The FODMAP-adventure: The Sushi Challenge


Sushi on the Menu

During the three months between the last breathing sample and Christmas times it was full focus on “Operation test foods” The principe was provocation. Meaning: Eat as much of that one food item which is up for the test during a period of two days that if there is an intolerance the reactions will be noticeable. Or, as I prefer calling it; “The eat yourself sick method.”

Most things went fine though. Parsley, nori, rice wine vinegar.. Yes, I quickly eyed the possibility of having sushi again. Pickled ginger went fine to my surprise. The fear had been that it would simply be too strong for my bowels to handle. Wasabi on the other hand turned out to be a minor problem, but that is one part of sushi it is possible to just skip.

Standard accessories for sushi.

Stanard accessories for sushi.


The Sushi Dilemma

The problem was: sesame seeds. They do not just make me feel a bit unwell, but down right sick. These silly little seeds that almost every sushi place drizzle all over the sushi. Here is how a typical sushi platter looks. Sesame seeds everywhere!

Maki sushi with sesame seeds

Makirolls with sesame seeds

A single one of these seeds and I got a belly ache. Another two and I am sick until the next day. I absolutely love sushi. And, not to sound judgemental, but preferably it is made by people with an Asian appearance. It just feels a little bit more authentic that way. The problem is that at a lot of these sushi places the Norwegian language skills are not quite par excellence. The word “allergy” is oftentimes not in the vocabulary. And sesame seeds are some conspicuous, vicious little things. They stick to pretty much everything they come in contact with. So, to summarize: When the waiter does not comprehend what is meant by the words “allergy” or “sick” it goes poorly. When the sushi chef doesn’t comprehend that “not a single seed” is meant literally, then I get sick. When the sushi chef does not change gloves, rinse hands and tools those seeds find their way into my sushi. If they use the same hands or tools in both the sushi rice and the seeds in the kitchen, there is reason for alarm. And if I do not double-check every bit of sushi before eating them, like just in case an evil seed has snuck in despite of all precautions being made, (which happens regularly), then I’ll get sick. And of course, we need to make sure the soy sauce is gluten free. 🙂

Step by step one does discover which places to re-visit and which to avoid. There has been a few bad experiences with the sesame seed issue, and sushi in general. Once I was served fried scampi in maki when just having insisted that the meal had to be gluten free. As if it is not obvious enough that the tempura dough is full of flour? Anyway, I’ve had the chance to enjoy sushi without getting sick on several occasions as well. And when the platter looks something likes this my entire being just wants to eat.

Sushi nigiri

This is how safe sushi looks!


I LOVE sushi <3. But it has become awfully complicated. If I didn’t love it so much I would not have continued this high risk sport.

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