As someone who loves Chinese cuisine and follows a keto diet, I understand how challenging it can be to navigate the menu and find keto-friendly options.
However, with a little bit of knowledge and preparation, it is possible to enjoy delicious Chinese food while also sticking to your keto lifestyle.
In this article, I will share some of my favorite Chinese dishes that are keto-friendly and offer tips on how to modify your favorite Chinese dishes to fit your dietary needs. (1)
Whether you are dining out at a Chinese restaurant or cooking at home, this guide will provide you with superb options to try and make your keto journey a little bit easier.
What Chinese food can you eat on keto diet?
With a few simple modifications and careful choices, it’s possible to enjoy delicious and authentic Chinese food while sticking to a keto diet.
Opt for whole foods, avoid carb-heavy sauces and dishes, and look for low-carb alternatives like cauliflower rice.
How do I make my favorite Chinese dishes keto-friendly?
Now, let’s explore how to transform your beloved savory dishes into keto-friendly indulgences.
The trick is to make simple substitutes and tweak the recipe a bit.
For instance, instead of using rice, swap it with cauliflower rice.
You can also replace cornstarch with arrowroot or xanthan gum to thicken sauces.
Moreover, choose low-carb vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and mushrooms.
One of my favorite dishes is Kung Pao chicken, but it usually has a lot of sugar and starch.
To make it keto-compliant, I use chicken thighs, which have more fat and flavor.
I also skip the cornstarch and sugar and use erythritol or stevia instead.
For the sauce, I mix tamari or coconut aminos, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, and ginger.
I stir-fry the chicken with garlic, onion, bell peppers, and peanuts and serve it with a side of cauliflower rice.
Another dish that you can modify is beef and broccoli.
Instead of using soy sauce, which is high in sodium and gluten, I use coconut aminos, which are lower in sodium and soy-free.
I also add a splash of fish sauce for the umami flavor.
I stir-fry the beef with garlic and ginger and steam the broccoli separately.
Then, I combine them in a pan with the sauce and let it simmer until it thickens.
You can also add some red pepper flakes or sesame seeds for extra crunch and heat.
Can I still enjoy hot and sour soup on a keto diet? Yes, you can! The key is to use chicken broth instead of the traditional pork broth and skip the cornstarch and tofu.
You can use shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts for texture and flavor.
For the sourness, use rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and for the spiciness, use chili paste or sriracha.
You can also add some beaten eggs for protein and richness.
This soup is perfect for a cold day or when you crave something comforting and zesty.
Can I still enjoy hot and sour soup on a keto diet?
Looking to spice up your low-carb meals? Get the scoop on whether hot and sour soup is a keto-friendly choice.
The answer is, unfortunately, no.
Although hot and sour soup is a delicious staple in Chinese cuisine, it is typically made with high-carb ingredients such as cornstarch, rice vinegar, and tofu.
These ingredients are not keto-friendly and can quickly add up your daily carb intake.
But don’t worry, there are still plenty of Chinese dishes that you can enjoy while on a keto diet.
Opt for dishes that are high in protein and healthy fats, and low in carbs.
Some delicious keto-friendly options include stir-fried vegetables with chicken or beef, steamed fish with ginger and scallions, and egg drop soup.
Just make sure to ask for no cornstarch or added sugars when ordering.
Overall, while hot and sour soup may not be a keto-friendly choice, there are still plenty of delicious Chinese dishes that you can enjoy while on a low-carb diet.
By making smart choices and paying attention to the ingredients used in your dishes, you can enjoy the flavors of Chinese cuisine without derailing your keto goals.
Ready to learn more about what to avoid when dining out at a Chinese restaurant? Check out the next section.
What are some common Chinese restaurant dishes to avoid on keto?
To maintain a low-carb intake and adhere to your keto diet, it would be wise to steer clear of dishes such as General Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour pork, and fried rice when dining at a Chinese restaurant.
These dishes are loaded with carbohydrates from the rice, breading, and sugary sauces.
Another dish to avoid is lo mein, as it is made with wheat-based noodles and often contains high-carb vegetables like carrots and onions.
Even some stir-fry dishes can be problematic, as they may be cooked with high-carb ingredients like cornstarch or honey.
