Craving your favorite Chinese takeout but worried about staying keto? I’ve got great news – you can still enjoy many classic Chinese dishes while keeping carbs low. As a keto enthusiast who loves Chinese food, I’ve discovered plenty of menu items and hacks that work for this diet.
In this article, I’ll share my top go-to orders, simple swaps to cut carbs, and tips to customize your dishes.
You’ll learn which sauces to avoid, how to balance flavors, and what to watch for at your local restaurant.
Follow my tips, and you’ll be indulging in keto-friendly potstickers, lettuce wraps, stir fries and more in no time!
What Chinese food is keto?
Chinese food can be keto-friendly if you opt for dishes like stir-fried meats and vegetables, avoiding sugary sauces and fried items.
Noodle and rice dishes should be replaced with cauliflower rice or zoodles for a low-carb alternative.
Which Chinese Takeout Classics Always Fit My Keto Diet?
As a food blogger who has followed a strict keto diet for over 2 years, I’ve discovered go-to Chinese dishes that fit my low-carb needs.
I’m passionate about helping fellow keto enthusiasts discover the joys of Chinese cuisine.
Follow my lead, and you can indulge in delicious takeout while sticking to your keto goals.
Skip the Rice and Noodles
Most Chinese dishes are served with a heaping portion of white rice or noodles. Choose zucchini noodles instead or ask for extra veggies. Sauces and meats are often keto-friendly.
Try Crunchy, Fresh Lettuce Wraps
Opt for lettuce cups rather than fried rice or lo mein. Fill lettuce leaves with chicken, beef, or shrimp plus veggies and sauce. It’s fresh, crispy, and lower carb.
Choose Soups Wisely
Egg drop soup, hot and sour soup, and wonton-less broths make smart choices. Avoid soups thickened with cornstarch or sweetened with sugar.
Load up on Veggies
Order (1) an extra helping of broccoli, peppers, bok choy, bean sprouts, etc. They add nutrition without carbs and balance flavors.
Pick Sauces Carefully
Thick, sweet sauces like plum, hoisin, and teriyaki are high in sugar. Instead, get dishes with garlic, soy, oyster, or chili sauce. Ask for sauce on the side.
Skip the Fried Items
Fried wontons, egg rolls, and dumplings are carb and calorie bombs. For crunch, try stir-fried veggies instead.
Customize Your Protein
Opt for grilled, steamed, or stir-fried chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, scallops, or tofu. Load up on the protein and ditch the carbs.
With the right menu choices and simple swaps, you can create keto-friendly Chinese meals. Follow my tips for low-carb takes on all your favorite dishes. Enjoy!
Expert Tips for Eating Chinese Keto Food
As a keto enthusiast who adores Chinese food, I get asked a lot about how to eat it low-carb. Here are my tips after years of delicious trial and error.
Focus on Flavorful Protein
Grilled, steamed or stir-fried beef, chicken, shrimp, scallops, pork, and tofu are great keto choices. Load up on the protein and flavor.
Choose Low-Carb Veggies
Broccoli, bok choy, bean sprouts, celery, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms add nutrition without carbs. Get extra veggies instead of rice.
Skip Thick, Sugary Sauces
Avoid sweet sauces like plum, hoisin, and teriyaki. Opt for garlic, soy, sesame, chili, or oyster sauce instead. Ask for sauce on the side.
Watch Out for Hidden Carbs
Breading, batter, cornstarch, and MSG can secretly spike carbs. Check the menu carefully and ask questions.
Choose Soups Wisely
Get hot and sour, wonton-less broths, or egg drop soup. Avoid soups thickened with cornstarch or sugary sauces.
Avoid Fried Items
Fried wontons, dumplings, sesame balls, and spring rolls tend to be carb bombs. Skip them or find a grilled alternative.
Limit Rice and Noodles
Ask for zucchini noodles instead of lo mein or rice. Or just skip them altogether and add more stir-fried veggies.
