Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

Pad Thai, a stir-fried rice noodle dish, is a famous, Thai cuisine that not many people can resist eating. But some people who have Celiac disease are reluctant to eat Pad Thai, as they are bound to have only a gluten-free diet. Are you one of them? Do you want to know whether Pad Thai is a Gluten-Free dish or not? Welcome, you are at the right place.

Pad Thai is prepared in different ways and it can easily be made without gluten, but not all versions of it are usually Gluten-Free. Typically, Pad Thai is made from rice noodles, scrambled eggs, peanuts, bean sprouts, and shrimp. However, the main point of concern for Celiac patients is the sauce used in the dish.

In this article, we will explore all the ingredients that go into the preparation of this mouth-watering Thai dish and find out which ones may add gluten to your dish. Plus, we will discover how you can make a completely gluten-free yet extremely delicious Pad Thai, so you can enjoy the dish without compromising your health!

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

The short answer is no. In general, Pad Thai is not usually gluten-free. Gluten is a protein that is naturally found in specific cereal grains like wheat, barley, and rye.

Pad Thai is a traditional Thai food popular in many Thai restaurants. It is a full meal rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and seasonal vegetables all cooked together with the delicious Pad Thai sauce.

The major ingredients that go into the preparation of a typical Pad Thai are rice noodles, plus a protein that can be in either form: beef, chicken, or shrimp, scrambled egg, peanuts, and bean sprouts. Different vegetables are also added for enhanced taste. The good news is that all these ingredients are naturally Gluten-Free and completely suitable for Celiac patients.

Read More >> Gluten Free Tacos

But Pad Thai is incomplete until the dish is tossed in the traditional Pad Thai sauce, which may contain gluten. Most restaurants prepare this sauce by adding oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and tamarind some may also add soy sauce. These sauces, especially the soy sauce may contain wheat.

So, if you are ordering a Pad Thai from a restaurant, it would be recommended to first ask for the list of all ingredients and inquire if any of it includes gluten. You can also ask if the chef can whip up a gluten-free version for you. 

How much Gluten is there in Soy-Sauce?

According to the research held by a European lab of famous soy sauce brands, soy sauce contains less than 5 PMM gluten. It is to be noted that proteins like gluten further break down through fermentation.

So, gluten in such small amounts may not affect you much, unless you are extremely sensitive to gluten. And you can occasionally enjoy Pad Thai from your favorite Thai restaurant without worrying about the little amount of gluten present in the dish.

Pad Thai is still a healthy dish!

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

Although it is not completely gluten-free, Pad Thai still has many nutrients and health benefits. Flat rice noodles being the base ingredient are rich in carbs which provide energy to boost our bodies for physical activities.

Chicken is commonly used as the protein in Pad Thai which is a great source of protein. Proteins are essential for building and repairing muscles. Dried shrimp that most restaurants add to the Pad Thai is again a vital source of protein and an excellent source of iodine that supports a healthy brain. Eggs, one of the most nutritious foods offer protein, vitamin A, and antioxidants.

What if the Thai restaurant in your vicinity does not offer the option of Gluten-Free Pad Thai? Don’t worry at all. Let’s prepare a delicious, gluten-free Pad Thai dish easily at home!

Prepare Your Gluten-Free Pad Thai at home

Although Pad Thai is generally considered Gluten-Free, but not 100%. So, as a diet-conscious person, you can safely make your own Pad Thai at home.

Firstly, you may choose your favorite gluten-free Pad Thai noodles and prepare them in accordance with the instructions on the packaging. Make sure that you soak the noodles before cooking them.

Mix equal quantities of, gluten-free soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a bowl to prepare the special Pad Thai sauce. Also, add a little water to form the sauce. You can always find gluten-free versions of these sauces in the market.

Read More >> Do Rice Noodles Have Gluten?

Then, fry quickly in a little hot pan, onion, egg, chicken, shrimp, or any other protein, and any veggies as your taste buds like. Toss the ingredients with sauce and noodles in a wok. For the final touches, sprinkle crushed peanuts, lime wedges, and chili powder. Your homemade Gluten-Free Pad Thai is ready!

Why Gluten-Free Pad Thai?

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

Why are people so concerned that is Pad Thai gluten-free? The gluten-free diet has become increasingly popular amongst people. The most well-known reason for this increasing trend toward the gluten-free diet is to avoid or treat Celiac disease.

According to no gluten, a survey conducted by Mayo Clinic in 2012 discovered that over 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease. Celiac causes symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and other such issues. The only effective treatment for celiac is a strict boycott of gluten.

Other than that, a gluten-free diet is generally considered a step toward a healthy lifestyle, as many people claim to feel way better when they adhere to a gluten-free diet.

Other important health benefits resulting from a gluten-free diet include reduced inflammation, healthy weight loss, improved cholesterol levels, better mood, and reduced risk of heart failure.


If you are a Pad Thai lover and were not sure whether it suits your gluten-free diet or not, we hope this article has cleared out all your doubts, as we have discussed what makes Pad Thai not a complete gluten-free dish. Additionally,  we have also discussed several health benefits of a gluten-free diet, that ensure that your decision to opt for a gluten-free diet was 100% right. 

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