Got a Chinese buffet right around the corner from your house, but wondering if keto Chinese food even exists? It’s definitely difficult to pick what’s right and wrong, but not impossible!
With this guide, you’ll know exactly what to get when ordering Chinese food and what to avoid at all costs. There are so many dishes to choose from!
Can I have Chinese food on the keto diet?
You sure can, but there are some restrictions. Chinese food is full of flavor and usually has lots of ingredients, which are not always approved on the keto diet.
Ordering keto Chinese food is not an easy task, especially when a lot of dishes are made with many sauces that are high in sugars and starches.
You want to stay away from foods like sweet sauces, rice or noodle-based dishes. Most Chinese restaurants are convenient when it comes to swapping out ingredients or omitting sauces so getting low carb Chinese food has never been easier.
Take-Out Keto Chinese Food Options
Things get a little more tricky when ordering keto Chinese food. So many fried items, hidden carbs and who knows that you can and cannot eat, right? No worries!
This guide is mostly for any Chinese restaurant you go to, but if you’re specifically around Panda Express, you can read our guide on How To Order Low Carb At Panda Express.
Here are some keto friendly Chinese food options when you’re on the go:
1. Beef with broccoli
Ask for steamed or stir-fried broccoli with beef, chicken or any other protein you like. Although this dish seems like a no-brainer, make sure you get it without the starchy sauce.
Other than that, this is a staple at any Chinese restaurant and you should have no issue ordering it and enjoying it on the keto diet!
2. Chop Suey
Make sure to ask for this main dish without any sides like traditional noodles or fried rice. You’ll get tons of wonderful flavors from this dish. It has eggs, vegetables and a protein of your choice.
Ask for no thick, gravy-like sauce to avoid all the carbs possible. Instead, to get the flavor, have a pocket or two of soy sauce which has less carbs than the regular brown sauce.
3. Kung Pao Chicken or Shrimp
Actually in this dish, you can ask for any protein they have available if you don’t want chicken or shrimp. With that, you’ll get a mix of bell peppers, chiles and peanuts which makes for an absolute flavorbomb!
Again, try to swap out the sauce entirely or ask for a thinner, less starchy sauce to cut back on the carbs.
4. Egg Foo Young
Egg Foo Young is simply a Chinese omelette with eggs, bean sprouts, cabbage and onions. You can also add protein to it, like shrimp, chicken, pork or beef.
If you want keto Chinese food with no substitutions, this is definitely something to order on the ketogenic diet.
5. Egg Drop Soup
Make sure to order this egg drop soup without corn, traditional noodles or wontons. The broth itself is full of flavor and sometimes Chinese restaurants add some cracked black pepper and scallions inside to make it even more delicious.
6. Hot and Sour Soup
For the ultimate comfort Chinese food, grab this savoury, spicy and tangy soup. It has delicious broth, mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots and egg ribbons inside.
You may want to ask if they use keto friendly thickener if you want to, but most of the time they don’t use a lot of thickener in this kind of soup anyway so it’s still low carb.
7. Moo Shu Pork
This delicious dish is made with pork, eggs and steamed vegetables. It’s usually served with rice or noodles, which of course we have to omit since we eat low carb.
Also, ask for no sauce or a lighter version since those are made with starchy ingredients and quickly add up to your daily carb count.
8. Pork Belly
One of my favorite things to get at Chinese restaurants! Pork belly itself is very low in carbs, full of fats and protein to fill you up. It’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!
Remember to ask if the pork belly is tossed later in a sauce or a sugary glaze – if yes, ask to simply have it fried with no additions.
9. Stir-Fry Vegetables
When in doubt, order stir fried dishes with vegetables or protein. This is also a great option if you’re vegetarian. Again, make sure to ask for the sauce on the side or for no sauce at all.
Instead, you can flavor it up with soy sauce or just have it plain.
10. Steamed or boiled seafood
If fried foods irritate your digestive system, you can always get steamed fish or any other kind of seafood offered at your local Chinese restaurants.
Get it with steamed food, like broccoli or vegetables, but remember to ask for no sauce.
11. Peking duck
Similarily to the pork belly, you can get Peking duck and grab a side dish such as steamed vegetables to go with it. Alternatively, you can always ask for roast duck if you’re on keto to lose weight and too many calories are not something you want.
Chinese Food To Avoid
- General Tso’s chicken
- Chow mein
- Noodle dishes
- Thick soups
- Thick sauces
- Egg rolls
- Spring rolls
- Fried rice
- Anything in the sweet and sour sauce
- Starchy vegetables
Is there a healthier soy sauce alternative?
Although soy sauce is keto friendly, it contains gluten, soy and is known to be very high in sodium. One of the best alternatives are coconut aminos, derived from the sap of the coconut palm.
Don’t worry though, they don’t taste like coconuts and flavor-wise resemble soy sauce almost entirely.
10 Homemade Alternatives to Ordering Keto Chinese Food
Getting take out Chinese food is so comforting, but have you ever tried to whip up a quick and easy Chinese food recipe at the comfort of your own home?
Take a look at these 10 keto friendly Chinese dishes you can make for yourself (plus I’m sure your family will love them as well!):
12. Keto Chicken Stir Fry
Stir frys are the best because you can make a delicious dinner in one pan. All it takes to make this Keto Chicken Stir Fry Recipe is 30 minutes of your time. This Chinese dish features boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a delicious, low carb and keto diet friendly marinade, along veggies like onions, bell peppers and mushrooms.
