Ki Sushi: Sumptuous Sushi and Sake Meet Gluten Free Dining


On the West Coast, we’re incredibly lucky to have access to cheap and plentiful sushi. Sometimes, it seems like there’s a shop on every corner offering fresh, flavourful Japanese cuisine. There’s a veritable smorgasbord of options, from rolls bursting with delectable fish and tender rice, to melt-in-your-mouth sashimi. With so many options available, and soy sauce in almost everything, it can be hard to know where to find the best gluten free sushi. New Westminster sushi lovers need look no further than Ki Sushi downtown for an array of wonderful, gluten free sushi.

Gluten Free Options at Ki Sushi:

The rolls: Ki Sushi offers a variety of gluten free maki rolls, because that’s how they roll! (Sorry, not sorry.) My general rule for sushi is to stick to the plainer rolls like tuna, salmon, negitoro (tuna and green onion), cucumber, and chopped scallop. Since they only contain rice, nori (seaweed), fish, and vegetables, they’re a safer option for gluten free diners, and less likely to have been cross contaminated. If you’re not sure about an ingredient in any of the rolls, just ask one of the friendly servers.

The soy sauce: Yes, you can enjoy the salty deliciousness of gluten free soy sauce at Ki Sushi. When I first went gluten free, I got used to not dunking my rolls in soy sauce, since the gluten free version wasn’t widely available. It’s available by request at Ki, and it’s a treat to be able to enjoy it again!

The sashimi: OK, so raw seafood may not be on the top of everyone’s list, but it’s one of my favourite things to order when I get sushi. The tuna sashimi melts in your mouth, and the salmon sashimi is fresh and flavourful. For a walk on the wilder side, try the octopus, yellowtail, or mackerel sashimi. If you can’t get behind the idea of completely raw fish, Ki Sushi also does tuna tataki, which is lightly seared on the outside.

The edamame: These steamed soybeans are sprinkled with coarse salt, and are a delicious gluten free treat to nibble on while waiting for your rolls.

The sunomono: Rice noodles, shrimp, and thinly-sliced cucumber are marinated in rice vinegar and served cold. It’s a tangy, refreshing appetizer, and since it uses rice noodles, it’s gluten free.

The miso soup: Hot, salty, and loaded with chunks of tofu and seaweed slices, this Japanese mainstay is sure to satisfy.

The nigiri: Thin slices of seafood sashimi are served on little beds of rice. Nigiri is a great way to experience lots of different kinds of sashimi. If you’re vegetarian, try the tamago nigiri, which is cooked egg.

What to Watch Out For:

The California roll: California rolls contain imitation crab meat, which is not gluten free. Imitation crab is a staple in many of the rolls at Ki, so it’s a good idea to make sure that the special roll you’ve been eyeing doesn’t contain it. If you’re in the mood for crab, Ki offers a real crab roll.

The tempura: This deep-fried treat is available at almost all sushi restaurants, but the batter contains gluten. Shrimp tempura is one of the main ingredients in dynamite rolls, so they’re not safe for gluten free sushi seekers.

The udon: Ki offers a variety of udon noodle soup, but the noodles contain wheat flour.

The ramen: Like the udon, the ramen noodles at Ki contain wheat flour, so they’re not gluten free.

The teriyaki: Teriyaki sauce contains regular soy sauce, so it’s not gluten free.

The sauces: Not all of the sauces at Ki contain gluten, but since many of them do use soy sauce as a base, it’s a good idea to ask the server about gluten free alternatives.

The Service:

Whether you’re dining in or getting a meal on the go, the service at Ki Sushi is always fast and efficient. In general, I’ve found that the servers are knowledgeable about gluten free alternatives and modifications, and if they’re not sure about something, they’ll check with the kitchen. The food always comes out quickly, and dishes are taken away promptly, to make room for more sushi goodness! They’re on top of the green tea refills too. I don’t think I’ve ever made it to the bottom of my teacup!

The Restaurant:

When you step into Ki Sushi, the first thing you’ll hear is trickling water. No, they don’t have plumbing problems, the sound you hear is from the koi pond at the entrance. Giant koi twirl lazily in the water, until they see you watching. As soon as they spot you, they’ll congregate at the surface, hoping for a treat! The rest of the restaurant is contemporary and comfortable, and in certain spots, you can watch the sushi chefs making beautiful platters of goodness. Ki is conveniently located right across the street from New Westminster SkyTrain station, which makes it a great place to drop in on your way home from work.

The Verdict:

Ki Sushi offers a plethora of gluten free sushi options. The fish is fresh and delicious, the service is quick, and you’ll always leave full and happy.

Happy chopsticking!


If this is your business and your gluten free options have changed, please let me know! My goal is to provide the most up to date information on New Westminster’s gluten free choices.


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