These delightful tiny snacks, known as fortune cookies, are commonly served in Asian dining.
At the end of your lunch, you would probably be offered a fortune cookie, which you can break open to reveal your fortune or a brief message.
Fortune cookies are also delicious treats, so you may be wondering if these delightful cookies are vegan.
Let’s take a deeper look at fortune cookies and how they’re prepared.
Table of Contents
What Are Fortune Cookies?
Fortune cookies are little, cute snacks often baked with flour, sesame seed oil, sugar, and vanilla for a delicious burst. Fortune cookies have long been associated with Asian culture, having originated in Kyoto, Japan, but are now offered in Asian restaurants all around the world.
However, claiming that all fortune cookies are vegan is a stretch, and you should be cautious about whether a particular business makes its fortune cookies with vegan techniques and vegan ingredients.
Many restaurants’ fortune cookies may include animal-based components, be cooked with an egg wash, or be cross-contaminated with non-vegan products, so it is important to verify allergy information with the staff at your local before eating.
What Are Fortune Cookies Made Of?
Most fortune cookies are made from plant-based ingredients, namely flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil.
Most fortune cookies are made using bleached rather than unbleached flour, which explains their pale color. Many vegans are afraid to consume bleached flour because they believe the bleaching chemicals are animal-derived; however, this is not the case.
Likewise, white sugar has raised some concern among vegans since certain sugar factories use animal bone char for filtering. However, this practice is primarily limited to the United States. As a result, while hardcore vegans in the United States may want to double-check the filtering process of the sugar used in their fortune cookies, most U.K. and European vegans may sigh relief.
Are They Considered Vegan?
Fortune cookies are usually offered as a dessert with non-vegan meals, but the cookies alone are commonly vegan-friendly.
Most labels I’ve seen contain flour, sugar, hydrogenated plant oil, and other preservatives, all of which are vegan.
Palm oil may be the sole exception, but only for some vegans. Because of its environmental impact, this plant oil has caused controversy within the vegan community.
Its production necessitates clearing enormous areas of land, which threatens endangered species and contributes to growing greenhouse gas emissions.
However, palm oil isn’t usually used on fortune cookies. Also, per community standards, it is classified as a non-vegan ingredient. Some vegans wish to avoid the substance, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re an environmentally conscious vegan.
Do Fortune Cookies Have Dairy?
No, most fortune cookies do not include dairy products. Most fortune cookie recipes are free of eggs, milk, and butter, making them vegan in most instances.
If you’re unfamiliar with a certain fortune cookie brand, you should always consult the maker to learn more about the ingredients and manufacturing methods. This is crucial since we cannot ensure that every fortune cookie is vegan. At the factory stage, there is also the possibility of cross-contamination.
Are Fortune Cookies Gluten-Free?
I understand that the main ingredients would lead you to assume that fortune cookies are gluten-free, but that is not the case. The majority of the ingredients mentioned above are plant-based, with wheat-based flour being the most essential, meaning that the most obvious answer to the question “are fortune cookies gluten-free?” is a clear no.
Even though other cookie cuisines are attempting to innovate the fortune cookie-making recipe, the majority of their components primarily involve gluten-laden wheat flour in their procedures.
How Many Calories in a Fortune Cookie?
According to Panda Express, an 8-ounce serving of the edible component of a fortune cookie includes approximately 20 calories. Although the calorie count isn’t excessive, you’re also skipping out on a nutritious snack – fortune cookies have little to no nutritional value.
According to Panda Express, the dietary profile of a fortune cookie is as follows:
- 8mg of sodium content
- 2g of sugar
- 5g of carbohydrates
- No calories from fat
- No cholesterol
- No protein
The majority of the calories in fortune cookies come from sugar, which explains why the quantity of carbohydrates is relatively high for such a small treat. According to the USDA, one fortune cookie contains trace levels of several nutrients, including 0.2 grams of lipid fats, 0.2 grams of fiber, and 0.4 grams of protein.
