I’m a Dietitian—Here’s What I Order at a Chinese Restaurant

As a dietitian, maintaining a healthy eating routine is essential to me, even when dining out. Chinese cuisine, with its flavorful dishes and array of options, can be a great choice for a delicious and nutritious meal. Here’s what I typically order when I visit a Chinese restaurant:

1. Steamed Dumplings: Dumplings are a popular choice on Chinese menus, and steamed ones are my go-to option. Filled with a combination of vegetables and lean protein such as chicken or shrimp, they are a balanced and light appetizer.

2. Stir-Fried Vegetables: Chinese cuisine is known for its vibrant, colorful vegetables, which are an excellent addition to any meal. I often choose a dish that combines a variety of vegetables like bok choy, bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas, stir-fried to perfection with a hint of garlic and ginger.

3. Steamed Fish: Fish is a nutritious protein source, and many Chinese restaurants offer steamed fish dishes. This cooking method retains the natural flavors while keeping the dish light and healthy. I opt for options like steamed salmon or tilapia, accompanied by steamed or lightly sautéed vegetables.

4. Brown Rice: When it comes to rice, I choose the healthier alternative: brown rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain that retains its bran and germ, providing more fiber and nutrients. It pairs well with any dish and helps keep me satiated.

5. Hot and Sour Soup: For a flavorful starter, I often choose hot and sour soup. Packed with vegetables, tofu, and a tangy broth made from vinegar and spices, it’s a vibrant and satisfying choice that can awaken the taste buds without being too heavy.

6. Fresh Fruit for Dessert: Chinese cuisine is not typically known for its desserts, which often lean towards fried or sugary options. Instead, I prefer to end my meal on a refreshing note by opting for a plate of seasonal fresh fruit. It provides a sweet and nutritious ending to the dining experience.

Remember, when dining out, it’s important to make mindful choices and listen to your body’s needs. By selecting these healthier options at a Chinese restaurant, you can enjoy a delicious, balanced meal while nourishing your body.

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