Rachel eats

Gluten for you, none for me

Growing up in an Asian community, I was easily influenced by the different types of food other ethnic groups ate, besides my own. Being Chinese-American, I grew up eating Dim Sum for lunch on some weekends, In-and-Out burgers and Neopolitian milkshakes, and rice as a side for dinners. My mother is adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, so it is thanks to her that I was introduced to a variety of other dishes at home.

My mother would read a magazine or have a conversation with a friend after church and in a few days we would be trying out a new dish or restaurant on their recommendation. One night we will be eating fish tacos, another night slow baked spareribs. As a family, we bond best around food, and mealtime is the best time for us to talk about our day.

Food tastes better when you eat it with your family

As someone transitioning from bread lover to gluten-free, I quickly learned that most of my favorite things to eat have wheat flour as the main ingredient. One of my favorite things to eat is noodles! All types of noodles! And as a Chinese-American, we never have a shortage of noodles in our house. The challenge I face now is to find noodles that aren’t made out of wheat flour. Here are a few that I found:

  • mung bean noodles
  • rice noodles
    • thin rice noodles
    • flat sheet rice noodles
  • vegetable noodles
    • beet noodles
    • zucchini noodles
    • butternut squash noodles

Mung bean noodles are by far my favorite, as their chewy texture makes any dish taste delicious! Living in Southern California, our “winter” weather means, a low of 40 degrees in the morning, but by the afternoon we are back in the high 70s. For those warm afternoons, my little sister and I have been enjoying naengmyeon ( Korean cold noodles)

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On the left is traditional naengmyeon with buckwheat noodles and on the right is my gluten-free version with mung bean noodles.

When we make this dish, we usually top it with chopped kimchi (Korean fermented napa cabbage) and whatever leftover meat we have in the fridge. This time we used leftover bbq pulled pork my mom made the night before.

If you are new to cooking Korean food and want to start off with an easy dish, I recommend naengmyeon. We pick up the naengmyeon noodle kit from our local Korean market.

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Inside has the noodles, liquid sauce (remember to dilute the sauce with water), and liquid mustard. And the English directions on the back make it easy to follow the cooking process. The naengmyeon kit comes with buckwheat noodles, so I cooked mung bean noodles for my lunch to make it gluten-free and used one sauce packet for our two bowls of noodles.

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Any type of mung bean noodles works, but if you can’t find them in your store you can also use thin rice noodles and that is yummy too!

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What kind of noodle dishes do you like to cook?

The journey to turn my favorite dishes into gluten-free version continues…

Every day, Lai Day! Happy eating~

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