Panda Express does indicate that these nutritional values may vary depending on geography, seasonal ingredient changes, and packaging variations. Differences in nutritional value should not be statistically significant for such a small food product.
Vegan Fortune Cookies Options
Now that we know what we can expect from fortune cookies, allow me to share with you some fortune cookie options you can try.
Whether you’re comfortable with egg whites in your fortune cookies or a vegan searching for a guilt-free fortune cookie fix, we’ve got you covered. Feel free to check them out if you will.
Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is an American restaurant brand specializing in Asian cuisine. After reviewing the dietary information offered by Pei Wei, it is clear that the fortune cookies there indeed include egg, soy, and wheat.
This implies that the fortune cookies at Pei Wei restaurants are neither vegan nor gluten-free and should be avoided if you have certain dietary restrictions like these.
Panda Express is a well-known and well-liked Asian cuisine restaurant chain in the United States. Despite its popular brand, Panda Express does not readily disclose allergen and ingredient details.
That said, the fortune cookies offered at Panda Express are made with enriched flour, soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil, sugar, salt, corn starch, and artificial flavorings, as per online information.
Furthermore, the Panda Express fortune cookies’ packaging states that they may contain egg, soy, and wheat ingredients. This implies that the Panda Express fortune cookies are vegan-friendly but not gluten-free.
However, due to cross-contamination, you should avoid these fortune cookies since they may contain eggs or soy.
While PF Chang’s provides numerous amusing facts and historical information about their fortune cookies on their website, they do not give allergen and ingredient information. As a result, determining whether the fortune cookies offered at PF Chang’s are vegan or gluten-free is difficult.
However, a company spokesman acknowledged that the Fortune cookies offered at PF Chang’s are not vegan-friendly since they include egg whites.
Many restaurants offer the Golden Bowl brand of fortune cookies, which may be purchased prepared and prewrapped online.
The vanilla version of the Golden Bowl fortune cookies has the following ingredients:
Water, Soybean Lecithin, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, and FD&C Yellow 5 and 6.
While the components appear vegan, the flavorings, FD&C and Yellow 5 and 6, are artificial and not derived from animals; however, they are frequently tested on animals.
Your moral position and animal experimentation ideas will influence whether you consume the Golden Bowl fortune cookies. Furthermore, the major ingredient in these fortune cookies is wheat flour; thus, they are not gluten-free.
The same may be said for Super K fortune cookies as for Golden Bowl ones. Their contents are nearly identical and created with vegan foods; nevertheless, artificial additives such as FD&C and Yellow 5 and 6 are included in Super K fortune cookies.
As a result, whether or not you consume these fortune cookies will be determined by your views against using artificial flavorings in animal testing. Furthermore, the Super K fortune cookies, like the Golden Bowl ones, are produced with wheat flour and are therefore not gluten-free.
Baily International Foods
Baily International Foods’ fortune cookies are manufactured similarly to the previous two samples. Wheat flour, sugar, soybean oil, partly hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, sodium bicarbonate, natural and artificial flavors, and FD&C Yellow 5 and 6 are used to make these cookies.
This implies that, while the components appear vegan, the presence of artificial flavorings and Yellow 5 and 6 indicates that they have been tested on animals. It is up to you to determine whether or not to eat them based on your personal morals and vegan position. Again, these fortune cookies are not gluten-free due to the presence of wheat in the flour.
Is It Safe to Say That Fortune Cookies Are Vegan?
Yes, most fortune cookies are vegan-friendly. Fortune cookies, however, may not be a suitable option if you’re a strict vegan who wants to avoid questionable substances like refined sugar, natural or artificial flavors, and added colors.
Another thing to remember is that if you’re in a restaurant, you should ask the staff if their fortune cookies are vegan because they may include egg whites or milk.
If you buy fortune cookies from supermarkets, I’d say most of them are vegan-friendly but double-check the contents before you buy.