This post is sponsored by Nima Sensor and contains affiliate links.
Pei Wei is a fast-casual pan-Asian restaurant that is owned by the same parent company as PF Chang’s. Pei Wei has always had a few safe gluten-free options. While the gluten-free menu was small, most of us were just happy to have something.
Today, however, I’m excited to report that Pei Wei has EXPANDED its once limited gluten-free menu to offer so many new gluten-free selections. I now have no doubt that you’ll find something you love on this expanded gluten-free menu. Scroll down to read more about the new gluten-free menu items (you’re going to be so happy!!).
On top of having expanded gluten-free options, you can feel good about eating at Pei Wei because of its clean-label initiative known as “The Wei Forward.” The company is committed to using minimally-processed, fresh ingredients as evident by its newest offering, cauliflower rice. In fact, The Wei Forward’s principles include:
- Use Fresh and Whole Food – This means Pei Wei is committed to using quality meats and it freshly slices 20+ different kinds of vegetables daily (and throughout the day).
- Be Clean and Transparent – Pei Wei says that 30 percent of its rice bowls are entirely free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and that number will be up to 61 percent by the end of 2019.
- Offer Food that is “Made for You” – Pei Wei says that it will customize any dish – and that includes ensuring its gluten sensitive customers get a meal that meets their dietary preferences.
However, since getting my Nima Sensor, I’ve wondered if Pei Wei is really gluten-free. I’ve always felt fine eating there, but you just never know if gluten might be lurking in your food. I decided to put the restaurant to the Nima Sensor test once and for all!
What is a Nima Sensor?
A Nima Sensor is a portable device that detects gluten in a small portion of the food you test. You simply add a pea-sized amount of food to the Nima Sensor capsule, put the capsule in your Nima Sensor, and within 2-3 minutes, Nima will tell you if it found gluten or it’ll display a smiley face, which means it’s free from gluten.
Remember, Nima only tests a small portion of your food, and it cannot detect soy sauce or other fermented foods, so you must be vigilant when ordering and before eating anything, especially if you are highly sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease.
What’s Gluten-Free at Pei Wei?
When placing your order at Pei Wei, it’s important to tell your server that you need your order to be made gluten-free. Some of the items that can be made gluten-free aren’t exclusively gluten-free, so it is important to disclose your “allergen.”
On top of that, always take a moment to confirm that your meal is gluten-free when it arrives at your table. Ask, “Is this the gluten-free item?”
The Pei Wei menu items that can be made gluten-free include:
- NEW: GF Mongolian
- NEW: GF Fried Rice
- NEW: GF Kung Pao
- NEW: GF Ginger Broccoli
- GF Sweet & Sour
- GF Pei Wei Original (formerly known as Pei Wei Spicy)
- Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
- NEW: Miso Side Salad
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls
- Cauliflower rice ($2 upcharge)
I used to love the Pei Wei Original, but I just recently tried all the new dishes and I now have a new, conclusive favorite… the Gluten-Free Kung Pao. It’s so savory and delicious (vs. sweet). I’m so excited that Pei Wei expanded its gluten-free offerings to include a few savory options.
A few notes about how the gluten-free menu items are prepared at Pei Wei:
(1) Pei Wei says it coats the chicken or shrimp in potato starch (instead of wheat flour) and then cooks it in fresh oil in dedicated gluten-free pans. This means the protein will still have a crispy outside – yum – but will be gluten-free safe. Whew!
(2) Don’t worry, Pei Wei uses gluten-free soy sauce when cooking its gluten-free menu items. In fact, the restaurant only uses gluten-free soy sauce in all its dishes, gluten-free or not.
Pei Wei vs. Nima Sensor
Gluten-free diners rejoice because Pei Wei has created a SAFE gluten-free dining experience for all.
Here is the Nima Sensor results of the gluten-free Pei Wei Original with Chicken, which I tested on Facebook Live. That smiley face means it’s Nima approved and free from gluten.
And here is the result of my Nima Sensor test of the gluten-free Kung Pao too – Nima is all smiles again:
You can watch me test these dishes on Facebook Live here:
Thank you Nima Sensor
The Nima Sensor gives me peace of mind at meal time, and there is nothing like a Nima Sensor smiley face to give me confidence when eating out gluten-free.
While the Nima Sensor is not perfect, as it cannot test the entire meal for cross contact with gluten, it’s still an amazing tool worth considering if you have celiac disease or really suffer when you eat even a crumb of gluten.
You can purchase a Nima Sensor at NimaSensor.com (use my coupon – GOODFORYOUGF for $25 off).