Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gluten-Free Chinese Food: Uncle Cheung's in Framingham

I love Uncle Cheung's. We eat here at least once a month, and as someone who is Chinese, finding gluten-free Chinese food is a big deal. I miss being able to go out for dim sum or to meet my family in Chinatown for a big feast, but this is as close as I can get, and it's pretty damn close.

The day I found out there was gluten in soy sauce, I died a little inside. I am CHINESE, people. We live on soy sauce, and it's everywhere in a Chinese kitchen. This is also why I'm afraid to eat at a Chinese restaurant. The prep areas, the woks.. soy sauce everywhere! I'm also hesitant to trust a restaurant like this, because when there's a language barrier, I don't feel confident in my safety.

Then I discovered Uncle Cheung's. From what I understand, the owner's family has celiac, so they take it very seriously. They can make most of the items on their menu gluten free! As an extra bonus to me, they have an authentic Shanghai menu for Chinese people, with all of the classics that I grew up and love, like beef tendons, pea shoots, rice cakes, and steamed whole fish in ginger and scallions. They use water chestnut flour for frying, and they also use gluten-free soy sauce.

I've never gotten sick from eating at Uncle Cheung's, not once. I am VERY sensitive, so even the slightest error would send my stomach into a conniption fit, and that has never happened here. Is the food the best Chinese food in the world? No. But it's pretty solid, and I feel completely safe eating here, which is worth every penny. It's a little bit expensive compared to most Chinese joints in the area, but it's very tasty and the safety is well-worth the extra money.

Items to try:

  • Garlic spareribs. Fried with hot peppers and super delicious. They also do fried calamari in a similar manner.
  • Sauteed pea shoots. Delicate and flavorful.
  • Shredded beef and leeks. Sweet and pungent, this is fantastic over rice. 
  • Steamed whole fish with ginger and scallions. This tastes like my childhood!
If you're in the Boston area and are looking for a safe place to eat Chinese food, run, don't walk, to Uncle Cheung's. Even better, they're open on Christmas! My family and I did Christmas here last year, and it was wonderful. 

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