Build Lettuce Wraps
Fill lettuce cups with chicken, beef or shrimp, veggies, and low-carb sauce for a fresh, crunchy choice.
With the right menu picks and simple swaps, you can customize Chinese food to fit your keto diet. Enjoy the flavors you love while meeting your goals.
Low-Carb Hacks: How to Keto-fy Any Chinese Recipe
Craving Chinese but staying in keto? Follow my tips to customize orders for a low-carb Chinese feast.
Choose Cooking Methods Wisely
Skip anything deep-fried, which adds hidden carbs from oil. Opt for steamed, grilled, or stir-fried dishes instead.
Swap Out High-Carb Ingredients
Sub zucchini noodles for lo mein, cauliflower rice instead of white rice, or add a side salad or veggies rather than soup.
Avoid Thick, Sugary Sauces
Sweet sauces like plum, hoisin, and teriyaki are carb bombs. Go for soy, sesame oil, chili sauce, or garlic.
Portion Control is Key
Even keto-friendly dishes can add carbs quickly. Opt for lighter portions or share dishes to control your intake.
Skip the Fried Extras
Wontons, egg rolls, and deep-fried peanuts add extra carbs. Focus on protein and veggies instead.
Ask for Sauces and Dressings on the Side
This gives you control over how much sugary sauce gets added onto your food.
Choose Low-Carb Soup Options
Egg drop soup, hot and sour broths, and wonton-less soups make smart starters.
Build Your Own Lettuce Wraps
Fill lettuce cups with keto-friendly chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp plus veggies and sauce.
With the right swaps and custom orders, you can enjoy all the flavors of Chinese food while keeping carbs low and nutrition high. Get creative and enjoy!
Beyond Beef and Broccoli: 3 Unconventional Chinese Ketogenic Combos
As a keto enthusiast, I love discovering unique ways to enjoy Chinese cuisine while avoiding carbs. Here are 3 of my favorite flavor mashups:
Kung Pao Cauliflower Rice
Swap white rice for riced cauliflower and create a spicy Kung Pao (2) protein bowl. Marinate chicken or tofu in the signature Kung Pao sauce. Top with peanuts, bell peppers, and scallions.
Sesame Ginger Zoodles and Shrimp
Skip the noodles and make zucchini noodles instead. Toss them in a rich sesame ginger sauce and sauté shrimp until pink. The flavors and textures pair perfectly.
Egg Drop Soup with Tofu
Liven up mild egg drop soup by adding diced firm tofu. The tofu soaks up the savory broth beautifully. Sprinkle with scallions for a flavor and nutrition boost.
These creative combinations offer a tasty change of pace from your usual keto Chinese fare. By embracing unconventional yet complementary flavors, you can discover exciting new low-carb meals.
Now let’s explore navigating Chinese buffets on a keto diet. With the right strategies, you can avoid carb pitfalls and create satisfying platters. Read on for buffet tips and tricks.
Enjoying Chinese Buffets on a Keto Diet
Chinese buffets offer temptation for keto dieters. With so many carb-heavy options, how can you satisfy your cravings without going overboard? Follow these tips for buffet success.
Focus on Lean Proteins
Look for steamed, grilled, or roasted chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and tofu dishes. These offer filling protein minus heavy sauces.
Load Up On Low-Carb Veggies
Broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, green beans, and zucchini are great options. Skip starchy veggies like corn or potatoes to keep carbs down.
Choose Lighter Sauces
Thick, sugary sauces can add unwanted carbs. Opt for soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic sauce, or chili sauce instead.
Explore Lettuce Wrap Creations
Fill lettuce cups with keto-friendly meats, veggies, and sauces for a fresh, crunchy vessel.
Dish Up Cauliflower Rice
Scoop cauliflower rice instead of white rice for a low-carb base perfect for holding sauces and meats.
