Celebrating Chinese New Year 4

Of all the ‘food celebrations’ I find Chinese New Year one of the easiest to ‘do’ dairy and gluten free. Traditional Chinese cookery is dairy free by nature. And until relatively recently gluten containing grains were scarcely found or used – as rice and rice noodles are the main staples.

The one key ingredient you do need to buy ‘free from’ is soy sauce. Due to the manufacturing process this is not a naturally gluten free product – but tamari soy is. Kikkoman make one that is relatively easy to get hold of. I get it from Ocado but I have seen it in Sainsbury’s (Free From section) along with a couple of other brands.


My favourite rice noodles are the ‘Thai Taste’ brand. Also easily found in the ‘normal’ parts of the supermarkets, an on Ocado too. The Amoy brand ‘Straight to Wok’ noodles are also great. They range the rice noodles alongside the ‘normal ones’ so look there first.

I have never seen these in a free from section even though they are gluten free. As I have mentioned before the ‘world foods’ section of any supermarket is my first destination for many ingredients like this because it was recently reported in the press, as soon as the words ‘free from’ appear on food packaging the price of the product doubles or trebles. Why pay extra for ‘gluten free noodles’ – when rice noodles from an authentic Thai/Japanese or Chinese brand are gluten free anyway!

So now I just need a recipe. I have lots of gluten free, dairy free cook books and magazines. Many have great noodle/rice/Chinese recipes. Today, I have chosen to go back to one of the first ‘free from’ cooks I discovered – Grace Cheetham.

She has published several fabulous gluten free, dairy free cookbooks and she has an excellent website too – packed with useful tips and information, as well as great recipes and beautiful food photography. Today I found this one and thought I would share it – asian style poached chicken pak choi.

It contains a lot of my favourite ingredients, it looks simple to follow and it’s just the kind of meal I’m looking for on a cold, wet and windy day like today. The only problem is it is a slow cooker recipe, so I better start now otherwise it won’t be ready on time! Will post pictures of the outcome tomorrow.

Kung hei fat choi










  1. Indeed, in Asian cooking, there are many hidden gluten ingredients to be found, which makes eating out so difficult. Home-cooked Asian food, I’ve found is perhaps not as authentic, but far safer, as you know exactly what you’re adding to each dish. Looking forward to seeing your recipe 🙂

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Chinese New Year | talkhealth Blog

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