Thailand challenge – gluten free + vegan in Bangkok
Gluten-free and vegan traveling can be challenging - find here my experience and helpful tips for Bangkok/ Thailand.
Somehow I expected it to be an easy travel experience in regards of my food needs. Living in Bordeaux/ France I am already used to challenges in explaining that I eat gluten-free and mainly vegan - especially when I eat in restaurants .
As a gluten-free Flexitarian your life is not easy back home and so it is over here in Thailand, just that the language is a tiny bit more challenging :D With a bit of caring of what we eat, this will be a great new adventure.
Raw Pad Thai Zoodles at Mango Restaurant - creative Thai cuisine in Bangkok, an absolute favourite
Flexitarian – what is that please?
It simply means that I do eat meat, fish and eggs from time to time, but I am a little fuzzy on
where does my meat, fish and eggs come from – for me organic or responsible agriculture are a must.
how often do I eat those – generally I would have max. once a week meat, fish or eggs.
Since there are only a few restaurants that respect those aspects, I prefer to go vegan eating out - and so it is mostly when I travel.
My travels in Bangkok/ Thailand
We can find amazing fruits such as mangosteen, dragon fruit, 20 kind of delicious bananas, mangos, watermelon and so many more that make you forget about the world around – especially me as I mutated to a fruit junky 2 years ago.
Thai food doesn’t use salt and pepper as we do back home, but they use sauces such as oyster, soy and fish sauce for seasoning. All three of them are mostly not gluten-free and/or vegan. A good alternative if you don’t want to miss out on the local food, is to buy your own sauces from Megachef that you can find in most big supermarkets. In any case those are a great option to bring with you and give to the kitchen, if you want to be sure of avoiding all kind of additives that are usually used in those sauces.
Generally vegetarian plates replace the “missing meat” with either eggs or tofu. Also for dishes such as “Stir fried rice with vegetables” be sure to order without eggs and mentioned sauces above, to make it a vegan meal…
Anywhere I go to travel and don’t manage the language, I bring a copy of the celiac travel cards just to be safe and clear of what needs to be respected. Those travel cards are available in many languages and are simply magic. If you add those 3 words to your card of no soy, fish and oyster sauce, you should be able to survive.
Here are some of the places where I found my happiness and people understood my needs easily:
Mango Restaurant – this was my absolute paradise in Bangkok and I just discovered it on my last day – they cook vegan and vegetarian and in their menu they mention gluten free options. They serve a raw pad thai made with zoodles, clear noodle pad thai and other vegan options to tofu such as chickpeas, black beans etc. Not to forget – leaving your shoes outside of the restaurant makes you feel like eating at home. #rawpadthai #glassnoodles
May Veggie Home – we found this place after a rejuvenating 2 hour Thai massage at Health Land in the Asoke area – most Curries, Glass noodle salad and Pad Thai were also gluten free – all gluten free options were also marked in the menu and as a dessert they even had some GF cookies😊 #glutenfreepadthai #glutenfreecurry #veganpadthai #vegancurry
The Family – not a vegan/veggie restaurant but offering some options. Since it was at our hotels corner and the owner is Californian it was super convenient and he was able to properly explain to the kitchen which ingredients not to use for my meal. The coconut soup is a real treat!
You also don’t have to fully miss out on street food if you are a little adventurous – any fruits, grilled banana on a stick, grilled corn or my favourite some coconut-rice balls/pancakes are simply delicious. #glutenfreecoconutsoup #coconutsoup #veggies
Ordering juices such as mango, watermelon or pineapple – mention to not add sugar or honey as Thais love to add it everywhere (extra health tip) #freshjuice
Get your load on Mango Sticky rice – my Thai favourite dessert #mangostickyrice
You will see – there are plenty of options – and also with my limitations I need to say that Thai food is simply amazing – with all the lemongrass, coriander and sweet basil every meal is special and simply delicious.
Do you have questions about Thai food? Just send me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org or on below comments.