The Ultimate Guide to Buying Gluten-Free Food in Hong Kong

by | Sep 17, 2021 | 0 comments

Gluten-free foods have a reputation for being hard to find. However, since the gluten-free diet has become increasingly favored in Hong Kong and worldwide, substitutes for lots of traditionally gluten-heavy foods have been developed, and there are now plentiful options.

Knowing the challenges of being gluten-free, we’re here to help.

Guide to eating gluten-free in Hong Kong

Eating gluten-free in Hong Kong can seem like a huge challenge. However, Chinese food is known to have gluten in just about everything, so your concerns are real.

In this article, we will cover where to buy specific foods including: 

  • Gluten-free alcohol
  • Gluten-free pizza
  • Gluten-free protein powder

Giving you all of the information you need to protect your health and live a healthy, gluten-free life in the city.

Which are the best stores for buying gluten-free food in Hong Kong?

We like the online option of The Store Hong Kong because:

  • They stock a range of gluten-free products that are certified as being gluten-free.
  • They offer same-day delivery and a carefully curated range of high-quality gluten-free products sourced from countries like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
  • We have found their pricing on health food products to be better than anywhere else in Hong Kong.

However, if you’d rather get the real supermarket experience, try Little Giant in Causeway Bay:

  • They offer a decent range of products that you can touch and feel before purchasing.  

Gluten-free alcohol in Hong Kong

Consuming wine and spirits is fine if you are following a gluten-free diet. It’s beer, ales, stouts, and lager that’s the problem -these need to be avoided. The good news is that gluten-free beer and gluten-free ale are available in Hong Kong.

Try:

  • Craftissimo: the beer and ale expert. They offer a range of suitable products for people wanting to avoid gluten, including their low-calorie tart raspberry ale. Delicious!
  • You can also try Estrella Daura Gluten Free Beer from The Bottle Shop. This is a relatively inexpensive gluten-free beer from the significant brewery Estrella Damm in Catalunya.

Gluten-free bread in Hong Kong

  • You could go to Sweetpea Cafe in Sheung Wan and enjoy gluten-free toast or bagels.
  •  Or you could buy some gluten-free flour (almond flour or coconut flour) from The Store and make your own gluten-free bread.  It can be a little time-consuming, but you’ll know exactly what’s gone into your bread. The chance to have a grilled cheese sandwich really will be worth the effort in the kitchen.

Gluten-free cake in Hong Kong

  • This is another chance to get into the kitchen! Coconut flour may seem a little strange in bread, but for sure, it belongs in cakes. You’ll get a subtle coconut flavor throughout the cake, so go for some tropical flavor to go with it.
  • Again, you can visit Sweetpea Café in Central. Ok, so it’s not the cheapest place in the city, but they have a wide range of carefully prepared, delicious, gluten-free cakes.
  • If you’re following a gluten-free diet in Hong Kong, it’s even possible to eat banana cake. Try this gluten-free banana cake recipe from Coeliac UK.

Gluten-free rice

You’ll be please to know that all rice is gluten-free!

  • This can be a liberating feeling, especially in a city like Hong Kong. Even when you choose to cook at home and adapt your traditional Chinese dishes to remove the gluten, you can maintain a level of authenticity but still have rice with your meal.

Gluten-free pasta

The other popular carb staple, pasta, is all about gluten. But you don’t have to worry about the prospect of a life without pasta. 

  • There used to be few very gluten-free pasta options, but recently gluten-free pasta options have been popping up everywhere. If you’re looking for gluten-free pasta recipes tested and ranked by professional chefs, try this list of the best ten recipes
  • The Store HK  has quite a few options for you including Organic Chickpea And Lentil Pasta – Spirals.

