Are you feeling down and need some cheering up? That’s nothing fried rice and dumplings can’t fix!
Thinking of what to eat on a chilly and rainy night? There are congee and noodle soups to the rescue!
Do you want something tasty and filling? A plate of Lo mein noodles or orange chicken is always a great idea!
Are you hungry but tired to cook? Then, you can order Chinese takeout from your favorite restaurant!
Yes, Chinese food are the best comfort food, whether it’s raining or just wanting something familiar and comforting.
But wait, you’re on keto! So it will be impossible for you to enjoy your favorite carb-rich Chinese dish on a low-carb diet, right?
It’s true that most Chinese meals contain noodles and rice is rich in carbs. Therefore, these should be avoided on a ketogenic diet, but here’s a surprising twist—there are low-carb Chinese dishes that you can eat on keto.
The chance to enjoy Chinese food while staying low carb? Sign us up, please!
Continue reading to know which are the best low-carb Chinese food you can eat on keto.
Top 7 Tips to Stay Low Carb When Eating Chinese Food on Keto Diet
Before we reveal the best Chinese food options you have on a keto diet, let us first check out these keto guidelines on ordering and choosing Chinese meals.
Know Your Sauces.
Most Chinese cuisines are saucy. Unfortunately, not all sauces are keto-friendly since most of them contain hidden carbs.
To know which sauces to try and which to avoid, here’s a simple guideline that you can follow: the thicker, the sweeter, and less translucent the sauce are, the higher its carb count.
With this in mind, some of the sauces you should avoid are General Tso’s chicken’s sweet sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and coconut sauce.
Say Goodbye to Soy Sauce and Hello to Coco Aminos.
Most often than not, the soy sauce used in cooking Chinese dishes is not keto. (1) When eating out, avoid dishes that contain too much soy sauce. If you’re craving a soy sauced-based Chinese dish, we recommend cooking the dish on your own using coco aminos instead of soy sauce.
Look for Low-carb Noodle Alternatives.
Unfortunately, noodles are a big no-no on a ketogenic diet, no matter what you do. The good news is, you can still enjoy your favorite Chinese noodle dish simply by using low-carb noodle alternatives like konjac noodles, shirataki noodles, squash noodles, zucchini noodles, or kelp noodles.
Stick with Clear Soups.
As mentioned, the less translucent the sauce is, the more carbs it contains. This simple guideline applies to choosing your soups too.
You should stick with clear soups as these contain less starch. Avoid the colored, less translucent ones with that in mind.
Try Out Keto-friendly Rice.
Thanks to the availability of keto-friendly rice, you can now eat your favorite grain on keto. But we’re going, being honest: it doesn’t taste or feel the same as rice, but if you want to enjoy your favorite fried rice, this is worth a try.
Stay Away from Water-velveted or Breaded Meats.
When you visit a restaurant or go to buffets, you’ll notice that their menu is filled with breaded meats and seafood (i.e., fried chicken, butterfly shrimp, etc.) or saucy dishes (General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken, etc.).
Unfortunately, the thick breading and sugary sauces of their dishes contain too much carbs, so you should avoid them as much as possible.
When Eating out, Build Your Meal.
If you plan on eating out, stick to buffets or restaurants that give you a chance to build your meal. Some fantastic examples are Mongolian barbecue buffets or hibachi, which give you a wide range of vegetables, meats, and other protein sources.
When building your meals, make sure to stock up on eggs, stir fry meats, and vegetables. Then, season these with the usual condiments soy sauce (small amounts only), hot sauce, or different oils. Avoid the pre-made sauces as much as you can.
What Kind of Chinese Food Can I Eat On Keto?
Whether you are planning to eat at a restaurant or you wish to prepare your Chinese feast, here are some of the Chinese meals that can fit your keto diet:
Chicken or Pork Moo Shu
Moo Shu is one of the best stir-fried dishes you can enjoy on keto. It often features either pork or chicken strips and vegetables like Shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, onions. bell peppers, snow pea pods, and celery.
This main dish is often served with pancake and a sauce, but since you’re on keto, these are not allowed, so you’ll have to eat this dish without its sides! Fortunately, the Mu Shu Pork or Chicken is already flavorful and filling enough on its own, so you wouldn’t precisely miss those!
- A single serving of a generic Moo Shu recipe contains 568 calories, 42g fat, 43g protein, and 6g fiber, and 2g net carbs
Chicken or Beef and Broccoli
This one’s a pretty straightforward dish, yet it’s considered one of the best meals out there. From its name, this dish contains chicken or beef and broccoli stir-fried in a savory sauce.
Please take note that two things have carbs in this recipe. The first is broccoli which contains dietary fiber, and the second one is the brown sauce.
While the carbs in the broccoli are reasonable, you must watch out for the carbs in your brown sauce.
Because of this, we recommend that you prepare this dish at home instead of ordering it at restaurants.
- A 1 serving (1 lb) of this dish contains 340 calories, 8g fat, 52g protein, 2g fiber, and 10g net carbs.
Egg Foo Young
This dish is the Chinese version of the omelet, but they took this one to a whole new level. In addition to beaten eggs, they also added a wide range of vegetables like mushrooms, spring onions, sliced cabbage, bamboo shoots, beans sprouts, and water chestnuts.