Worried about using soy sauce? There’s no need for any of that. Coconut aminos are a perfect substitute oftentimes used in keto recipes. It’s approved on low carb diet and in comparison to soy sauce, gluten free!
Nutrition info (per serving): 211 calories; 10g fat; 21g protein; 8g total carbs; 6g net carbs
13. Low Carb Orange Chicken
Looking for staple Chinese dishes? You’ve got it. Try out our Low Carb Orange Chicken Recipe that tastes just like the real thing without all the hidden carbs. This will be a staple in your kitchen if you love citrusy Asian flavors.
You can’t go wrong with ingredients like chicken breast, low carb breading in the form of pork rinds and some coconut flour along with seasonings. Although we use one medium orange for the sauce here, since the recipe is so large it still comes out to be low carb.
Nutrition info (per serving): 335 calories; 22g fat; 26g protein; 5g total carbs; 1g net carbs
14. Easy Keto Cashew Chicken
In the mood for an Easy Keto Cashew Chicken Recipe? If you were thinking of getting keto chinese food take-out, think again – this dish takes only 25 minutes to make, which is probably faster than the delivery itself. Plus, a whole lot healthier!
With 333 calories per serving and 6.7g of net carbs, you won’t get kicked out of ketosis and you’ll surely deliver your body a healthy punch of protein from chicken thighs and healthy fats, such as coconut oil, sesame oil and cashews!
Nutrition info (per serving): 333 calories; 24g fat; 22.6g protein; 8g total carbs; 6.7g net carbs
15. Keto Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
I always used to get fried chicken whenever I was ordering keto Chinese food, but this Keto Air Fryer Chicken Thighs Recipe will make you not even want to leave your house to get an order.
They have somewhat of a sweet and sour sauce glaze as well, with sriracha, soy sauce (or coconut aminos) and stevia. You can pair them up with other low carb foods such as cauliflower rice, steamed bok choy or simply go carnivore and eat it on their own.
Nutrition info (per serving): 338 calories; 19g fat; 40g protein; 1g total carbs; 1g net carbs
16. Keto Chinese 5 Spice Chicken
Check out our Keto Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Recipe if you want to get the traditional Chinese food feel with all the flavors. Going to a Chinese restaurant is not the best thing for anyone who is on the keto diet or low carb diet due to the hidden carbs.
With this recipe, all keto dieters can enjoy a tasty meal with their favorite sides, such as stir fried vegetables, zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice.
Nutrition info (per serving): 321 calories; 13g fat; 48g protein; 1g total carbs; 1g net carbs
17. Keto Teriyaki Sauce
Craving sweet sauces, but can’t have them on keto? Well, that’s why we have a Keto Teriyaki Sauce Recipe for you that’s low carb and only takes 15 minutes to make.
It contains fresh ginger, minced garlic, some soy sauce (which you can substitute for coconut aminos if you’d like), apple cider vinegar, keto friendly sweetener and xanthan gum to thicken it up a bit.
Nutrition info (per serving): 28 calories; 1g fat; 3g protein; 3g carbs; 2g net carbs
18. Keto Sweet and Sour Pork
This Keto Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe is what dreams are made of! Especially since we can’t have the regular version due to higher carbs and the high sugar content.
All you need is pork tenderloin and spices for the meat, as well as flavorful ingredients for the sauce such as rice wine vinegar, sugarless ketchup and onion powder.
Nutrition info (without frying oil, per serving): 252 calories; 8g fat; 38g protein; 2.5g total carbs; 2.5g net carbs
19. Keto Egg Drop Soup
Grab our Keto Egg Drop Soup Recipe for a lunch or dinner full of comfort, Chinese flavors. This soup is absolutely delicious and let me tell you, whenever I make this I haven’t met one person who didn’t like it.
For all the busy ketogenics out there, this whole dish takes only 10 minutes to prepare.
Nutrition info (per serving): 139 calories; 10.5g fat; 9.5g protein; 1.5g total carbs; 1.5g net carbs
20. Keto Egg Roll Bowl
Here’s another 10-minute dinner! Our Keto Egg Roll Bowl Recipe will give you all the same flavors you would get from a regular egg roll, but in a bowl. Plus of course, it’s low in carbs!
This recipe contains your favorite kind of protein (ground pork, beef or chicken), cabbage and a few other ingredients that will tie it up together into a delicious, healthy dish.
Nutrition info (per serving): 310 calories; 20.5g fat; 23g protein; 7g total carbs; 5g net carbs
21. Keto Cauliflower Fried Rice
One of the kind of foods people miss the most on keto is rice. And don’t even get me started on Chinese fried rice, because that’s absolutely one of my favorite foods ever. This is why we created a Keto Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe to bring back all the flavors, with barely any carbs!
Grab cauliflower, your favorite veggies and some umami spices to whip this up in only 30 minutes.
Nutrition info (per serving): 154 calories; 9.3g fat; 7.3g protein; 12g total carbs; 7g net carbs
Whether you want to enjoy Chinese food at home, at a nearby restaurant or a Chinese buffet, you can always find something low carb and keto friendly as long as you stick to a few rules. Most importantly – try to stay away from starchy sauces as much as you can!
We hope you found this guide helpful. In the meantime, let us know – what’s your favorite low carb Chinese food?