Instead, opt for dishes that are heavy on protein and low in carbs, such as steamed or stir-fried vegetables with lean protein options like chicken, shrimp, or beef.
Additionally, soups like egg drop or hot and sour soup can be a good option, as long as they are not thickened with high-carb ingredients like cornstarch.
By making smart choices, you can still enjoy a delicious Chinese meal while sticking to your keto diet.
Are there any keto-friendly soy sauce alternatives? Yes, there are.
Many soy sauces contain a significant amount of carbohydrates due to added sugars and wheat flour.
However, there are some keto-friendly alternatives that you can use instead.
For example, coconut aminos is a soy-free and gluten-free sauce made from the sap of coconut trees.
It has a similar umami flavor to soy sauce and can be used in marinades, dressings, and stir-fries.
Another option is tamari sauce, which is a gluten-free and wheat-free alternative to soy sauce.
It is made from soybeans and has a rich, savory flavor similar to soy sauce.
By using these alternatives, you can still enjoy the flavor of soy sauce while staying within your keto diet guidelines.
Are there any keto-friendly soy sauce alternatives?
If you’re looking for ways to add flavor to your meals while maintaining a low-carb intake, consider trying keto-friendly soy sauce alternatives that can be used in marinades, dressings, and stir-fries. (2)
Traditional soy sauce contains wheat and sugar, making it a no-go for those following a keto diet.
However, there are several alternatives available that taste just as good, if not better.
One option is coconut aminos, which is made from coconut sap and is both gluten-free and soy-free.
It has a similar taste to soy sauce but is slightly sweeter.
Another alternative is tamari, which is made from fermented soybeans and is gluten-free.
Tamari has a richer, darker flavor than coconut aminos and is perfect for adding depth to dishes like stir-fries and soups.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try liquid aminos, which is made from soybeans and has a similar taste to soy sauce.
However, it’s important to note that liquid aminos contain some amino acids that can cause an insulin response, so it should be used in moderation.
Overall, there are plenty of keto-friendly soy sauce alternatives available that can help you add flavor to your meals without compromising your diet.
Looking for a sweet treat to end your meal at a Chinese restaurant while on a keto diet? While traditional desserts like fortune cookies and sweet and sour pork are off-limits, there are still some options available.
Fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, are a great low-carb option that can satisfy your sweet tooth.
You can also order a bowl of hot and sour soup or egg drop soup, which are both low in carbs and can be a satisfying end to your meal.
If you are trying to cook keto Chinese food, check out keto Chinese kitchen tools and ingredients.
Can I have dessert at a Chinese restaurant on a keto diet?
Indulging in a sweet treat after a meal is possible on a keto diet, thanks to some low-carb alternatives available at many Chinese restaurants.
While traditional desserts like fried bananas or sweet and sour chicken might be off-limits, there are still some tasty options to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Here are some keto-friendly desserts to try at a Chinese restaurant:
– Fresh fruit: Many Chinese restaurants offer a fruit plate as a dessert option.
This is a great way to get in some nutrients while satisfying your sweet cravings.
Just make sure to avoid high-carb fruits like bananas and pineapples.
– Almond cookies: Almond flour is a low-carb alternative to regular flour, making almond cookies a good dessert option.
These cookies are crunchy and slightly sweet, perfect for ending a meal.
– Steamed egg tart: This is a traditional Chinese dessert made with eggs, cream, and a little sweetener.
It’s creamy and satisfying, with only a few carbs per serving.
– Tea: Chinese restaurants often offer a variety of teas, which can be a great way to end a meal.
Some teas, like oolong tea, have been shown to have weight loss benefits and may help with digestion.
While it’s possible to enjoy dessert at a Chinese restaurant on a keto diet, it’s important to keep in mind that portion control is key.
Many desserts, even low-carb options, can still be high in calories.
Stick to a small serving size and enjoy in moderation.
Moving forward, it’s important to know how to ensure that your Chinese take-out is keto-friendly.
By making some simple swaps and being mindful of portion sizes, you can still enjoy Chinese food while staying within your keto diet.
How can I ensure my Chinese take-out is keto-friendly?
Making healthy swaps and being mindful of portion sizes is key to enjoying a keto-friendly Chinese take-out.
