Three Ways to Have a Delicious Dinner at a Chinese Restaurant if You're on a Low-Carbohydrate Diet

Posted on: 11 February 2020

Because Chinese restaurants serve many types of starchy, carbohydrate-rich dishes, you might believe that you cannot visit them whilst you're on a low-carbohydrate diet. However, you can actually have a wonderful meal at this type of restaurant without consuming a lot of carbs. Read on to find out how.

Centre your meal around the restaurant's soup and egg-based dishes

Some of the tastiest items on a typical Chinese restaurant's menu are its soups and egg-based dishes. These are ideal if you're trying to avoid eating too many carbs, as they are either largely free of starchy carbs or can easily be tailored to be free of this macronutrient.

For example, hot and sour soup is usually a safe bet for anyone who needs to restrict their carbohydrate intake, as this dish is made up mainly of low-carb components, like broth, tofu, bamboo shoots, soy sauce and egg. If you order this Chinese soup, however, you should ask them not to thicken it with any form of flour, as this could significantly increase its carb content, and to omit any sweetener that they normally add to it.

Omelettes dishes, such as egg foo young, are another tasty, low-carb option that you may want to order. These consist primarily of ingredients that are either free of (or low in) carbs, such as eggs, non-starchy vegetables and meat.

Be mindful when ordering sauce-covered meat dishes

A Chinese restaurant's meat dishes are also a good choice if you're limiting your carb intake. However, they can sometimes be soaked in sauces that contain large amounts of sugar and flour (like oyster or orange sauce, for example).

If this is the case at the restaurant you will be going to, you should ask them to replace the sauce on the meat dishes you order with a sugar-free spice rub made up of traditional Chinese spices; this will add lots of flavour to the meat without increasing its carb content too much. Alternatively, you can ask for the meat to be served plain, with a side of soy sauce and some fried ginger, garlic and chilli that you can eat alongside the meat to add a bit of extra flavour.

Request some crunchy seaweed and skip the other snacks whilst waiting for your main course

Chinese restaurants will often give their customers a selection of crunchy snacks to munch on whilst they wait for their meals to be made. A lot of these snacks, such as prawn crackers and prawn toast, are rich in carbohydrates like tapioca starch and wheat flour. If you want to have some crunchy snacks to whet your appetite before your main meal arrives, it is best to stick to crunchy seaweed.

Despite its name, many Chinese restaurants do not make this dish with seaweed (which is actually somewhat high in carbs) but will often use spring cabbage or kale (which are not as carb-heavy), which they will deep dry with some Chinese spices. As such, this is probably the most suitable snack to pick.

Contact a local Chinese restaurant for more ideas.