Did you know that one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when on keto is eating Chinese cuisine?
That’s because the Chinese love their sauces—most of which are packed with sugar, so those are high in carbs and calories.
Not only that, most of their dishes are best eaten with rice and noodles.
Let’s also not forget that they love to coat their proteins with batter and breading.
Do these mean you don’t have a chance at eating at an Asian fast food restaurant like Pei Wei if you’re on keto? Not really.
However, you do need to research their dishes in advance to know which one suits your diet.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you out.
- Understanding the Keto Diet
- Pei Wei: A Quick Overview
- How to Order Low Carb at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen on Keto
- Keto-Friendly Options at Pei Wei
- What Dishes Should You Avoid in the Pei Wei Menu?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding the Keto Diet
The keto diet, short for ketogenic, is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan known for its potential to boost weight loss and enhance metabolic health. By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fats, the body enters a state of ketosis, where it becomes efficient at burning fat for energy.
Pei Wei: A Quick Overview
Pei Wei, a popular chain of Pan-Asian restaurants, is renowned for its fusion of bold flavors and fresh ingredients. Offering a diverse menu inspired by various Asian cuisines, Pei Wei presents a remarkable opportunity for keto enthusiasts to embark on a flavorsome journey.
How to Order Low Carb at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen on Keto
Let’s start this simple keto Pei Wei Asian Diner guide with the following ordering tips.
1. Order Online.
You can find the Pei Wei menu online. The best thing about ordering online is you can easily see the low carb alternatives in their menu.
You can also access their nutrition facts section online to know the macros of each meal. (1)
2. Customize Your Order.
You should understand that there are only a few dishes in the Pei Wei Menu that is already keto as is.
To keep them low carb, you have to make a few necessary tweaks and adjustments. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to customize your order!
3. Eat Only Half of The Entrée.
Some of the low-carb entrees we’ll share with you still contain high amounts of carbs. To make them fit your keto diet, the best thing you can do is share them with someone.
4. Avoid The Sauces or Stick to The Low Carb Ones.
Most of the sauces in Asian fast food and other restaurants contain high amounts of sugars, so these are not recommended for keto dieters.
Only include the dish’s sauce if you’re sure that their carbohydrate content is within keto requirements.
5. Don’t Order Fried Foods.
Most of these crispy fried items have breading or wrappers which increases their carbohydrate content.
If you’re craving this type of food, you can order them once in a while, but you have to reduce your carbohydrate consumption throughout the day.
6. Ask for Gluten-free.
If you have gluten intolerance, we have good news for you! There are gluten-free options in the Pei Wei menu! These are just gluten-free versions of some of their entrees.
7. If You Must Eat Rice, Go for Cauliflower Rice.
Some of the entrees in the Pei Wei menu are best eaten with rice. But since you’re on keto, the safest option that you have is plain cauliflower rice.
You’ll also find cauliflower fried rice, but we don’t recommend it since it contains 19g net carbs!
8. For People on Strict Keto, Go for Steamed Protein.
If you want to keep your calorie and carbohydrate consumption to a minimum, choose steamed dishes with no sauce and vegetables.
Keto-Friendly Options at Pei Wei
Check out our recommendations below (along with their corresponding nutrition facts).
1. Pei Wei Keto-Friendly Salad Bowl
Not all fast-food restaurants have salad bowls in their dish. That’s why you should grab this opportunity to grab these salad bowls when eating keto at Pei Wei.
Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
The bowl is packed with hand-pulled chicken meat, red bell peppers, carrots, cilantro, sesame seeds and crispy wontons, mixed greens, and sesame ginger vinaigrette.
Pei Wei Nutrition shows that one dish has 660 calories, 35g fat, 46g protein, 6g fiber, and 38g net carbs.
To keep this low carb, we recommend removing the crispy wontons and the vinaigrette.
Spicy Polynesian Poke Bowl
Yes, Pei Wei also offers Ahi Poke.
This one contains Pacific Krab, sambal chili sauce, sushi rice, crispy shallots, pickled ginger, fresh cilantro, julienned cucumber, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette.
You’ll get 710 calories, 29g fat, 25g protein, 3g fiber, and 85g net carbs when you finish this.
