I'm allergic to peanuts and pistachio nuts among other nuts but not every nuts. It's easy for me to avoid nuts on my day-to-day life (living in France), plus I'm more or less able to spot if I'm allergic just by smelling.

I almost never had a reaction, but sufficiently enough to know that if in contact with peanuts or pistachio nuts, I do Angioedema.

I wish to travel for 6 month across South-East Asia and Oceania. A non-exhaustive list of Countries I'd like to visit are : Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, China and Japan.

I feel like Asians use a lot of peanuts and pistachio nuts in their food and I'm afraid my nose won't be able to tell if I'm allergic in every cases.

In those countries, is it difficult to find food that does not contain at all peanuts and pistachio nuts ?

What would be the best way for me to survive this trip ?

EDIT : I just found this website, following the idea of Tom that a website may be referencing in a lot of languages "how to say that I'm allergic to peanuts".

  • 1
    I think your bigger problem will be communicating to ask whether or not the food has peanuts in it. What kind of medication do you take if you're in contact with peanuts ?
    – blackbird
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:28
  • I never took medications for this, because I never had to. So I really don't know. I think an injection of Adrenaline, Antihistamine and Corticosteroid is required in this case.
    – Kii
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:32
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    I would plan for the worst case and check if you could travel with these meds, ask your doctor what you need. Then maybe learn a few phrases in local language to ask about peanuts.
    – blackbird
    Jan 27, 2016 at 14:33
  • Discuss with your doctor, but in your shoes I would carry an Epipen. Jan 28, 2016 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


There plenty of dishes in SE Asia that do not use nuts, you won't starve. But as you surmised it could be difficult to determine if nuts were used by smell or sight alone.

First thing you should do when you arrive in each country is to ask someone to write a note about your allergy in the local language. Keep it simple, that you have an allergy to nuts and please do not use nuts when cooking. I came across a website a while back had phrase cards for this sort of thing, but lost track of the url.

  • Thanks for the idea. I updated my question with a link thanks to you. I also checked how it was told in my own language. Unfortunatly, the translations are not as accurate as I hoped but at least even if it's too broad, it does contains my allergy.
    – Kii
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:01
  • @Kii - Be wary of online translations from some Asian languages into western languages (or any language for that matter). Some Asian languages, such as Thai, are so different in structure and thought patterns that machine translations totally botch the job.
    – user13044
    Jan 28, 2016 at 1:20
  • I've just heard someone that used a logo to make it plain even for those who cannot read. For example aveson.org/sites/default/files/siderail/NoPeanut.gif. Please add this way to communicate and I'll validate your answer.
    – Kii
    Apr 28, 2016 at 15:13
  • A graphic like that would keep you from getting peanuts in a bar, but would not be sufficent to inform a cook not use a wok that he just cooked another peanut dish in. A written note is best.
    – user13044
    Apr 28, 2016 at 15:35
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    A cook knows what a peanut looks like, but that graphic will not tell him you may die from peanut residue. It will only tell him not to put nuts on the food. Being explicit is necessary when communicating across cultures, especially in life & death matters. I speak from experience from many years of leading tours in SE Asia and having to explain guest's food allergies.
    – user13044
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:25

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