contains fucoxanthin which is a carotenoid, this can help to protect your body from free radicals that damage your health.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals – This dehydrated vegetable is very low in calories yet high in fibre making it an excellent snack if you are trying to lose weight, it also contains fucoxanthin which can help to reduce blood sugar levels.
  • High in fibre – The high fibre in seaweed can promote gut health in millions of people, polysaccharides the sugars in seaweed help to promote this good bacteria.

Are There Any Drawbacks To Eating Seaweed?

  • Too much iodine – Seaweed does contain a high amount of iodine which can lead to ingesting dangerous amounts, this is unlikely, however, cooking seaweed takes 90% of iodine and when consumed along with vegetable food it lowers the absorption.
  • Heavy metal – It is possible that seaweed can contain heavy metals such as mercury, the amount in the dehydrated vegetable is typically very low, but buying organic seaweed can help you avoid contamination. 

Is Sushi Gluten-Free?

Seaweed might be naturally gluten free, but what about sushi itself, is it suitable for a gluten-free diet? 

Well, sushi itself is not gluten free due to the sauces and other ingredients like rice with vinegar, but you can make your sushi without unwanted gluten by picking smarter.

You’ll often find that high-end restaurants do not have gluten in their sushi, some great sushi picks which are normally gluten free are; California rolls, veggie and vegan options, king crab and rainbow rolls.

We’ve made a list of ingredients to watch out for below at a sushi restaurant. 

  • Soy sauce – First off, soy sauce is not suitable for a gluten-free diet since it is a wheat product, always avoid it.
  • Avoid tempura – Tempura is made by deep-frying typical vegetables and fish, normally done in wheat flour.
  • Say no to imitation crab – Imitation crab is made from white fish which is then covered in flavourings and starch in order to taste like crab, opt for the real crab instead.
  • Choose plain rice – Sushi rice is often made with a mix of rice vinegar and sugar, this rice wine vinegar could come from barley depending on the Japanese rice vinegar brands or it might be okay, choose plain white rice to be on the safe side if you are not sure.
  • Keep the seaweed plain – Nori or seaweed as we mentioned above has no presence of gluten, but be careful when served with sauces like soy sauce and teriyaki. 
  • Bring your sauce – To be sure you can enjoy your seaweed with gluten-free ingredients take your sauce gluten free to your Japanese restaurant. Be aware the following sauces contain gluten; eel sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, barbeque sauce, and spicy sauces with mayo and ponzu sauce.

Our Best Gluten Free Sushi Recipe

Sushi as we mentioned is naturally gluten free, it’s just the sauces and condiments which can tend to make it not gluten free. There is also a risk of cross contamination in some places. 

We’ve listed a great gluten free sushi recipe below to try making at home for maki sushi rolls. 

Ingredients

  • Seaweed sheets. 
  • Bamboo sushi mat roll. 
  • Sushi rice. 
  • Fillings such as cucumber, tuna and avocado. 
  • Wasabi, gluten free soy sauce and pickled ginger gluten free.

Method

  1. Start by taking your sushi mat and placing a sheet of seaweed on top, have some water on the side so you can dip your fingers before touching the sticky rice. 
  2. Next, using a little of the rice at the time spread it over the sheet making sure to leave a 2cm gap on the border and ensuring the layer is under a cm thick. 
  3. Take your filling and place it in the centre of the mat, use your sushi mat to roll the sushi away from you. 
  4. Make sure the mat is tight then take it off your roll and slice the roll into pieces with a knife, serve with your gluten free soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

Last Words 

Overall, seaweed is gluten free and makes a great snack for people who want a gluten free low calorie snack, it also makes sure sushi is gluten free. Sushi naturally is gluten free since it’s just fish, veggies and rice. 

We would be careful when it comes to Japanese sauces however such as soy sauce and teriyaki sauce since they have wheat in them, making them not gluten free.

 

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Amy Toliver

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own! On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!