First off, avoid ordering anything that is breaded, fried, or glazed, as these dishes are typically loaded with carbs and sugar.
Instead, opt for steamed or stir-fried options that are made with low-carb vegetables and lean proteins.
Some great examples of keto-approved Chinese dishes include stir-fried broccoli and beef, steamed fish with ginger and scallions, and hot and sour soup without the noodles.
Another tip for making your Chinese take-out keto-friendly is to ask for your food to be prepared without added sugars or starches.
Many Chinese dishes are loaded with hidden sugars and thickeners that can quickly kick you out of ketosis.
By asking your server to leave out these ingredients, you can enjoy your favorite dishes guilt-free.
You can also ask for extra veggies instead of rice or noodles to keep your meal low-carb and filling.
Finally, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes when eating Chinese takeout on a keto diet.
Many Chinese dishes are served family-style and can be easy to overeat.
To avoid consuming too many carbs and calories, try to stick to single serving size and save any leftovers for later.
By following these tips and making healthy swaps, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying Chinese take-out meal without compromising your keto diet goals.
When it comes to finding keto-friendly options at traditional Chinese food markets, it’s possible, but it may require a bit of creativity and research.
Some great options to look for include roasted or steamed meats, such as duck or chicken, as well as stir-fried or steamed veggies like bok choy, broccoli, and snow peas.
You can also ask for sauces on the side or opt for dishes that are made without added sugars or starches.
With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying Chinese meal that fits perfectly into your keto diet.
Is it possible to find keto-friendly options at traditional Chinese food markets?
As someone on the keto diet, I’m always on the lookout for keto-friendly options wherever I go.
This includes traditional Chinese food markets, which can be a bit tricky to navigate.
However, with a bit of knowledge and some careful selection, it’s possible to find keto-friendly options in these markets.
First of all, it’s important to prioritize protein when looking for keto-friendly options at a Chinese food market.
This means selecting meat dishes such as roast pork, Peking duck, and steamed fish.
These dishes are typically cooked with minimal added sauces or starches, making them a great option for those on the keto diet.
In addition to protein, several vegetable dishes can be keto-friendly.
Stir-fried greens, such as bok choy or Chinese broccoli, are low in carbs and high in fiber, making them a great addition to any keto meal.
Just be sure to ask for them to be cooked without added sauces or starches.
What are some tips for ordering keto-friendly Chinese food at a restaurant?
Looking to enjoy some keto-friendly Chinese cuisine at a restaurant? Here are some helpful tips for ordering!
First and foremost, avoid starchy dishes like rice, noodles, and dumplings.
Instead, opt for dishes that are high in protein and healthy fats, such as stir-fries with vegetables and meat or seafood.
Additionally, be mindful of sauces and dressings that may contain added sugars or cornstarch.
Don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations or modifications to make your meal more keto-friendly.
Be mindful of hidden carbs in sauces and dressings, and ask for them to be left off or served on the side.
Another helpful tip is to ask for modifications to your order.
For example, you can request to have your dish cooked without any added sugar or cornstarch.
You can also ask to substitute rice or noodles with additional vegetables or a side salad.
When in doubt, go for classic dishes that are naturally low-carb, such as steamed or grilled meats and seafood.
Stick to classic dishes that are naturally low-carb, like steamed or grilled meats and seafood.
Some great options include steamed fish with ginger and scallions, moo shu pork without the pancakes, and hot and sour soup without the added cornstarch.
And of course, always be mindful of portion sizes and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
Overall, with a little bit of planning and some savvy ordering, it’s possible to enjoy keto-friendly Chinese food at a restaurant.
So there you have it, folks – a guide to enjoying Chinese cuisine while on a keto diet.
With a little bit of creativity and some knowledge of ingredients, you can still indulge in your favorite dishes without compromising your nutrition goals.
As an example, let me share a personal experience.
I recently went to a Chinese restaurant with some friends and was pleasantly surprised to find a keto-friendly option on the menu – steamed fish with ginger and scallion.
It was delicious and satisfying, and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.
So don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations or to customize your order to fit your dietary needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still enjoy dumplings on a keto diet?
