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Chinese tonight- What should or shouldnt I get?

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My boyfriend and I have plans to get Chinese tonight. Normally I would be excited. But I have no clue how many calories are in chinese food.

I tried searching for it on here but mostly those frozen dinners keep popping up.

What should/shouldnt I order?

Edited Jun 22 2008 06:25 by nycgirl
Reason: Moved from Weight Loss to Foods forum.
16 Replies (last)

lots and lots of calories I'm afraid. Nothing deep fried, and only have a little bit.

I think duck is really fatty too - which is a shame cause it is yummy

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

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yea ive heard that before :(

thankfully i dont like


If you like seafood (like shrimp), that's always a good option, because it's low in cals. Get shrimp or chicken with mixed vegetables, and only have a little bit of rice, and you'll be minimizing your damage. A lot of options for Chinese food isn't THAT high cal, although the sodium will be through the roof.

i always get steamed shrimp and brocoli with brown rice and a side of garlic sauce. i dip my fork in the sauce and that gives you a little flavor. i also love egg drop wonton soup and thats only like 150 calories


Most Americanized Chinese food bums me out.  If you've ever been lucky enough to eat Chinese cooked like it's made IN China---you wouldn't even have to ask this question.  It's so different, way healthier and WAY tastier.

Some ideas: Moo goo gai pan, moo shi (with vegetables, pork, chicken or shrimp, also called moo shu), shrimp, pork, or chicken with Chinese vegetables, Szechwan green beans, or lo mein (with vegetables, pork, chicken, or shrimp).

The main issue is HOW the food is cooked! Boiled, steamed, or lightly stir-fried seafood, chicken, vegetable or bean curd dishes are generally low in fat.

Lots of Chinese restaurants offer low-cal specials: dishes that are steamed without oil, sugar, or salt. In this category, you can usually find chicken with vegetables, shrimp with vegetables, or an all-veggie platter.

Ask for modifications!  Even those who don't list low-cal dishes on the menu are often willing to steam a dish instead of frying and make other changes.   Say no to the rice, unless you can get brown and have a measured serving---I find with scads of veggies you don't even notice the lack of tons of rice.  And believe me, if you think of something you want and your restaurant doesn't have it on the menu...ask, and they'll know how to make it :) pdf

That is an AMAZING article that should be very IS a PDF file so if you don't have Adobe it may not load.  Of course, I'm sure her numbers aren't fast and hard to every Chinese place, but they give you a good guideline for what to be careful of. 



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chinese is a big no no, they use a TON of oil and salt. But if you must, get a vegetable and a protein steamed, with very little or no sauce..i generally go for steamed chicken or shrimp with vegetables, and maybe steamed vegetable out for the sodium though!


One pork steamed 40 calories

One pork fried 75 calories

One vegetable steamed 25 calories


Three mini Egg Rolls 100 Calories

1 rice paper roll 80 calories

1 oz spring roll 100 Calories

1 steamed Wonton 55 calories

Crab Cake: 2oz 105 Calories

1 Cup (or pint) 6 oz plain Rice 240 calories

1 cup Chinese Noodles 200 Calories


One bowl clear broth 30 calories

One bowl clear broth with noodles 100 Calories

 1 cup Egg Drop Soup With Noodles 120

1 cup Egg Drop Soup Without Noodles 70

Main Dish

Beef Satay 17oz 760 Calories

Beef in black Bean Sauce 17oz 530 Calories

Beef with Broccoli 16oz 650 Calories

Chicken& Almonds 18oz 685 Calories

Chopped Suey Chicken 20oz 560 calories

Chopped Suey Pork 20oz 680 calories

Chow Main Beef/Chicken 24 oz 940 Calories

Crab Puff/ Rangoon, 1 Dumpling 80 Calories

Crispy Fried Chicken, 8 oz 485 Calories

1 cup of Egg Foo Yung With Sauce  225 calories

Lemon Chicken, 10oz 580 Calories

Sweet& Sour Pork , 18oz  950 Calories

Steamed Vegetables (No oil) 6oz 120 Calories

Steamed Vegetables ( oil) 6oz 250 Calories


Fortune Cookie 25-30 calories each


cup soy sauce 34 calories

cup Teriyaki Sauce 105 Calories

cup Spicey Garlic Sauce 89 Calories

cup Peanut Sauce 182 Calories

cup sweet& Sour 107 Calories

cup oyster sauce 29 Calories

cup Black Bean sauce 67 Calories

Source: The Calorie King 2007 Color Edition Calorie Fat& Carbohydrate Counter

A restaurant Guide I came across, had Chinese food restaurants as well as many others.

seriously though, i don't get the whole deal about chinese food. I'm chinese, and I eat chinese food. My whole family eats chinese food in fact, and everyone has about 1.5 cups of rice on his plate during lunch/dinner (and extra servings are dished out at times). Yet, nobody in my family ever weighed more than 140lbs (not even my 29 year old brother or 58 year old dad, nor my sister-in-law when she was very pregnant), and they, too, have been eating chinese food for the most part of their lives.

