The Insider’s Guide To Ordering Keto Chinese Food

Don't want to be limited when eating out? We've got you covered. While it may not be easy to eat low carb at your favorite Chinese restaurant, we've put together our best guide to ordering Keto Chinese food.

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The Insider’s Guide To Ordering Keto Chinese Food
Sticking to your Keto diet when ordering Chinese food can be a serious problem for many. Luckily you have our exclusive Insider's Guide to ordering Keto Chinese food.

Our Best Guide To Ordering Keto Chinese Food

If you’ve recently started following the Keto diet as a way to lose weight and get in better shape, it’s essential that you know which foods fit into your eating plan and which ones do not.

While making your meals at home is the best way to ensure that you’re eating within the limitations of your Ketogenic diet, there are certain to be occasions when you you just can’t help but NEED to eat out.

Sometimes there are occasions where you NEED to dine out.
A night out with family or friends to the Chinese restaurant doesn't have to ruin your Keto diet. You just have to make smart choices.

Luckily, if you’re planning lunch or dinner at your favorite Chinese hotspot, you can still enjoy the foods they serve. However, having a plan and knowing what foods are ‘off limits’ helps to ensure that you keep your diet on track.

While traditional Chow Mein noodles and fried rice might be off the table, there are still plenty of Keto diet tips you can employ for your next trip to your favorite Chinese restaurant.

The trick? Well, it’s quite obvious actually.  We need to limit (or better yet, avoid) the carbohydrate-heavy foods that can quickly blow our macros out of the water.

And, I’ll be honest here, ordering Keto Chinese food is not nearly as difficult as many of us have been led to believe.

Heck, we’ve already shown you how to successfully order at a Sushi Restaurant on Keto, you know we’ve got plenty of Keto Chinese food options for you.

Sure, low carb offerings may seem to be few and far between.  And, as much as you might desire to indulge and say, ‘just this one time’ and go all in on a big plate of General Tso’s Chicken, the truth is that Chinese restaurants stock many of the same low carb foods you keep in your cupboards, cabinets, and refrigerator.

Make Your Eating Plan Ahead Of Time

Regardless of whether you’re eating out at a Chinese place or another type of restaurant, having a well thought out plan ahead of time helps you avoid making dietary missteps.

To not overshoot your carbohydrate count, check to see if the place where you’re planning on eating provides nutritional information on their website.  Common Chinese chain restaurants like Panda Express, P.F. Chang’s, and Pei Wei all have their nutrition info listed on their websites.

Panda Express Chinese restaurant has their nutrition information listed on their website.
Chinese chain restaurants often have their nutrition information listed directly on their webites making it easy to find Keto-friendly options.

If this information isn’t available, consider contacting the restaurant to ask about low-carb substitutions or low-carb options they offer for people following the Keto diet plan.

Inquire About Food Preparation Ingredients

Don’t forget that carbs can hide in the peskiest places. All Chinese restaurants prepare dishes differently, so ask the right questions to make sure that your meal doesn’t have unaccounted for carbs.

Good questions or requests to ask your server include:

  • Does the egg drop soup contain cornstarch?
  • Can cornstarch be omitted from stirfry?
  • Do the sauces have extra cornstarch or sugar included?
  • Can rice be substituted with steamed vegetables?
  • What are low carb options that are available?

Cornstarch can be a particularly troublesome ingredient for people following a low carb diet plan. Typically used to tenderize meats and thicken sauces, a single tablespoon of cornstarch contains over 7 grams of carbohydrates! Undoubtedly, you don’t want to waste your allowable carbs on something as trivial as hidden cornstarch.

If you feel uncomfortable asking these questions during a busy lunch or dinner service, take the initiative to call ahead so you can ask over the phone. Generally, the staff should be happy to offer suggestions, substitutions, and suitable recommendations to meet your Keto dietary requirements.

No Time To Plan Ahead? No Problem!