You also have the option to add chicken, pork, or beef to this. Adding shrimps would be a great idea too.
Since it’s mostly protein and fiber, you wouldn’t have to worry about being kicked out of ketosis. However, you do need to watch your consumption since it’s high in calories.
- A single serving (around 500g) of this dish will give you 770 calories, 55g fat, 54g protein, 2g fiber, and 11g net carbs.
Steamed or Boiled Seafood
This dish isn’t exclusive to Chinese cuisine, but we included this since it’s a mainstay in every Chinese buffet.
If you’ve been to one, you most likely have seen a crustacean station in a buffet. It’s filled with steamed or boiled shrimps, prawns, crawfish, lobsters, and many more.
There’s no denying that these are irresistible. However, you don’t have to avoid them since they are packed with protein and free of carbs. Just make sure to eat these with veggies so you’ll have your daily dose of fiber too.
- Shrimp: A medium-sized shrimp contains 7 calories, 0.11g fats, 1.33g protein, and 0.06g net carbs.
- Crab: A cup of steamed or boiled crab contains 97 calories, less than 1g of fats, 21g protein, and 0g net carbs.
- Crawfish: A single serving (1 oz) of crawfish will give you 23 calories, 0.33g fat, 4.66g protein, and 0g net carbs.
Egg Drop Soup
As we’ve mentioned, not all soups are good for keto, but the Egg Drop Soup is one of the best ones. This soup is the perfect appetizer for your feast.
This soup contains only a few ingredients—egg, broth, and thickener. It’s also flavored with pepper and garnished with chopped scallions.
Most restaurants use starch as a thickener. Even without tweaks, it’s already keto-friendly since the thickener is added only in small amounts. But if you’re on strict keto, we suggest ditching the starch and making your own at home using xanthan gum which contains fewer carbs.
- One serving (2 cups) will give you 113 calories, 4.7g fats, 8.5g protein, and 8g net carbs.
Hot and Sour Soup
Now, here’s the best soup for cold rainy nights. This soup is a comforting blend of spices, tofu, and mushroom. Some even add vinegar which lends a unique tangy and sour taste to it.
Same with the egg drop soup, this also contains thickener, so better make one on your own using xanthan gum.
- One cup of Hot and Sour Soup will give you 91 calories, 2.8g fat, 6g protein, and 8g net carbs.
Kung Pao Shrimp
Featuring a flavorful blend of shrimp, chiles, peanuts, and bell peppers, the Kung Pao Shrimp is everyone’s favorite! Luckily, you can consume this on keto!
Since the ingredients of this dish already deliver lots of flavors, you can opt for a lighter sauce that has lesser carbs.
P.S. You can also make beef, Kung Pao chicken, or pork version of this dish if shrimp is not your cup of tea.
- A cup of this seafood dish contains 304 calories, 18g fats, 18g protein, and 16g net carbs.
Here’s a meal that’s both keto and vegan friendly! Even without the meat, this will leave you feeling full and satisfied. They usually make this using white mushrooms and light sauce, but you can easily replace this with the fungi of your choice.
Again, you should pay attention to its sauce. If you don’t feel confident that it’s low carb, try making one for yourself.
- This dish can give you up to 4.36g net carbs per serving, depending on the sauce.
Peking duck is one proof that you can eat crispy dishes on keto! Since it doesn’t contain any breading, you can eat this without worrying about your carb count. The best thing is it has a strong meaty flavor that you’ll surely love!
However, make sure that the duck wasn’t cooked with hoisin sauce or any sauces that contain sugar. To be on the safe side, you should cook your low-carb version! There are many free recipes that you can follow online.
This is best served with steamed veggies on the side for a well-balanced keto meal.
Is Chinese roast duck Keto-friendly?
Nutritional Content: A quarter Peking duck will give you 663 calories, 41g fat, 30g protein, and 20g net carbs (if hoisin is used).
This is a staple appetizer in most restaurants, and it’s also one of the easiest keto-friendly Chinese meals that you can recreate at home!
All that you need to do is minced or ground meat with veggies. Then, place them over lettuce leaves, top with scallions, and finish off with a splash of coco amino.
Just make sure that you won’t cook it with the sugary sauces they use at restaurants, and you’re good to go.
When on keto, stir fry meat is your best friend. Fortunately, you can eat Mongolian beef, a dish comprised of thinly sliced beef flanks and mixed vegetables. These are stir-fried in brown sauce and topped with chopped scallions.
If you wish to keep it low carb, ask the restaurant to serve the sauce on the side and just dip in it a bit—just enough to give it the flavor you want.
Before ordering, you should ask if the sauce or sweet and savory. Don’t get it if it’s sweet.
- One serving contains 240 calories, 10g fats, 25g protein, 2g fiber, and 9g net carbs.
Other dishes you can enjoy on keto are Steamed fish, Stir fry bean sprouts, and green beans.
Who would’ve thought that you’ll have lots of low-carb options from Chinese cuisine to choose from! This article just proves that the keto diet isn’t as restrictive as everyone thought it would be.
All you need to do is do your research, and you can undoubtedly find the right food for your diet.
We hope that this article will help you enjoy your favorite comfort food, even on keto. After all, you don’t need to deprive yourself just to achieve your health and weight goals!