If anything, I gained weight (quite a substantial amount), not because of chinese food, but because i was binging on things like chocolates, ice cream, chips and other junk on top of my meals, and not exercising... yet on CC, i sometimes get the vibe that chinese food is pure evil. >"<


if you're worried, vegetables will definitely be relatively lower in cals... and so will steamed fish. you could also get a tofu dish (the steamed or stewed variety rather than the fried ones) and a serving of rice/noodles...?

I always get the steamed shrimp and broccoli as well. Our Chinese restaurant here does not offer brown rice so I make my own ahead of time and have it with my meal at home. My big down fall would have to be the shrimp egg roll, they are just so good. Lol, but I resist then I have a smart one desert since I resisted the temptation Wink

Looked for things that say steamed.  Stay away from anything that says Crunchy or Crispy because that will be deep fried.  Look for Spring Rolls that aren't fried instead of the regular Fried Egg Rolls. Make sure that you say No MSG and No Oil. 

And to doedoebird, it's not that Chinese food is evil per se.  It's that Chinese food the way it's prepared in "Chinese" restaurants that's the issue.  It can be EXTREMELY high calories, high sodium, and not really good for you at all.  I hear you and having spent time in China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, etc.  I agree that properly prepared asian food is actually pretty healthy stuff. What you get from Gen. Joe's Chicken Shack isn't real chinese food any more than Pizza Hut is real italian food.

The issue is, like all American restaurants, that the base cuisine has been modified to make it conform to the unhealthy American palate.  We, as a society, eat so much fat, salt, sugar, etc. that unless food is loaded with it, it doesn't taste good to us.

Everyone else has great insight.

I just have a little to add.  I know it's a Chinese restaurant, but most places will make Vietnamese style, non-fried spring rolls.  They are so tasty and fresh! You can see an example of them here:

Stay away from sauces.  The commercially prepared sauces are mainly high frustose corn syrup, starch and salt.  Use vinegar instead or low sodium soy sauce sparingly. 

Get shrimp definitely.  Tofu is good, too, but sometimes nasty when it is just steamed.  I would say to stay away from the tofu unless you cook it at home.   

Have a look this website: te.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=chinesefood&cdn =food&tm=6&gps=198_231_1020_595&f =20&su=p284.8.150.ip_&tt=14&bt=0& amp;bts=0&zu=http%3A// /chinese.html

It seems all Chinese fast food is loaded with fat and calories.

The healthiest option would appear to be shrimp with lobster sauce, at 400 calories but with a whopping 2300mg of sodium!!!!!

I think you just just treat yourself, accept that no matter what you order you are going to be eating a large amount of calories, and eat what you really want to.


i wouldn't worry so much about the healthiest thing, but you ARE having fast food.  plain steamed vegetables from there tend to be nasty (this coming from a vegetarian who enjoys plain steamed vegetables daily!)  just enjoy it as a treat to have in moderation.  also, if you are trying to stick to a certain calories, you can always eat a smaller portion then what it comes in.  one "small" order usually would be two meals for me.  just too much salt/sauce for me to handle, i'd end up getting sick of it and adding a piece of fruit or plain vegetables with it instead.  drink lots of water/plain tea!

I just had chinese tonight, yummy!  Do you have a Panda Express near you??  That's where we always go... it's not the healthiest, but it's not the worst either and most of the items are listed here on cc.  We usually eat there at least once a week & it hasn't killed me yet, lol.  I usually order the steamed rice, chicken with string beans, and the mushroom chicken.  The rice is the highest amount of calories, at 330, I think.  The mushroom chicken is 130 and the chicken & string beans is 150, so not too bad.  I just make sure I drink lots of water those days.  =)

yeah, like it's been mentioned, i usually order steamed chicken or shrimp with vegetables (the menu at the place i go to even has a "slim, trim, and healthy" section or something like that). but also, since i want it to still feel like i'm eating Chinese food (i feel kinda left out when i'm eating regular steamed chicken & vegetables and everyone else has pork fried rice, chicken and broccoli, etc) i'll sprinkle on some soy sauce. the restaurant gives us packets, but i have a bottle of low sodium sauce in the fridge so i just use that.

but i HAVE to order it steamed, because my stomach is VERY sensitive to regularly prepared Chinese food. i don't know if it's MSG or just all the sodium or the oils or what, but whenever i eat the normal stuff like sweet & sour chicken, i get the worst possible stomach pains/cramps.
if steamed isn't what you're looking for, then just get something regular off the menu and eat a small portion & drink lots of water. enjoy it!
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