Skip the Noodle and Fried Dishes
Lo mein, chow mein, and deep-fried items can sabotage your keto diet. Resist temptation and focus on more keto-friendly fare.
Watch Portion Sizes
It’s easy to overdo it at a buffet. Take modest portions to keep calories and carbs in check.
Drink plenty of water and unsweetened teas. Avoid soda, fruit juices, and sugary drinks.
With mindful choices, you can create a satisfying keto-friendly buffet plate while enjoying all the delicious flavors.
Delicious Chinese Recipes with Fewer Than 5g Net Carbs Per Serving
Enjoy the bold flavors of Chinese cuisine while adhering to keto guidelines with these tasty recipes:
Keto General Tso’s Chicken
Crispy chicken in a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce made keto by using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs.
Keto Beef and Broccoli
Tender beef and fresh broccoli cooked in a garlic sauce. Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Keto Egg Drop Soup
Eggs, chicken broth, sesame oil, and green onions keep this classic light and low-carb.
Keto Hot and Sour Soup
Shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and tofu give this spicy, sour soup a flavor boost.
Keto Vegetable Stir-Fry
Broccoli, snow peas, bell peppers, and cabbage stir-fried in sesame oil and garlic. Skip starchy veggies.
Keto Orange Chicken
Crispy baked chicken coated in a sweet and tangy orange sauce thickened with coconut milk.
These recipes capture the essence of Chinese cuisine with keto-approved ingredients. By avoiding breaded meats, sugary sauces, and starchy veggies, you can enjoy big Asian flavor under 5g net carbs per serving.
Keto Taste Test: Rate popular Chinese Sauces based on Carb Counts
As a keto enthusiast who adores Chinese food, I’ve learned to navigate sauces wisely to avoid extra carbs. Here’s how popular Chinese sauces rate for low-carb diets:
Soy Sauce – This umami-rich sauce is low in carbs and great for stir fries.
Oyster Sauce – With its briny flavor, oyster sauce nicely enhances meats and veggies without many carbs.
Chili Garlic Sauce – It contains some sugar but a little adds a spicy kick without ruining your keto diet.
Low-Moderate Carb Sauces
Hoisin Sauce – The sweet flavor comes from sugar so use sparingly to avoid carb overload.
Sesame Oil – A little goes a long way with this strong, nutty sauce. Drizzle lightly on dishes.
Sweet and Sour Sauce – Packed with sugar, corn starch, and carbs. Avoid this sticky sauce.
Plum Sauce – Extremely high in sugar with 15g carbs per tablespoon. Skip it.
Teriyaki Sauce – Often loaded with sugar to create its sweet glaze. Opt for a keto recipe instead.
By choosing low-carb sauces wisely and limiting high-sugar options, you can still enjoy the signature flavors of Chinese cuisine on a keto diet.
After exploring Chinese cuisine through a low-carb lens, I’ve found many tasty options to enjoy. There are classic dishes like beef and broccoli that satisfy without heavy carbs. I even mixed things up with new flavor combinations with just five grams of net carbs or less per serving.
Going to Chinese buffets used to be tough. Now I know which foods to choose to stay in keto. Did you know these buffets offer over 100 items on average? With practice, I can fill my plate without worry. Between the main dishes and appetizers, it’s easy to create fulfilling low-carb meals.
I rated popular sauces to help pick the best partners. Did you know the right sauce can transform an ordinary meal? With just a splash, mild become bold or familiar flavors get an exotic twist. No longer do I feel limited by restaurant menus or take out choices. Armed with recipes and ratings, Chinese is now one of my favorite cuisines for healthy eating.
Whether exploring classic dishes or creating new combinations, I’ve found tasty low-carb options. With Chinese buffets offering over 100 items on average, navigating them is now simple. Rating popular sauces helped uncover perfect partners to transform meals. No longer limited, Chinese cuisine provides satisfyingly flavorful meals for any low-carb lifestyle.
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.