Top 12 Low Carb Options At Chinese Restaurants

A lot of Chinese restaurants nowadays how adjusted a lot of food and recipes on their menus to become to keep up with Western culture and this includes making them lower-carb and with less sugar.

It also means, however, that they have reduced the number of dishes that are fried and served in lots of sugary sauces and opted to use breadcrumbs instead.

Top 12 Low Carb Options at Chinese Restaurants

All it takes is a few simple modifications to make a dish lower-carb and almost keto, and with your special requests when you order, you can still enjoy your favorite dish, whether that is ordering your mear unbreaded or ordering your vegetables without any surgery sauce.

To be completely keto, you will have to hold out on the egg rolls and the rice but make sure you substitute this with some more delicious meat such as chicken, pork, or duck and you should be just as satisfied!

In this article, we have looked at the top lowest-carb dishes you can easily order at any Chinese restaurant and have told you how to modify them to make them low-carb.

Learn how to say your order to keep it low-carb in a Chinese restaurant and understand you can still enjoy a tasty Chinese meal on a keto plan!

Roasted Duck

Roasted Duck

Kicking off with a classic, roasted, or Peking duck in a Chinese restaurant is usually a firm favorite and you can still enjoy this whilst remaining low-carb! It’s crispy, flavorsome, and packed with protein, making it a popular and staple dish at any restaurant.

When you want to keep it low-carb, you should ask for whatever size duck you want such as a quarter duck or half, and then ask them to serve it with some green vegetables that have been steamed.

The vegetables can include broccoli, choy sum, or plenty of Chinese cabbage.

Pork Belly

Pork Belly

Staying with the roasted theme, you can also enjoy a delicious roasted crispy pork belly at any Chinese restaurant and keep it keto.

The dish is still very popular and tastes like a much fresher, tastier bacon dish. The pork is left to marinate with plenty of spice and then roasted to make a crunchy skin.

Since it is pork belly, it also has plenty of fat on it so is perfect for keto eaters. When you are at the restaurant, you should order the pork belly with vegetables in a stir-fry or with cucumber.

You should ask the chef if they can refrain from adding cornstarch or sugar to thicken the sauce.

Chop Suey

Chop Suey

Everyone loves a chop suey right! It contains lots of meat and vegetable such as onion, bean sprouts, and mushrooms and is served in a thick Chinese sauce over rice.

However, to make this low-carb, you will need them to hold the sauce and rice and make sure the meat is not breaded.

You can choose from either pork, chicken, beef, or shrimp when ordering chop suey and we promise it is delicious!

Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Chicken

Ordering either Szechuan or Hunan chicken can be a way of staying low-carb at a Chinese restaurant.

These dishes are often served with lots of vegetables such as peppers, water chestnuts, mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, beansprouts, and broccoli.

The meat and vegetables are tossed in oyster sauce or sometimes soy sauce and served with rice but you can ask them to hold the rice and sauce to make it keto-friendly. 

Steamed Chicken With Broccoli

Steamed Chicken With Broccoli

Another classic keto-friendly dish to order at the Chinese restaurant is steamed chicken and broccoli.

This is one of the healthier options on this list and you can order the meat with broccoli but tell the chef to hold the sauce.

The meats could not only be chicken, but also shrimp, pork, and beef too. All you have to do is hold the sauce and this dish will only have about 3 grams of carbs.

Chicken in Ginger Garlic Sauce

Chicken in Ginger Garlic Sauce

You should avoid sauces at restaurants when going for a Chinese meal because of their high sugar content, however, sauces such as those with plenty of ginger and garlic have some anti-inflammatory benefits which could be beneficial in smaller doses.

You could have this dish with lots of meat, vegetable, and rice and keep the sauce on the side to control how much you add to your meal.

To keep it low-carb, hold the rice and ensure you have boiled or grilled meat instead of breaded or dried. 

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young is a popular egg-based dish at the Chinese restaurant which resembles an omelet but is made with lots of meat and vegetables and served in a thick and rich gravy sauce.

A lot of restaurants will offer either shrimp, pork, or chicken but you can also get it without the meat and just with vegetables.

We suggest opting for pork as it has more fat which is beneficial for a keto diet, and don’t forget to hold the sauce and rice when ordering.

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Moo Goo Gai Pan

This dish is a classic stir-fry dish that has plenty of chicken and vegetables such as water chestnuts, snow peas, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.

You can hold the sauce and rice but still taste the deliciousness of this dish at the same time as keeping it low-carb.

If you order this dish as a set meal, you might have the option to choose between an egg roll or soup to go with it. If this is the case, opt for the soup or clear-based sauce such as wonton, egg drop, or hot and sour.

Moo Shu 

Moo Shu 

This is another classic stir-fry dish that is made with meat and vegetable but tossed in hoisin instead of soy or oyster sauce. It is also served up in thin pancakes which are like small tortillas.

So instead of holding the rice this time, you will need to hold the pancakes.

You can sometimes substitute these pancakes with lettuce wraps in certain Chinese restaurants but you will still need to hold back on the sauce to make sure it is still low-carb.

You can choose from beef, shrimp, or pork as your meat but it is often served up with beef.

You should also hold any egg rolls they offer you on the side and choose wonton or egg drop soup as a substitute.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken features chunks of chicken that have been dry-rubbed and served with vegetables, chili peppers, and lots of peanuts on top.

It’s usually served up with rice and is a great option for low-carb eaters if you like lots of spice! However, you will need to hold any sauces and the rice and go for wonton or egg drop soup instead of an egg roll on the side.

Happy Family

Happy Family

For those of you that haven’t heard of Happy Family before, it is a popular dish that consists of lots of different kinds of meats and seafood along with vegetables in a brown sauce and rice. The meat offered is often pork, scallops, chicken, shrimp, or beef.

If you are staying low-carb, instead of simply holding the rice, a lot of restaurants give you the chance to swap it for zucchini noodles! However, remember to hold the sour sauce and avoid any additional egg rolls, opting for soup instead.

You could even get a hot and sour soup to make up for losing the hot and sour sauce!

Almond Chicken

Almond Chicken

Almond chicken is another classic chicken dish and is marinated chicken using lots of soy sauce or something similar, mixed with mixed vegetables and almonds.

Some Chinese restaurants might serve up a similar dish but hold the almonds and replace them with cashews for those that prefer them.

It is a healthy dish packed with healthy vegetables and good fats from the almonds and if you check that the meat is not breaded, it can be perfect for anyone trying to stay low-carb.

You will however also need to hold any egg rolls, rice, or sauce that comes on the side that might contain lots of sugar.

Keeping An Eye On Variation

Now, although Chinese food is pretty similar wherever you go, there is a lot of variation depending on the region where the dish you have ordered originated and also which restaurant you find yourself at.

For example, in parts of the US, you will find a very varied selection of Chinese food and these dishes will have different levels of sweetness and a lot of different condiments on the table which could be the culprit to you accidentally breaking your low-carb diet.

For example, Kung Pao Chicken in one restaurant could be quite low-carb on its own in one place and packed with sugar in another place.

This means you should keep an eye out for variations and always follow the guidelines in the order that we have listed in this article.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have learned a thing or two in this article about low-carb options at a Chinese restaurant and are now much more confident that you will be able to successfully order a low-carb dish next time you are out and want to stay keto-friendly.

The main things to avoid on a low-carb diet in a Chinese restaurant are breaded meats, egg rolls, noodles, and rice and when it comes to sauces, ask them to hold the duck sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and plum sauce. So as long as you are following this, you should be just fine!

Anna Kadance