So at the beginning of 2019, I decided to challenge my foodie-self by changing my diet to be gluten-free despite not being gluten-intolerant. Initially apprehensive at the idea of a life without cake, I soon realised that a gluten-free diet could be, and is, just as mouth-watering as a normal diet – especially when you’re living in Asia!
Before the switch in diet, I was unaware of the fact that many of my favorite dishes in Malaysia, and from around Asia, are actually gluten-free. Due to the convenience of being able to devour delectable dishes, I felt that I needed to share this goldmine of information – not only for my Asian readers but also for my non-Asian readers as to ‘level up’ your (gluten-free) diet.
Gluten-free food in Malaysia
- Fried Bee Hoon; made with rice noodles or rice vermicelli
- Thosai; made with rice flour
- Appam; made with rice flour
- Mee Hailam; made with egg noodles
- Loh Shu Fun; made with rice noodles
- Kuey Teow; made with rice noodles
- Char Hor Fun; made with rice noodles
- Curry Mee; made with bee hoon
- Assam Laksa or Laksa Lemak; made with rice noodles or rice vermicelli
- Kolo Mee; made with egg noodles
- Yam Cake; made with rice flour but may contain other types of flour so do double-check
- Radish Cake; made with rice flour
Gluten-free food around Asia
- Thailand: Pad Thai; made with rice flour
- Vietnam: Pho; made with rice noodles
- Japan: Soba; made with buckwheat
- Korea: Tteokbokki (Korean rice-cakes)
Besides wanting a challenge, I had also read about the detrimental health effects of (over-consumption of) gluten. For example, research has shown that blood-flow to the frontal cortex of the brain is affected; if you’re interested to learn more, this website is a good place to start. Honestly speaking, I suffer from severe menstrual cramps but noticed a decrease in pain upon becoming vegetarian and again, upon going gluten-free so if you suffer from the same problem, definitely try this change in diet.
And remember, the list provided above is just a glimpse into the world of gluten-free food!
“Gluten free pizza elicits the same response at a Hollywood party that a pile of cocaine did in the 80’s.” Natasha Leggero