To reduce its carbohydrate content significantly, we recommend ordering this without the sushi rice, vinaigrette, and chili sauce.
2. Pei Wei Keto Friendly Appetizers
Here’s another great news—Pei Wei also has low carb appetizers that you can enjoy even when on the keto diet.
Here are a few of our suggestions
One piece of crab wonton will give you 85 calories, 5g fat, 3g protein, 0.5g fiber, and 6.5g net carbs.
Since it’s a bit high in carbohydrates, limit your consumption to only one or two pieces. Also, avoid the sauce as much as you can.
Three pieces of their chicken potstickers contain 50 calories, 1.5g fat, 3g protein, and 6g net carbs.
Due to its calories and carbohydrate content, you should avoid eating more than 3 pieces.
Miso Side Salad
With the dressing, the Pei Wei nutrition fact of this salad is 140 calories, 11g fat, 1g protein, 2g fiber, and 6g net carbs.
You can remove the dressing and carrots to make it a great keto option.
Thai Wonton Soup
A cup of this soup contains 80 calories, 2g fat, 5g protein, 2g fiber, and 9g net carbs.
Hot & Sour Soup
One cup of Pei Wei Hot & Sour Soup will give you 70 calories, 3g fat, 5g protein, 1g fiber, and 5g net carbs.
#3. Pei Wei Low Carb Entrees
Pei Wei offers plenty of low-carb entrees. However, most of these are ordered with rice. If you’re on the keto diet, we recommend ordering this with either cauliflower rice (6g net carbs) or a lettuce cup (4g net carbs).
Yum Yum Shrimp
This is one of Pei Wei favorites as it features hand-battered and crispy shrimp pieces tossed in a creamy and sweet yum yum sauce. The shrimps are arranged over a plate of shredded cabbage.
An order contains 260 calories, 18g fat, 7g protein, 1g fiber, and 15g net carbs.
The shrimp and cabbage are great low-carb options (2). Unfortunately, the sauce is carbohydrate-rich, so you may want to avoid that.
If you want to try the sauce, the best thing you can do is share the entrée with a friend. Or you can ask them to serve the sauce on the side so you can control the amount of sauce you’ll consume.
Steamed Vegetable and Chicken Dumplings
These are steamed dumplings packed with cabbage, ginger, chicken, green onions, and shallots.
While this dish comes with a wonton wrapper, it’s still considered keto-friendly if you’ll consume only a few pieces.
Since you’re free to choose how many dumplings you’ll order, you have the power to control your carbohydrate consumption.
One dumpling contains 30 calories, 1g fat, 1g protein, 1g fiber, and 3g net carbs.
Spicy Korean BBQ Steak
This is the perfect dish for anyone who loves spicy.
For this dish, they used grass-fed and wok-seared steak topped with onions, red bell peppers, cauliflower, garlic, and scallions. Everything is tossed in a spicy gochujang sauce.
The small entrée contains 620 calories, 38g fat, 18g protein, 3g fiber, and 23g net carbs.
To keep it low carb, you can order this with cauliflower rice. However, that would increase your net carbs by 6g. If you want it to be keto friendly, we suggest ordering it with a lettuce cup.
Pei Wei Coconut Curry Chicken
This is one of the best Thai dishes and keto options that you can order at Pei Wei. Same with their other chicken dishes, this comes with chicken cubes, onions, broccoli, garlic, and red bell peppers.
The difference lies in the sauce.
This one uses a Thai coconut curry sauce that’s both creamy and tasty. Coconut milk is high in fats which are perfect for the keto diet. (3)
Finish a small entrée, and you’ll get 847 calories, 60g fat, 28g protein, 5g fiber, and 26g net carbs.
Beef and Broccoli
Beef and Broccoli is one of the most celebrated Chinese fast food options. This also uses wok-seared grass-fed steak, broccoli, ginger, scallions, and garlic. Everything is coated with sweet soy sauce.
As per the Pei Wei Nutrition section, a small entrée contains only 620 calories, 43g fat, 21g protein, 5g fiber, and 33g net carbs.
You can further lower its carbohydrate count by ordering this with light soy sauce and removing the scallions.
Chicken and Broccoli
Their chicken and Broccoli are very much like their beef and broccoli. The only difference is this uses cubed white meat chicken instead of steak. Because of this, it contains less fat and calories but is higher in protein.
