From Moo Shu Pork, to lo mein, and wontons, Chinese food offers some of the best comfort food out there. Most of us have eaten it at some point or another, and for me, it is one of my favorite takeout options. From street carts in NYC to upscale dining rooms in San Francisco, the choices are endless for Chinese cuisine. But, like every other cuisine, we may wonder if we can stay on our desired diet and partake in its foodie goodness. The answer is yes, and there are many options for those on various diets.
Sauce it… or not
The best option for most foods that have a sauce (Sweet & Sour Chicken comes to mind) is to ask for the sauce on the side, if possible. This saves calories, since you are not covering your dish in sauce, but are rather dipping when you want.
Start with soup…
Sweet & Sour or Wonton soup is a great choice – and most Chinese entrees come with a soup or appetizer option. Not only are these soups delicious and low in calories, but eating sop before a meal allows you eat less of your entree, saving calories, and leaving you with lunch for the next day.
… or a Spring Roll…
If you are not a soup fan but want something before your meal, try a Spring Roll. This saves you calories next to an egg roll, and you probably will not miss the deep-fried egg roll taste. Spring Rolls are full of veggies, so it is typically low in calories – around 80 per appetizer.
…or Steamed Dumplings
Steamed Dumplings are a great appetizer option, or an option for those without a big appetite. While Fried Dumplings are amazingly good, they pack on the fat and calories. With an average of 80 calories for two Steamed Dumplings, you can have a small meal without loading down on calories. You also have caloric room for a dipping sauce, which is great.
Chicken and Broccoli for an Entree
Not fried, and usually steamed, but oh so good! Chicken and Broccoli is a great way to get in a good Chinese entree and save your calories. Even with its sauce, Chicken and Broccoli racks in only about 280 calories, making it one of the best full-sized entree options.
Buddha’s Delight for Vegetarians
If you are not a chicken or broccoli fan, or just want some tofu, Buddha’s Delight is a good meal with a low calorie count. This steamed veggie and tofu entree only brings in about 200 calories, so it can help fill you up and keep you slim.
And the fortune cookie.
The fortune cookie may be American made and invented, but it is the standard at the end of a Chinese meal (at least in America). While yummy, it brings in about 30 calories, so it is negligible for most.