Thursday, 15 July 2010

What can Coeliacs eat in Japan?

Nothing! especially if you are vegetarian too....Well that isn't strictly true, but eating traditional Japanese foods in restaurants or hotels is tricky. It is hard to find vegetarian meals and even harder to find ones that don't contain gluten, as nearly everything involves Soy sauce which has wheat in. 
 My translation card served me well. (get a free one you can personalize to suit your requirements at It really is worth it) The Hotels we stayed in were really accommodating and I was only ill once due to some naughty Soy sauce polluting a delicious grilled Egg plant. The meals were all beautifully presented but alas all I kept getting was cold bland slimy tofu, bean curd and strange pickled things.
 It all looked so nice.......
....but I think the face says it all.
The rice was safe and tasty though.
Happy face at fresh pure vegetables
Sad face...all gone and still hungry, only pickles and cold tofu left

It is my own fault for having such an annoying disease. They really tried their best but it was just too much not eating meat or fish either.

In Tokyo there is a lot more choice of different types of food and restaurants. It is still hard though. The best (and only!) place I found for an actual filling meal was a place called 'Eggs and Things' in Harijuku. There was always a queue outside, but it is well worth waiting as it's yummy! 
  Happy face again.....Om nom nom

I lived on snacks from 'Family Mart', which are a chain of convenience stores in the larger cities open 24 hours. I stocked up real good on things in there. I wish I could have bought and tasted all the cute packaged cookies and crisps and chocs, but I had to stick to the things I knew where gluten free. (I still picked the cutest I could find)  Here are some of the things I found that were safe to eat and drink......

Tasty Watermelon Juice & a Vodka and Guava Cocktail

Cute Apple Juice & Edamame Beans

Watermelon Sweets

Tropical Fruit Juice
Boiled Egg in a Box (still in shell)...good for breakfast


Happy Turn Rice Crackers..really tasty

More Cheese

Rice Triangles/Rice Balls-for Veggies (imagine this but round, this triangle one had a nasty fish surprise in the middle)

Ice-cream was also safe - without the cone, and I found some salad boxes, the egg and potato salads were fine and made a change from cheese and rice.

Well that is my last post about Japan I promise! ta ta for now x



McBean. said...

I wish I had a big bowl of rice. No slippery tofu tho thanks!

Joey's Dream Garden said...

Being a coeliac sounds rubbish! Plus being veggie too... what a mare! They do like their fish, don't they? Which I suppose is natural for an island country, but they put fish in about everything, don't they?

I LOVE Japanese food packaging, they manage to put cute characters on the least likely of things don't they?

Charley said...

Yes they do love fish.

Oh Joey the packaging was amazing...the best one was a pack of biscuits that was in the shape of a bear and you pulled out the little cardboard arms and they hooked over your handbag...I wish I'd bought some for the packaging alone.

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