Gluten-Free Confidence Score: 5/10
Since there are many varieties and styles of sushi (and many chances for gluten to be present), there is not an easy answer to deciding if sushi is gluten-free or not. We outlined some factors to take into account when determining if sushi is gluten-free.
Rice: Sticky rice, commonly used to make sushi, is often made with rice vinegar which is *usually* gluten-free but there are rice vinegars out there that contain barley malt (not gluten-free) so you need to be careful and, if possible, ask to see the label.
Immitation crab: This ingredient is a huge red flag made as wheat is almost always used as a binder in imitiation crab which definitely makes it NOT gluten-free.
Tempura: is a batter (usually made from flour) that is then deep-fried.Unless it is a specifically gluten-free tempura, you should consider tempura to NOT be gluten-free.
Soy sauce: Possibly the most prevalent and most obvious source of gluten when it comes to sushi. It is used very often when making sushi but is also the main condiment on the table and regular soy sauce is NOT gluten-free. Many Sushi restaurants now carry Tamari which is the gluten-free substitute for soy sauce. San-J and Kikkoman both make gluten-free soy sauces.
Ultimately, sushi can present many problems for those that need or want to eat gluten-free. You need to be very careful and ask a a lot of questions and read labels is possible. Need help in understanding what to look for on those labels? We have a guide - check it out!