Does glutinous rice flour contain gluten?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does glutinous rice flour contain gluten?”, how to cook glutinous rice, how to ensure gluten safety with rice, and what are the 5 types of rice that are not gluten-free.

Does glutinous rice flour contain gluten?

No, glutinous rice flour does not contain gluten. The sticky texture of glutinous rice is attributed to its high Amylopectin content. Therefore, you can freely include glutinous rice in your gluten-free diet even if you have celiac disease. 

How to cook glutinous rice? 

Traditionally, glutinous rice is washed, soaked, and steamed. The water requirement for boiling/steaming glutinous rice is quite low as compared to long-grain rice. 

Glutinous rice is often referred to as sweet rice because of its inclusion in sweet dishes of Asian cuisine. Rolling and dipping is the most famous way to eat glutinous rice but you can also make it into a pudding.

How do you ensure gluten safety with rice? 

You cannot afford risks if you have celiac disease. Even a minute quantity of gluten can trigger an adverse reaction in a gluten-sensitive individual. To ensure rice and gluten safety, follow the tips below.

  1. Don’t use bulk bins to store rice. The incidence of gluten cross-contamination is high in rice stored in bulk bins. Because the malpractice of using a common scoop for gluten-free and gluten-containing grains is very common.
  1. Contact the restaurant beforehand to make sure they serve gluten-free dishes.
  1. Opt for plain rice with no seasonings or complex ingredients whenever dining out. Ask the restaurant if they can manage to make the rice in a clean separate pan to prevent cross-contamination.
  1. Rice may contain traces of gluten since it is grown with gluten-rich wheat, barley, and rice. Therefore, look for a ‘gluten-free’ claim on the label of the rice or rice products you are interested in buying.
  1. Get in contact with the product manufacturer to get information if the product label does not mention gluten-free.

What are the 5 types of rice that are not gluten-free? 

Sushi rice 

Ever wondered what keeps the sushi rice sticky? In addition to the starch content of the sushi rice, vinegar is what keeps it sticky.  This vinegar is usually wheat-based. Pass the sushi rice if it is seasoned with non-distilled vinegar. Approved if it is a certified gluten-free rice vinegar or distilled wheat vinegar. 

Regular soy sauce contains wheat. Most of the sushi fillings contain soy sauce. Unless the sushi is seasoned with a certified gluten-free soy sauce, stay away from it. 

The crabs in California rolls and such are not real crab meat. It is imitation meat that is composed of white fish, wheat, starches, and flavorings. If you have celiac disease, stay away from rolls that contain “surimi” or “imitation crab”.

Tempura batter is wheat-based. Moreover, the tempura coating is made crispy by deep frying in oils used for frying gluten-containing products. Therefore, skip the tempura sushi or veggies coated in batter. 

Boiled rice 

Restaurants save time and resources by using a common pot for cooking cereals. The same pot is likely being used for boiling or cooking rice, pasta, and other gluten-containing cereals. You must ask the chef whether a separate pot was used to boil o rice or not before giving it a go.

Instant rice mixes 

Precooked and preseason rice mixes are not to be trusted if you have celiac disease. These products are frequently seasoned with wheat-based soy sauce and wheat-based thickeners such as hydrolyzed wheat protein. 

Moreover, the product may also contain gluten-containing cereals such as barley and rye. The bottom line is that you should skip past the instant rice mixes unless they are certified gluten-free.

Cuban rice, Saffron rice, risotto, and Paella 

All these rice dishes involve cooking the rice in some kind of broth or stock, mostly chicken-based. The problem is that chicken stock contains wheat. Therefore, you must ask the restaurant chef if the rice was boiled in a stock that is certified gluten-free.

Rice dishes at self-service buffets and whole foods

Buffets are commonplace for gluten contamination because there is no actual segregation of the serving spoons. Most people will use the same spoon for serving pasta and rice. Therefore, you need to be extra careful on self-service buffets if you have celiac disease.

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

How bad is white rice for you?

What is Chinese rice?

What happens if you eat uncooked rice?


In this article, we answered the question “Does glutinous rice flour contain gluten?”, how to cook glutinous rice, how to ensure gluten safety with rice, and what are the 5 types of rice that are not gluten-free.


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