Where to buy the best gluten-free protein powder

best vegan protein in Hong Kong - Nuzest Clean Lean Protein tastes great and does the job

Fortunately in Hong Kong, there are a lot of gluten-free protein powders available. In fact, we’ve written an entire article dedicated to the best 8 gluten-free protein powders

Some of our favorites are:

READ MORE
8 Best Ways to Follow the Keto Diet on a Budget in HK

Gluten-free pizza

  • Pizza Express sells a variety of gluten-free items on their menu including gluten-free pizza, risotto, and dough balls.

Best gluten-free online store in Hong Kong

  • The best gluten-free online shop is The Store HK. They offer same-day delivery, a huge range of high-quality products at some of the lowest prices you will find in Hong Kong.

The best gluten-free restaurants in Hong Kong

We like:

  • Oolaa – a  large menu that clearly shows all the gluten-free options
  • Sweetpea Cafe – for a dedicated gluten-free restaurant in Sheung Wan
  • Cafe Causette – for a high-end gluten-free dining experience
  • Mak Mak – for the perfect weekday gluten-free lunch spot
  • Madame Fu – for gluten-free dumplings
  • Dandy’s Organic Cafe – another cute gluten-free restaurant in Sheung Wan

FAQs

What are the benefits of following a gluten-free diet?

– Improved digestion
– You will end up consuming less processed food
– Your nutritional knowledge will increase
– Stabilizes blood sugar and controls appetite

To learn more about this topic, learn more here from Parade.com.

What does it mean to be gluten-free?

Eating gluten-free means avoiding gluten, which is the protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. The purpose of following a gluten-free diet is not to lose weight but instead to help your gut to absorb nutrients properly.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. Adding gluten to a product generally helps the product take shape as the gluten will act as a glue that holds food together.

Although we just said that gluten is generally found in wheat, barley, and rye, what you might not know is the extent to which these three ingredients are found in processed food.

Examples of food that commonly include gluten are:
– Bread
– Pasta
– Cereals
– Sauces
– Salad dressings
– Soups
– Baked goods
– Beer
– Food coloring

Why be gluten-free?

There’s a medical condition called coeliac disease, making people really sick when they eat foods that contain gluten. Gluten ataxia and wheat allergies are other medical reasons that people will avoid foods containing gluten.  

How do I know if products are gluten-free?

For people with medical conditions that make them intolerant to gluten, it’s really, really important to avoid it. The most recognized gluten-free certification is The Gluten-Free Certification Program.

What foods are gluten-free in Hong Kong?

You do need to be somewhat careful in Hong Kong when looking at traditional foods. Most dishes will use soy sauce or other wheat-based sauces to add flavor.

In general, to ensure your diet is gluten-free, you should eat:
– Rice noodles
– Meat and fish
– Nuts and seeds
– Rice
– Dairy products
– Corn, legumes, and beans

Coeliac UK offers a super helpful free gluten-free checklist that is downloadable instantly.

Will being gluten-free help to lose weight?

Some claim that a gluten-free diet will help you lose weight. In and of itself, that’s not quite right. However, you’ll be eating fewer carbs and hopefully replacing foods like bread and pasta with alternatives like nuts, seeds, and veggies.

So, depending on what you substitute standard gluten products for, you may be able to lose some weight. 

Is being gluten-free the same as following the keto diet?

The gluten-free diet has a lot of similarities with the keto diet. They’re not quite the same, though. You won’t find gluten in veg or fruits, so go for your life. 
In contrast, Keto restricts these since they have many carbohydrates, which are the enemy of Keto.

Is Bob’s Red Mill a good gluten-free brand?

Bob’s Red Mill is a well-known brand offering many gluten-free products and is sold at The Store Hong Kong. Bob’s Red Mill products that you will find include; gluten-free rolled oats, gluten-free cake mix, gluten-free pizza crust, and gluten-free pie crust.

 

Finally

There are increasingly more gluten-free food choices in Hong Kong. With online health food platforms like The Store Hong Kong popping up and with restaurants generally becoming more understanding, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding what you need.

If we have missed any tips that make your gluten-free life better in Hong Kong, please help the community, and add them in the comments below.

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