A small entrée will give you 486 calories, 23g fat, 22g protein, 4g fiber, and 40g net carbs.
Ask them to remove the scallions and opt for a light sauce to keep this dish low carb.
If you don’t like the taste of ginger, the Mongolian chicken may be your best bet. It has chicken cubes, scallions, garlic, and mushroom in a sweet soy sauce.
If you finish one small order, you’ll get 446 calories, 23g fat, 20g protein, 1g fiber, and 24g net carbs.
If you love sweet and chili dishes, the Sesame Chicken is what we’ll recommend. It comes with crispy chicken cubes, ginger, chili paste, red bell pepper, onions, broccoli, and sweet soy chili citrus glaze. It’s then topped with toasted sesame seeds.
This dish’s small order contains 708 calories, 43g fat, 21g protein, 3g fiber, and 36g net carbs.
Pei Wei Thai Basil Chicken
The meal contains red bell peppers, cubed chicken pieces, snap peas, basil, garlic, and onions—all tossed in a mildly spicy cashew sauce. It has cashew nut toppings too.
A small entrée will give you 847 calories, 60g fat, 28g protein, 5g fiber, and 26g net carbs.
To lower its carbohydrate content, we recommend ordering it with a lettuce cup and asking for a light sauce on the side. You can also ask them to hold the other vegetables.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your protein consumption, ordering their steamed edamame is the best way to go.
The dish features steamed Edamame with Kosher salt on the side for some flavor.
The Pei Wei nutrition content for a small order is 160 calories, 7g fat, 15g protein, 9g fiber, and 0 net carbohydrates.
On the other hand, a large order contains 320 calories, 13g fat, 30g protein, 19g fiber, and 0 net carbs. However, please keep in mind that the large order is meant for sharing.
#4. Pei Wei Keto Friendly Sides
Here are some low carb side dishes that will undoubtedly go well with their entrees:
A cup of this has 120 calories, 8g fat, 5g protein, 5g fiber, and 6g net carbs.
A cup filled with shredded lettuce contains 30 calories, 0g fat, 2g protein, 2g fiber, and 4g net carbs.
#5. Pei Wei Low Carb Drinks
If you’re on the ketogenic diet, it’s recommended that you drink only plain water.
But if you want something else, we recommend going for Pei Wei Mandarin Orange Tea and Pei Wei Chai Spice Black Tea as these contain 0 net carbs.
What Dishes Should You Avoid in the Pei Wei Menu?
Here are the Pei Wei dishes that are not recommended for the keto diet:
Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps: The lettuce wraps are far from being keto as it contains a whopping amount of carbohydrates—66 grams!
- Wasabi Vinaigrette
- Thai Peanut Vinaigrette
- Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
- Thai Dipping Sauce
- White Miso Ginger Dressing
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Cauliflower Power Bowl
- Egg Rolls
- Rice and Noodles
- Spring Rolls
- Thai Donuts
- Fudge Brownie
Yes, you can’t assume anything is low carb or keto-friendly based on just the main ingredients.
When it comes to Chinese cuisine, you also need to check out the nutritional content of the sauces that they use.
Luckily, we have already provided you with all the nutritional information you need to properly decide which Pei Wei dishes you can eat, even if you’re not on the ketogenic diet.
And in case you’re still looking for more restaurants to enjoy your weekends, Cracker Barrel is a good one that we recommend.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I enjoy Pei Wei’s famous rice dishes while on keto? Certainly! Ask for cauliflower rice substitutions to keep the dish keto-friendly.
2. Are the nutritional details of Pei Wei’s menu items available online? Yes, Pei Wei provides comprehensive nutritional information on their website, allowing you to make informed choices.
3. Can I modify menu items to suit other dietary preferences, such as vegetarian or gluten-free? Absolutely. Pei Wei is known for accommodating various dietary needs, so don’t hesitate to ask for modifications.
4. Is dining at Pei Wei expensive? Pei Wei offers a range of dishes at different price points, making it suitable for various budgets.
5. How can I find the nearest Pei Wei location? You can easily locate the nearest Pei Wei restaurant through their official website or a maps application on your smartphone.