If you don’t have time to make an eating plan ahead of time, here is a list of food items typically served at Chinese restaurants that you should limit or avoid to keep your Keto diet plan on track:

  • Rice - No matter whether you're considering eating plain rice or a fried variety, rice contains a substantial amount of carbohydrates. But don't forget, some of your favorite Chinese restaurants serve cauliflower rice.
  • Noodles - Noodles are similar to rice as far as the carbohydrate count is concerned, and it's definitely best to avoid them on a Keto diet.
  • Fried Foods - For the most part, there is little room in anyone's diet - whether they're following a low carb approach or not - for fried foods.
  • Most Sauces - While not all types of sauces are guilty of being diet wreckers, ask for most sauces and dressings be served on the side. Many sauces, especially in Chinese foods, contain sugar to sweeten and cornstarch to thicken. For example, one tablespoon of sweet and sour sauce contains 7 grams of carbohydrates. Too much of that would definitely be over the limit for most Keto dieters.
Sorry, you cannot order noodles. These are not Keto Chinese food!
Sorry, noodles are a definite no-no when ordering. These are not Keto Chinese food!

Recommended Keto Chinese Food For Your Meal Out

If you’re looking for the simple solution to eating out at a Chinese restaurant, one of the best options is choosing fresh steamed vegetables and lean protein.

Steamed fish, chicken, seafood, and a variety of vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, beans, and bell peppers make for a satisfying and guilt-free dinner out.

Other alternatives include lettuce wraps. To avoid any issues with cornstarch, be sure to ask your server to have the meat cooked without it.

Lettuce Wraps are often a great option when ordering Keto Chinese food, but you will want to ask about the sauce to make sure it doesn't contain any added cornstarch or sugar.

This dish usually contains a wide selection of vegetables and ample amounts of protein. Ask for sauce on the side. If desired, use a bit of soy sauce for flavoring. This sauce is a Keto Chinese food option that doesn’t break the rules – unless you’re watching your sodium.

In some cases, egg drop soup is an option. However, you’ll need to verify that it doesn’t contain pesky cornstarch. Typically, thicker soups contain cornstarch. Thinner and clear soups have less of this carbohydrate-rich ingredient.

A stir fry made with lean protein and vegetables, without cornstarch or rice is another alternative for carbohydrate conscious diners. For added flavor, choose savory and thin sauces instead of sweet or thick sauces.

A stir fry made with lean protein and vegetables is a great option when ordering Keto Chinese food.
A stir fry made with lean protein and vegetables is a great option when ordering Keto Chinese food.

If you’re in doubt, always use your experience and better judgment when ordering foods. As a dedicated low-carb dieter, you probably already have an intuitive knowledge of what you should or should not eat.

Skip The Restaurant And Cook At Home

If you are hesitant to take the risk of blowing your keto diet eating Chinese food, consider preparing your meal at home. By doing so, you take control of what goes into the food, so you don’t have to worry about hidden carbs sabotaging your dieting efforts.

For instance, cauliflower rice is an ideal replacement for traditional white, brown, or fried rice. Cauliflower rice comes in a variety of flavors and is now widely available in the frozen section of most grocery stores. Depending on the type you choose, it could contain peas, carrots, and other flavorings that add to the depth and taste to your homemade Chinese meal.

Cauliflower rice is a great choice for ordering Keto at a Chinese food restaurant.
Cauliflower rice is a great choice for making Keto Chinese food at home. It can be a great substitute for traditional white, brown, or fried rice.

Traditional noodles can easily get replaced with veggie noodles. You can find freshly prepared veggie noodles in the produce section of most grocery stores. You can also find veggie noodles in the frozen food section. Alternatively, you always have the option to make them at home with the right food preparation appliances.

You can limit your consumption of cornstarch and MSG by grilling, baking, or steaming lean protein, including shrimp, fish, chicken breasts, pork, and beef without using these additives.

Try one of our Delicious Keto Chinese Food Recipes

PRO TIP

Check out our low carb vegetable guide to get a handle on how any veggies you order at the Chinese food restaurant will affect your low carb diet.

Even when you’re following a strict Keto diet, you can still enjoy healthy, tasty dishes and satisfy your cravings when ordering Keto Chinese food.

However, you have to use a little thought and care behind the food choices you make to avoid throwing your whole diet off track. 

Employ the tips and tricks we’ve provided here and you’ll have no problems.

Got questions?  Ask them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

The Insider’s Guide To Ordering Keto Chinese Food

Whether we\'re talking dine-in or take out, ordering Keto Chinese food can be a daunting task. While you may have to skip the General Tso chicken and Lo Mein noodles, there are plenty of low carb options to make sticking to your Ketogenic diet super easy. Think beef and shrimp are off the table? Think again. We show you what to order at the Chinese restaurant. #ketochinesefood #ketochinese #ketorestaurant #ketorestaurantguide

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