What International Cuisines Have the Most Gluten Free Options?

What International Cuisines Have the Most Gluten Free Options?

Find out which international cuisines have the most gluten free options for you to choose from.

Whether you’re traveling abroad or eating out with friends, following the gluten free diet presents certain challenges. You can’t always look up a menu ahead of time and you may not be able to trust your server to understand celiac disease and its restrictions. Rather than sitting the entire meal out or resigning yourself to a plain salad, take the time to familiarize yourself with some of the top gluten free cuisines around the world so you know your options.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the different cuisines around the world and talk about which ones have the most gluten free options. You’ll also receive sample recipes for gluten free dishes to sample for yourself and your family at home.

The Top 8 International Cuisines for Gluten Free Eaters

Exploring other countries is an exciting adventure, no matter where you choose to travel. If you don’t have the time or the budget for an international trip, however, you can still get a taste for other cultures through their cuisine. Unfortunately, if you follow the gluten free diet it may be a little tricky to determine which foods are safe and which are not. The good news for you, however, is that we’ve done the research for you to bring you a list of the top 8 international cuisines for gluten free eaters.

Here are some of the top cuisines around the world that are very gluten free-friendly:

  1. Mexican
  2. Latin American
  3. Thai
  4. Japanese
  5. Indian
  6. Greek
  7. Middle Eastern
  8. Italian

Both Mexican and Latin American cuisine is very rice- and corn-heavy which is good news for followers of the gluten free diet. Corn tortillas are a staple and many dishes include rice, beans, and protein prepared with herbs and spices. You’ll need to be mindful of fried foods and anything prepared in a shared fryer, but you’ll have plenty of options.

Though some Asian cuisines are less than gluten free-friendly (think Chinese food and it’s many soy sauce-based dishes), both Thai and Japanese cuisine are good options for celiac sufferers. Much of Thai cuisine is cooked with fish sauce rather than soy sauce and there is an abundance of rice-based accompaniments such as rice noodles, rice paper for spring rolls, and jasmine rice served along with dishes. Japanese food is similar in terms of its emphasis on rice, particularly when it comes to sushi. Just be mindful of dipping sauces and tempura.

Indian cuisine is very complex and varies greatly by region. Even so, however, there are many dishes that are naturally gluten free. You may have to skip the samosas and naan, but you’ll be able to enjoy many different curries as well as rice-based dishes and even breads made with chickpea flour.

Greek and Middle Eastern food share many similarities. In restaurants, this cuisine is very focused on grilled fish and meats, stews, and various rice-based dishes. You’ll enjoy plenty of salads, dolmas, and rice-stuffed vegetables but be mindful of fried items and things like falafel which, though primarily chickpea-based, may be made with small amounts of flour.

The final cuisine on this list is one you might be surprised to see. Italian food is full of bread and pasta, but you’ll be glad to know that this country is extremely gluten free conscious. In fact, Italy was one of the first countries to develop a celiac association. The Associazione Italiana Celiachia was founded over 35 years ago and most restaurants offer a plethora of gluten free dishes ranging from pasta to polenta. What’s more was Schär was founded and is based in Italy. Since then, we’ve become known around the world for being the company that pioneered the awareness of gluten related disorders.

Sample Dishes from Gluten Free International Cuisines

Now that you have a better understanding of which international cuisines are the best for the gluten free diet, you’re probably anxious to try them! If you can’t find a local restaurant to satisfy your cravings and you’re not quite ready to book that international vacation, the following recipes will give you a taste of gluten free dishes from around the world that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own kitchen.

1. Huevos Rancheros Tostadas (Mexican)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup tomato salsa
  • 4 (4-inch) corn tortillas
  • ¾ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons guacamole
  • Sliced green onion

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Place the corn tortillas on the baking sheet and spread evenly with salsa.
  3. Spoon the beans over the salsa, building them up around the edges of the tortillas.
  4. Crack an egg into the middle of each tostada and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 15 minutes until the egg is done.
  6. Serve with a dollop of guacamole and sliced green onion.

2. Chicken Satay (Thai)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 fresh red chiles, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Wooden skewers

Instructions:

  1. Combine the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chiles, and ginger in a food processor.
  2. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, oil, coriander, cumin, and turmeric then blend.
  3. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces and place them in a bowl.
  4. Pour the marinade over them and stir to combine then chill for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.
  5. Thread the meat onto wooden skewers, filling only the top half.
  6. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and grease the grates with oil.
  7. Cook the skewers for 10 to 20 minutes, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or with jasmine rice.

3. Tandoori Chicken (Indian)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 small green chili, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Trim the fat from the chicken and use a small, sharp knife to cut deep slashes – two on each leg – down to the bone.
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, and chili in a food processor and pulse into a paste.
  3. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and spoon the paste over them.
  4. Add the lemon juice and mustard oil, tossing well to coat.
  5. In another dish, combine the spices with the yogurt to create another paste and massage it into the chicken by hand.
  6. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes then preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  8. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.

4. Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki (Greek)

Servings: 4 to 6

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, diced fine
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground pepper

Chicken Kabob Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 small red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.
  2. Cut the chicken into cubes and add it to a zippered plastic freezer bag then pour in the marinade.
  3. Shake to coat and chill for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
  4. Next, prepare the tzatziki by tossing together the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  5. Cover and chill the tzatziki until you are ready to serve the kabobs.
  6. To prepare the chicken kabobs, preheat the oven to 375°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment.
  7. Drain the chicken and thread it onto skewers along with the red peppers, onion, and tomatoes.
  8. Place the kabobs on a wire rack over the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn the skewers and bake for another 20 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  10. Serve the chicken kabobs with the tzatziki sauce.

Experiencing international cuisine is half the fun of travel, but you don’t necessarily need to leave home to enjoy it. Take what you’ve learned here to get a taste of international cuisines by patronizing local business or by trying some of the recipes provided above at home. Bon Appetit!