Suggestions for the Healthiest Chinese Food Takeout

Chinese takeout is delicious, but like other cuisines, some options contain excessive amounts of salt, sugar, oil, and processed additives.

American-Chinese food is typically sweeter and saltier than traditional Chinese food, with its own distinct flavors.

If you crave Chinese food, there are some healthier options available. You can also customize the menu items to your preferences. Also, if you scan the menu, you’ll often find options with less fat, sugar, and salt.

Takeout Chinese food can be a healthy option. Here are healthy Chinese food takeout options.

Suggestions for the Healthiest Chinese Food Takeout - Photo by Marta Markes
Suggestions for the Healthiest Chinese Food Takeout – Photo by Marta Markes

1. Dumplings

Chinese dumplings are dough pockets filled with seasoned meat and vegetables, usually pork and cabbage.

They are commonly fried, but can be steamed to reduce calories and fat. 40 calories per medium steamed dumpling.

Although the soy-based dipping sauce is low in calories, it is high in sodium, so use caution if you are salt sensitive.

2. Soup or egg drop soup?

Hot and sour soup with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, eggs, and ginger in chicken broth. It also has hot and sour flavors from vinegar and spices.

In contrast, egg drop soup is made with cooked egg ribbons in chicken broth.

Both soups are low in calories, with only 65–90 calories per cup (240 mL), and can be made even healthier by omitting the fried lo mein noodles.

3. Moo goo gai pan

Mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts are used in this lightly sauced chicken and vegetable stir-fry.

It’s low in calories due to the vegetables and lean chicken. Also, the chicken is high in protein, making it a filling dish. One cup (216 grams) has 160 calories and 15 grams of protein.

Ask for the sauce on the side to control your intake of salt and sugar.

4. Soupe de boeuf

Beef and broccoli is a simple stir-fried beef and broccoli dish.

It’s a low-carb, high-protein dish. But it’s often made with fatty beef. 1 cup (217 g) has 336 calories, 23 g fat, and 23 g protein.

Ask for steamed broccoli instead of stir-fried, and ask for the sauce on the side.

5. Chop suey

Chop suey is a stir-fry dish with meat, eggs, and thinly sliced vegetables. Aside from pork, other ingredients include chicken, beef, and tofu.

It’s a healthier option because it contains protein and vegetables. Pork chop suey without noodles has 216 calories and 23 grams of protein per cup. Restaurant versions may have more fat added during the stir-fry process.

Choose a light sauce to reduce salt and sugar.

6. Brussel and Chick

Like beef and broccoli, chicken and broccoli are stir-fried in a light sauce.

But it’s leaner than beef and has more protein than broccoli. One cup (153 grams) has 13 g of protein and 145 calories. It also has 7 grams of fat.

Ask for the dish to be steamed. You will lose the oil that it is normally cooked in, lowering the fat and calorie content.

7. Baked salmon

Baked salmon is a popular option in Chinese restaurants.

Baked salmon is high in protein, low in carbs, and low in sodium. 3 oz (85 g) cooked in butter has 156 cal, 21 g protein, and 7 g fat.

Baked salmon with steamed vegetables is a low-carb or keto-friendly meal.

8. Family joy

Happy Family is a stir-fry with vegetables, meat (chicken or pork), seafood, and vegetables.

It’s served over rice in a thick brown sauce. The Happy Family is high in protein due to the meat and seafood, and the vegetables add fiber.

Choose a light sauce to reduce added calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

9. Buddha’s joy

Vegans and vegetarians will love Buddha’s Delight. It’s a light, savory stir-fry with tofu and steamed vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, and broccoli.

It contains some fiber and protein from the tofu, and it is completely vegan. 1 cup (217 g) has 193 calories, 3 g fiber, and 9 g protein.

Tofu is also one of the few vegan and vegetarian proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids needed to build new proteins.

10. Moo shu vegetables

This popular takeout dish features stir-fried pork, shredded cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and onions.

Depending on the ingredients, one cup (151 grams) can contain up to 230 calories and nearly 16 grams of protein. It also has 16 grams of fat, but the amount varies depending on the restaurant.

To maximize the health benefits, go light on the sauce and skip the pancake side.

11. Eggplant with garlic sauce

-Smoky grilled eggplant topped with a rich and tangy garlic sauce.

The dish’s star ingredient, eggplant, is low in calories and high in nutrients like fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium.

Garlic, ginger, and peppers are among the nutrient-dense ingredients.

Choose brown rice instead of white rice for a higher-fiber whole grain meal.

12. Chow mein.

Fried chicken with peanuts, chili peppers, and vegetables is known as Kung Pao Chicken.

It’s loaded with protein, micronutrients like niacin and selenium, and it’s topped with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats from peanuts.

If you’re watching your sodium intake, ask for extra veggies and reduce your portion size.

13. Lobster-sauced shrimp

Shrimp with lobster sauce does not contain lobster. But it’s made with a fermented black bean sauce used to cook lobster in Cantonese cuisine.

The dish usually includes peas, carrots, garlic, and scallions in addition to the shrimp.

A 1-cup (185-gram) serving has 31 grams of protein and 279 calories, which is low calorie and high protein. It has 14.5 grams of fat.

Get more fiber, vitamins, and minerals by asking for more vegetables such as broccoli or bell peppers.

The Healthy Entree

It’s important to know the cooking method used when ordering healthier Chinese takeout or any takeout food.

Many Chinese restaurant entrées are battered and deep fried, adding extra fat, starch, and calories.

The meat in many stir-fries is water-velveted or coated in cornstarch. It’s better than deep frying, but it adds more starchy carbs and calories.

Choose entrees that are baked, steamed, boiled, or sautéed in minimal oil.

Also, consider serving size. The nutrition facts are for a 1-cup serving (200–240 grams), which is typical for takeout entrées, particularly stir-fries. However, a single takeout order can contain up to 4 cups.

To cut calories, measure out a portion and save the rest for later.

In conclusion,

Although some Chinese restaurant takeout options are deemed unhealthy, there are also healthy options.

Stir-fries are an excellent choice because they include protein from meat or tofu, as well as vegetables, which provide fiber and nutrients.

You can also select healthier options and side dishes, as well as limit the amount of sauce on your food and the size of your portion.

It’s simple to choose healthier options at your favorite Chinese restaurant with this guide.

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