Are Chow Mein Noodles Gluten Free?

Last Updated on September 22, 2022

Today, we’re going to be answering the question: are chow mein noodles gluten free? And taking a look at which other Chinese food is safe to consume when following a gluten free diet. Chinese is one of the most popular takeout choices in the Western world, with chow mein being one of the most desired dishes. But are chow mein noodles gluten free? Is any Chinese food safe for celiacs? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Chow Mein Noodles?

You’ll likely already be familiar with chow mein, but if not, chow mein is a noodle dish, that is usually stir fried. It can come in a range of variations including beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and tofu. The noodles are often fried, and then added to vegetables in a wok, alongside the meat and fish of choice, and a chow mein sauce.

While there can be many noodles used in chow mein, the most common choice is egg noodles.

Ingredients In Chow Mein Noodles

As egg noodles are the most common noodles used in chow mein, we’ll look at the ingredients in egg noodles. They usually contain the following ingredients:

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  • flour
  • salt
  • eggs
  • milk
  • butter

These are just base ingredients for the noodles themselves, and the dish itself will typically use many more ingredients.

 Does vegetable chow mein have gluten?

Nutritional Information Of Chow Mein Noodles

You may be curious as to the nutritional value of chow mein noodles, each serving usually contains the following nutrition:

  • Calories: 205
  • Fat: 3.8g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbs: 35g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.2g
  • Sugar: 1g

Are Chow Mein Noodles Gluten Free?

As we’ve seen, the most common type of noodles in chow mein, is egg noodles. Unfortunately, egg noodles are not gluten-free. While their name suggests that they’re made predominantly from eggs, that is not the case. One of the main ingredients in egg noodles is wheat flour. Wheat is a gluten-containing grain and should not be consumed when following a gluten-free lifestyle.

Don’t be too disheartened though! There are plenty of noodles that are gluten-free. We’ll be taking an extensive look at gluten-free Chinese noodles in the next part of this post.

Gluten-Free Chinese Noodles

While there are plenty of gluten-free Chinese noodles, here are our top picks of noodles that are easily accessible, and the tastiest.

  • Rice Noodles. If you’re looking for a gluten-free noodle that’s easily accessible and reasonably inexpensive, this is the choice for you. They come in a range of thickness’ and are extremely versatile in many Chinese dishes. Rice noodles taste very similar to egg noodles, and are the closest in texture and shape.
  • Glass Noodles. Versatile and easy to find, much like rice noodles. And glass noodles are commonly found in Chinese restaurants, and are naturally gluten-free.
  • Soba Noodles. These noodles are usually made from a grain called buckwheat. Don’t be alarmed by the name – there’s no gluten in these noodles! They’re nutty and smooth, and usually found in Japanese cuisine, rather than Chinese.
  • Buckwheat Vermicelli. Vermicelli is usually gluten-free and is a chewy noodle from Korea.

Gluten-Free Chinese Food

Unfortunately, when it comes to gluten-free Chinese food, there aren’t many options for those of us who live with gluten intolerance. Soy sauce is one of the most common ingredients used in Chinese cooking, and it typically contains gluten. For this reason, most dishes are a no go for us.

However, if you’re set on enjoying some Chinese dishes, these should be gluten-free:

  • rice noodles
  • glass noodles
  • meat and vegetables with tamari

Always check with your server before ordering as every preparation of the dish will differ. If you’re looking for a closer look into gluten-free food, check out this super helpful post, which is full of top tips.

Gluten-Free Chow Mein Recipe

If you’re looking to make your own chow mein, check out this recipe inspired by Gluten-Free Cuppa Tea.

Ingredients

  • 230g of gluten free noodles of your choice
  • 3 boneless chicken thighs
  • 150g of grated carrot
  • 2 handfuls of beansprouts
  • 40ml of tamari sauce

Step-by-Step to Make Gluten-Free Chow Mein Recipe

 Is Chinese chow mein gluten-free?

Step 1: Cook the Chicken

Add the chicken thighs to a boiling pan of water. Turn down the heat once boiling and leave to cook for around 8-10 – or until cooked through.

Step 2: Stir Fry

Add oil to a wok or pan and keep on a medium to high heat. Add your carrot and cook for a few minutes. Chop your cooked chicken into small strips and add to wok, along with your noodles of choice. Once the noodles start to cook, add your beansprouts, a sprinkle of salt and stir everything for around a minute.

Step 3: Serve

Add your tamari sauce and stir well. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped to answer the question: are chow mein noodles gluten-free? And give you an idea of what noodles you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet, as well as which Chinese dishes are typically gluten-free. If you’re from the UK, there’s an amazing gluten-free Chinese restaurant called Sweet Mandarin – I would highly recommend.

 Is panda chow mein gluten-free?

What’s your go-to order when craving Chinese takeout? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Sharing is caring!

FAQs

What Chinese Noodles are Gluten-Free?

There are many noodles that are gluten free and work well in Chinese dishes. Some of my favorites include rice noodles, glass noodles, soba noodles and buckwheat vermicelli.

Is Chinese Chow Mein Gluten-Free?

No. Chinese chow mein is not typically gluten free, and should not be consumed when following a gluten free diet.

Does Vegetable Chow Mein Have Gluten?

Unfortunately, most chow mein contains gluten as soy sauce is the primary ingredient in the chow mein sauce. For this reason, chow mein should be avoided. 

Is Panda Chow Mein Gluten-Free?

Currently, Panda does not offer any gluten free dishes. Therefore the Panda chow mein is not suitable for those following a gluten free diet.