Chinese restaurants, whether they are really fancy ones, or just your local takeout restaurant, are full of stuff to order and explore.
You may have noticed before that many of these restaurants have pretty lengthy menus of various dishes, of varying spice levels, meats, vegetables, and other ingredients.
Luckily this means if you are looking for a low carb option, there is likely something out there you would enjoy, rather than being locked into burgers and fries at a fast food restaurant.
So, whether you are on a date or just looking for some sweet satisfaction, here are some easy things you can order at a Chinese restaurant, with some guarantee that they will be low carb.
Bear in mind, each Chinese restaurant is different so results can vary, and that we are talking about Chinese food generally here.
But with the amount of suggestions listed we can be sure you will find one that your Chinese restaurant does, and that you enjoy.
So keep reading to learn our recommendations of a good low carb order at a Chinese restaurant.
This dish from Beijing is really popular and common in most Chinese Takeouts, even the fancy restaurants will have some variation of this.
The dish is often characterized by the crispy skin on the duck, while the meat of the duck is often really tender from being marinated.
In terms of carbs, just order this without rice and you have a pretty low carb meal that would work out under 10g of carbs for sure.
Of course, it’s just meat so having rice here is the only high carb element of the dish.
That said, a popular accoutrement with the dish is what i called a ‘duck pancake’ in the West, these can be pretty carby too, but if someone orders these for the table you could get away with having one as a treat and still having a meal probably below 20 g of carbs.
If you like duck, this is a great order, but bear in mind it can be quite spicy and fragrant. If this isn’t your thing then the restaurant may also serve simple roasted duck that isn’t marinated in the same way.
Roasted Pork Belly
Pork belly is one of those dishes that just has a bit of everything. THe belly of hte pork is juicy and succulent, while the skin itself becomes super crispy and crunchy.
Imagine pork rinds and bacon on a plate, yep, it’s that good! Moreover, keto dieters rejoice as pork belly is full of that fat which you need.
You could have this with whatever vegetables they are serving and a whole host of various sauces that may suit your tastes.
While low carb, the dish is marinated in spices and roasted until it’s cooked, so again this can be a little spicy and fragrant, but what did you expect from a Chinese restaurant?
Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao is another classic Chinese dish that nearly all Chinese restaurants will serve. THis is a classic Sichuan dish which features the notorious and titular Sichuan Peppercorn.
As a result, depending on how authentic the restaurant is, this will have an effect the Chinese call ‘mala’ which refers to the ‘numbing heat’ of the Sichuan peppercorn.
Kung Pao is a stir fried dish that will feature other vegetables in there, such as peanuts, chili peppers and other veg, but is commonly served over rice.
You can easily get Kung Pao chicken without the rice for a super easy low carb meal – win.
Almond Chicken is a great dish that has already made its way into paleo and keto diets through its natural low carbs but high fat ratio.
Almond chicken is quite literally what it sounds like, its chicken that has been breaded in an almond mixture. The almonds provide the perfect crunch and textural contrast to the juicy and tender chicken.
It’s a classic in Chinese cuisine and if you have never had it, it’s great.
One reason it is really great is because of the nuts. The dish isn’t that spicy but has lots of nuts, and these bring a lot of fat which is good for those on a keto diet, but also means we get satisfied with meals quite easily, without the carbs.
Simply order the dish without rice for something simple to enjoy, ideal for those who aren’t keen on spice.
Chinese Pepper Steak
This is another dish from Sichuan, often called Sichuan Beef as well, which is quite similar to Kung Pao chicken in its flavor.
Steak is often great for keto dieters as it is high in fat and low in carbs. Like Kung Pao, the dish uses Sichuan peppercorn, hence ‘pepper steak’, that creates that numbing heat that is quite delightful.
The dish is stir fried and served with veg, just order it without the rice for a super satisfying Chinese meal, and a basic order that won’t cause uproar in the kitchen.
Sweet Chilli Chicken
Sweet Chilli is one of those sauces that has permeated into the West strongly. Most Westerners have had this sauce before and know it’s a winner.
So why not order Sweet Chilli Chicken at your Chinese takeout? It’s really sticky, sweet, and satisfying, with all the vegetables and tender chicken you could imagine.
Another benefit of the dish is that it’s a good one for those who don’t necessarily like super spicy food either. More fancy Chinese restaurants might not serve this dish but most takeouts will.
Chinese Coconut Shrimp
Shrimp is another meat that is popular within Chinese cuisine and also goes perfectly with the Coconuts found on China’s coasts.
It’s a dish that is great for seafood lovers, who want something low carb, but also for those who aren;t super keen on spice.
The dish is super simple but really satisfying and the coconut has a bunch of health benefits in addition to the shrimp. This is commonly served over rice so just ask for it without the rice.
Egg Drop Soup
This is a good one of the veggies of the world, as it doesn;t have any meat. Although, do double check your specific menu as they can use chicken broth sometimes. In any case, egg drop soup is really simple.
It is usually some broth, either chicken or vegetable stock, that has an egg or two scrambled in the liquid itself. This creates long ribbons of egg, hence the name ‘egg drop, but the texture is really tasty.
The eggs form their own kind of carbless noodle and are perfect. Imagine chicken noodle soup but without the noodles or wontons.
Egg Foo Young
Egg Foo Young is a dish that was invented to use up leftovers, but has become a quite popular dish in Western-Chinese cuisines.
This may be translated to omelet, badly, from Chinese, but anything that says omelet will basically be Egg Foo Young.
As you can imagine, it’s like a chinese omelet that just uses eggs and a combination of other vegetables that are specifically specified in whatever menu you might be using.
It’s really low carbs, usually veggie although you can have it with meat, and is also full of the protein we need. Importantly, it doesn;t require any change of your order, it should just come as is, but you can specify ‘no rice’.
Moo Shu Pork
This dish is one from the Northern Chinese province known as ‘Shandong’. It, variably, combines some kind of pork with what we would recognize as scrambled egg, usually with some vegetables but commonly mushrooms and cabbage.
If you like making food at home, this is really worth checking out as it’s really easy to make. At a Chinese restaurant just make sure to order it without rice for a low carb.
Chinese Steamed Fish
Most Chinese restaurants will have some form of steamed fish. Something like Cantonese steamed fish with Ginger and Shallots.
In a really authentic Chinese restaurant you might be ordering a full fish, head and all, that has been steamed. If this bothers you, try to specify that you just want a fish filet that has been steamed.
Again, these dishes are often served with rice but you can easily ask for it without rice as well.
Any stir fried mushroom dish will be like a meat dish insofar that it won’t have any carbs in it really, beyond the noodles or rice that you specify you don’t want.
Often the mushrooms will be braised or marinated in some sauce that will be similar to other meat dishes, and then stir fried with a bunch of other vegetables.
It’s a great healthy choice that will be without carbs if you specify that, and is also meatless!
There are many Chinese style vegetables out there which are often stir fried or steamed and served with rice.
This is easier to order than you think as it’s usually the vegan choice in these restaurants, tofu aside, and is cooked with a keen eye as a result.
It’s usually got some vegan sauce that the vegetables are cooked or tossed, something like a garlicky soy sauce. Just order without rice.
There you have it, our biggest tip here is to make sure you aren;t ordering a dish that has some carb entangled within it.
Most Chinese dishes are cooked separately to the carb and served over rice, which is easy to ask not to have. On the other hand some stir fried dishes will use noodles, so make sure you specify you don’t want them.