I used to assume that wasabi was gluten free, but then I started wondering, so I started asking. Not content with the answer at just one sushi restaurant I started asking about the gluten free status of wasabi at every sushi restaurant I went to.I found I got different answers at different restaurants. This is frustrating because my gluten allergy is sensitive and I avoid all gluten, just the same as if I had celiac disease. Mean while, I’d eat the wasabi with confidence at one restaurant, and shun it at another. This is confusing. Do the wait staff who say wasabi is safe for a gluten allergy not know what gluten is, or don’t bother to check, or are those who say it is unsafe overly cautious, and they don’t know what gluten is?
Finally at one restaurant, the woman brought out the package of wasabi and we went through the ingredients together. It was safe. That does not mean to say all wasabi is safe, or that some places don’t mix it with flour for some reason.
Here’s my current advice on eating sushi and staying gluten free as far as wasabi’s concerned: always ask.
Mean while, I’ll do more research and see if I can find out how the gluten gets into the wasabi at some restaurants, if in deed it does.
What is your experience with gluten allergy (or celiac disease) and wasabi? Leave a comment and share your thoughts or questions.