I had some truly lovely feedback from Part One in this series, so I’m back again with the next instalment! As before, I will summarise how I managed to eat gluten free in a particular country, then give an example of a typical day’s food from that area.
Java was . . . an experience. We often felt like we were the only tourists on the whole island, and English wasn’t commonly spoken. When the locals struggle to understand the word “restaurant”, you’re not going to have must luck finding specific gluten free food. The coaliac awareness cards don’t take into account that not everyone in more remote places can read, but we managed. Nasi Goreng, fried rice with egg, became a staple and I was glad to see McDonalds chips by the time we got to Yogyakarta.
Breakfast: Broth, noodles or rice with tofu and peanut sauce.
Lunch: Nasi Goreng
Dinner: Nasi Goreng again!
Kuala Lumpur was quite a treat after Java. It had recognisable chains, like our beloved 7/11 and fast food outlets, offering the chap a chance to break the endless offerings of rice. I also got a chance to switch up my plates of Nasi Goreng thanks to the influence of other cultures, like Indian curries and stir fried dishes, such as pad Thai. Still with rice, naturally.
Breakfast: Fruit smoothie.
Lunch: Cheap and filling pad Thai.
Dinner: Aloo gobi and basmati rice from a curry house.
We were thoroughly treated on Borneo, as we were joined for the week by the chap’s parents. It does show what you can get done when you have the luxury of planning ahead, because I had pasta bolognese, banana pancakes and a beautiful chicken cordon blue prepared for me at one of the jungle retreats we were staying in. For the rest of the week, it was staples of fried rice, eggs and fresh fruit.
Breakfast: Omelette and bananas.
Lunch: Vegetable fried rice.
Dinner: Rice noodles with vegetables.
(We did visit Bangkok next, but spent more time in Thailand later on the trip, so I will save that for the next part.)
I felt like a real traveller in Cambodia, venturing into the unknown to look at ancient temples and ride tuk tuks. I ate mostly omelettes, fried rice and spring rolls. The only traditional dish I sampled was pumpkin and pork, which was delicious. It must be noted that the only time I was truly unwell was during our time in Cambodia, and I have my theory that it was drinking contaminated water in a vegetable soup dish that wasn’t quite as hot as it should of been. Don’t let that put you off visiting beautiful Cambodia, but it’s good to be aware.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon.
Lunch: Fresh vegetable spring rolls with chilli dipping sauce.
Dinner: Jacket potato and baked beans – all I wanted when I was recovering!
As we continued our adventure, I became increasingly aware that I had a real habit of finding a dish that was safe to eat, then eating it for every meal, so as not to risk being glutenend. This was particular obvious in Vietnam, as I chose to eat pho breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chap had to intervene when he learned my digestion was suffering. I know it’s scary to add variety in an unknown country, but it is very important, no matter how delicious pho is!
Breakfast: Traditional beef pho.
Lunch: More fried rice!
Dinner: Chicken pho with a side of fried spring rolls, shared with the chap.
Please feel free to ask any more specific questions in the comments below if there is anything I’ve missed. One more part to come later on in the week, so be sure to look out for it.