Is Chow Fun Gluten-Free? and Gluten Free Chinese Dishes

Last Updated on February 14, 2022

Today, we’re going to be answering the question: is chow fun gluten-free? And taking a look at the best gluten-free dishes to order when having a Chinese takeaway. Chinese is one of the most popular takeaways in the US, and for good reason – it’s utterly delicious! But navigating gluten-free Chinese food can be incredibly difficult, so let’s take a look at chow fun and other popular Chinese dishes, and determine whether they’re suitable for a gluten-free lifestyle.

What Is Chow Fun?

You’ll likely know of chow mein, but you may not know of chow fun! Chow fun is a Cantonese dish and is one of their staple dishes. It often consists of beef, hor fun, and bean sprouts. Chow fun is very different from chow mein. Chow mein uses egg noodles as the main ingredient in the dish, whereas chow fun uses rice noodles.

Is Chow Fun Gluten-Free?

In Asian cuisine, chow fun will more often than not be gluten-free. Chow fun is rice noodles, and rice noodles are made using rice flour, making them suitable and safe for us to eat. Unlike chow mein, which is made using egg noodles, which contain wheat. However, although more often than not, chow fun will be gluten-free – it’s always best to check with your serve. Sometimes wheat flour is added to help the noodles keep their firmness and hold their shape.

Is Chow Fun Gluten-Free

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Gluten-Free Chow Fun Recipe

If you’re unsure whether chow fun at your local takeout is gluten-free, why not try making your own? It’s relatively easy – and absolutely delicious. You can use whichever vegetables and proteins you’d like too! We’ll be looking at this gluten-free chow fun recipe from Beyond Celiac.

The ingredients you’ll need are:

Chow Fun

  • 12oz. of chicken breast (in slices)
  • 3 cups of rice noodles
  • 7.5oz of bean sprouts
  • 3oz of Chinese yellow chive (cut to 2 inches in length)
  • 1/2 an onion (very thin slices)
  • 2 pieces of ginger


  • 4 tbsp. of gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of sugar


  • 2 tsp. of gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. of white/rice wine

And just follow these simple steps to get the most amazing tasting gluten-free chow fun!

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in the “marinade” section and marinate the chicken
  2. In a small bowl, add the “sauce” ingredients together and mix well. Put to one side
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, once hot. Fry for around 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for a further few minutes until the chicken is completely cooked
  4. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the ginger. After around a minute, add the beansprouts chive – cook for 2 more minutes
  5. Heat oil in a wok and add the rice noodles. After a minute, add the sauce and combine well
  6. Add chicken, chive, and beansprouts to the wok
  7. Season and serve immediately

Your Chinese treat is ready to eat!

Read more about: Do Egg Noodles Have Gluten?


I hope this article has helped to answer the question: is chow fun gluten-free? And helped you to become more familiar with other gluten-free Chinese dishes. Chinese is a takeout I tend to avoid because it’s so difficult to find completely gluten-free. In years to come, we can hope that more popular dishes can be adapted and those who are gluten intolerant can begin eating Chinese dishes again!

What’s your favorite Chinese takeout dish? I would love to know, so please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Sharing is caring!


Can Celiacs Eat Chinese Takeaway?

Chinese takeaway is one of the most difficult cuisines to find gluten free. Many dishes contain unsuitable ingredients for those following a gluten free lifestyle. Some takeaways may offer a gluten free menu, but it's always important to check their preparation and cooking methods, as you'll want to make sure the area is safe and clean from gluten containing foods. Kitchens that don't have a separate area for gluten free preparation and cooking are at a much higher risk of cross contact. 

What Chinese Dishes are Gluten Free?

Here's a few dishes you may want to try when ordering Chinese takeout. Dishes with a base of rice or rice noodles are a great place to start (chow fun and Mei fun). Glass and soba noodles are another variety of noodle that will be gluten free. Plain vegetables and meats are also safe options - just take along your own gluten free soy sauce! Chinese dishes often use soy sauce (which isn't naturally gluten free), so if the dish looks dark in color - it's best to avoid. And always take your own soy sauce with you.

What Are Chow Fun Noodles Made Of?

Chow fun noodles are made using rice flour. They are very wide noodles (at least an inch) and can be up to 12 inches long! Unlike many other Asian noodles, chow fun noodles are one of the very few that use rice flour as their main ingredient, rather than wheat flour. This is why chow fun is the perfect dish for those following a gluten free lifestyle.

What’s the Difference Between Chow Fun and Mei Fun?

They are very similar in taste and flavor, but there's one major difference between these two popular Chinese dishes. Chow fun uses flat, wide noodles. Whereas Mei Fun uses thin, almost spaghetti-like noodles. Other than the noodle size, they are both eaten with a variety of vegetables and proteins. 

What is Healthier: Chow Mein or Chow Fun?

If you're looking for a healthy option, there's definitely one dish that is much healthier than the other! If you take 100g of chow fun and 100g of chow mein, the nutritional information difference between the two is huge. Chow mein has just over 500 calories per 100g. Whereas chow fun has just over 100 calories per 100g. If you're looking for a healthy dish - chow fun is certainly the way to go!