Are you a dumpling lover who is on a keto diet and wondering if you can still indulge in these delicious pockets of goodness? The good news is that you can still enjoy dumplings on a keto diet with some minor tweaks to the recipe.
Instead of using regular flour for the dumpling wrapper, you can substitute almond or coconut flour.
This will help reduce the carb content and make the dumplings keto-friendly.
Additionally, you can use ground chicken or pork as the filling and add in some low-carb vegetables like cabbage, carrots, or mushrooms.
Not only will these ingredients add flavor and texture to the dumplings, but they will also provide some essential nutrients.
Another option is to make the dumplings using thin slices of zucchini or eggplant as the wrapper.
These vegetables are low in carbs and can be sliced thin enough to mimic the texture of the dumpling wrapper.
You can then fill them with a mixture of ground meat and vegetables, and steam or pan-fry them to perfection.
And if you’re missing the dipping sauce, you can make a keto-friendly sauce using ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and stevia.
In conclusion, dumplings can still be enjoyed on a keto diet with some creative substitutions and modifications.
So, go ahead and satisfy your dumpling cravings while staying on track with your keto lifestyle.
Are there any keto-friendly noodle options at Chinese restaurants?
If you’re on a keto diet and looking for noodle options at Chinese restaurants, the good news is that there are a few keto-friendly options available.
One of the best options is to order a stir-fry dish with vegetables and protein, but without the noodles or rice.
This will give you a hearty and flavorful meal that is low in carbs.
Additionally, many Chinese restaurants now offer zucchini or cucumber noodles as a substitute for traditional wheat-based noodles.
These noodles are low in carbs and can be used in dishes like beef chow fun or pad thai.
Another option is to try shirataki noodles, which are made from konjac root and have a very low carb content.
These noodles can be used in dishes like lo mein or ramen, and can be found in some Chinese restaurants or Asian grocery stores.
Just be sure to ask about the ingredients and preparation method, as some sauces or marinades may contain added sugar.
Finally, you can also bring your keto-friendly noodles, like spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash, and ask the restaurant to use them in your dish.
This may be a bit more inconvenient, but it guarantees that you’re staying on track with your keto diet.
In conclusion, there are several keto-friendly noodle options available at Chinese restaurants, including vegetable noodles, shirataki noodles, and bringing your noodles.
With a bit of creativity and flexibility, you can still enjoy delicious Chinese food while sticking to your keto lifestyle.
Can I have beer or other alcoholic drinks with my Chinese meal on a keto diet?
Picture this: you’re out for a night of Chinese food with friends, and you’re wondering if you can indulge in an alcoholic drink or two without breaking your keto diet.
The good news is, there are some options for you! Stick to lower-carb alcohol choices like light beers, dry wines, and spirits like gin or vodka.
Avoid sugary mixers like juice or soda, and opt for sugar-free mixers instead.
Keep in mind that alcohol can slow down your body’s fat-burning process, so it’s best to drink in moderation.
How can I make sure my Chinese take-out doesn’t contain hidden carbs or sugars?
When it comes to Chinese take-out, it can be tricky to know exactly what’s in your food.
To avoid hidden carbs and sugars, start by choosing dishes with simple ingredients like steamed vegetables or meats.
Stay away from breaded or fried options, as these are likely to contain added carbs.
Ask for sauces on the side, as these can often be high in sugar.
You can also ask for substitutions, like brown rice instead of white, or extra vegetables instead of noodles.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make special requests – most restaurants are happy to accommodate.
In conclusion, enjoying Chinese food while on a keto diet is possible.
Stick to lower-carb drink options, choose simple dishes with whole ingredients, and ask questions to make sure you’re getting what you need.
With a little planning and mindfulness, you can still enjoy a delicious meal without compromising your health goals.
I am a skilled chef assistant with a passion for Asian cuisine, I have honed my craft through formal training at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and years of experience in the culinary industry. I have extensive knowledge of cooking techniques and herbs and spices, with a particular focus on traditional Chinese dishes. I’m also an author of the book “Delicious Keto Low Carb Chinese Food for Busy Moms and Fitness Enthusiasts” which is sold on Amazon. On my blog, bowlakechinese.com, I share my expertise in Asian cuisine and provide tips and recipes for those interested in low carb Chinese cuisine.