Is Fried Rice Gluten Free? Everything You Need to Know

  • Whether you eat at it alone or you combine it with a myriad of other ingredients, fried rice is a quick and highly nutritive treat.
  • Classic recipes of fried rice contain cooked rice, oil, and salt. All these ingredients are gluten-free. If you add meats, fresh vegetables, or eggs you would still get a gluten-free treat. 
  • Problems may arise when sauces, spices, other gluten-containing grains, or marinated ingredients are added to the mix.
  • If you want to play safe both at home and when eating out, purchase only certified gluten-free products, ask for plain cooked rice at restaurants, and avoid fried rice sold on the street. 

Is fried rice gluten free? While rice in itself is gluten free, most of the time rice is served with other ingredients or even cooked with them together, so you should know exactly how the rice was made and with what before eating it.

As you already guessed, the thing to look out for with rice is cross contamination.

A popular component of the Asian cuisine, fried rice makes a delicious and versatile meal that has been enjoyed worldwide since it was developed during the Sui Dynasty.

Whether you eat at it alone or you combine it with a myriad of other ingredients, fried rice is a quick and highly nutritive treat that allows you to put all leftovers to a good and tasty use. 

Since fried rice can be combined with other gluten-containing ingredients, celiac and gluten-sensitive persons should be extremely careful before consuming it, especially in restaurants or as street food.

Is Fried Rice Gluten Free – What is fried rice

Image via wellplated

The primary ingredient for fried rice is cooked rice, which can be boiled or steamed.  Once you have the base, all you need is a wok or a frying pan and some cooking oil such as sesame oil or vegetable oil.

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From that point on, anything can be added: vegetables, eggs, bacon, sausages, any type of meat, mushrooms, fish, shrimps, etc. Looking for extra flavour? From garlic to onion, coriander, parsley, or shallots, you can use any type of aromatics to enhance flavour.

If you prefer, fried rice can also be seasoned with sauces (e.g. oyster sauce, soy sauce, etc.) or other garnishes such as pickled vegetables or fresh vegetables (e.g. cucumber, tomatoes, etc.).

Ingredients for fried rice

Classic recipes of fried rice contain cooked rice, oil, and salt. All these ingredients are gluten-free. If you add meats, fresh vegetables, or eggs you would still get a gluten-free treat. 

However, problems may arise when sauces, spices, other gluten-containing grains, or marinated ingredients are added to the mix.

Celiac and gluten-sensitive consumers should pay special attention to the listed ingredients before purchasing ready-made fried rice. 

Known brands for gluten-free rice

Rice is naturally gluten free. And this is valid for all types of rice: white, brown, black, red, Basmati, Jasmine, sprouted rice, and even glutinous rice. 

However, cross-contamination may happen during growing, harvesting, transportation, processing, or cooking. If you are not sensitive to trace gluten, then most plain rice brands are safe.



However, if you are on a 100% gluten free diet, then the best option for you is to opt for rice that has been labelled as gluten free. Here are some safe brands:

Lundberg Family Farms

gluten free rice brands
Image via Twitter

Apart from various rice flavours, Lundberg also produces delicious rice mixes such as the organic Thai red curry sprouted rice mix, syrups, and snacks. All their products are organic and labelled as gluten-free.

What’s more, Lundberg only offers rice products. That basically means that cross-contamination is not possible during manufacturing.

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Check out their website for all the available products: https://www.lundberg.com/products/ 

Zatarain’s

is rice that is fried gluten free
Image via mccormick

Zatarain’s offers a wide range of gluten-free certified flavoured rice mixes. However, some of their flavours are not certified as gluten-free and might contain gluten.

So make sure to read labels carefully. Here is the link to their website: https://www.mccormick.com/zatarains 

Alter-eco 

alter eco fried rice is gluten free
Image via Twitter

Alter-eco offers several rice products that are certified gluten-free: Khao Deng Ruby Red Rice, Hom Mali Jasmine Rice, and Thai Sticky Purple Rice.  

Minute Rice

is fried rice gluten free - minuterice
Image via minuterice

Minute Rice offers several gluten-free types of rice. Here you can find the list of all their gluten-free products: https://minuterice.com/faq-categories/other 

Floating Leaf

Is fried rice gluten free - floating leaf brand
Image via Costco

Floating Leaf offers several types of rice and mixes that are certified gluten-free and organic. Here you can find the available options:  https://www.eatwildrice.ca/our-products/ 

Things to look out for

As we have seen, rice – which is the base for fried rice – is naturally gluten-free. However, the risks with fried rice come when it is combined with sauces and other gluten-containing ingredients (other grains, condiments, spices, etc.).

Moreover, rice can get easily contaminated during harvesting, transportation, processing, and cooking. Here are some tips you can follow to keep yourself safe:

If you are planning to cook your own fried rice, opt for a certified gluten-free brand and use only gluten-free ingredients. Make sure your cookware and utensils have not been contaminated. 

  • Fried rice is a popular street food in many countries. Avoid consuming it as cross-contamination has more than likely happened during cooking.
  • If you are a sushi fan and planning to eat in a Japanese restaurant, keep in mind that the rice is usually cooked with vinegar. Make sure to ask what type of vinegar has been used. Or, even better, opt for plain rice. 
  • Pay attention to rice mixes and always check the label carefully. Most rice mixes contain ingredients that are not gluten-free, especially sauces. 
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To sum up

If cooked only with oil and salt, fried rice is gluten free and can be safely consumed by celiac and gluten-sensitive people. However, fried rice is usually combined with other ingredients (garnishes, meat, spices, etc.) for enhanced flavour.

And some of these ingredients may contain gluten. What’s more, rice can be easily contaminated during processing or cooking. If you want to play safe both at home and when eating out, purchase only certified gluten-free products, ask for plain cooked rice at restaurants, and avoid fried rice sold on the street. 

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.