These simple tips will help make sure that the Chinese dishes you cook are both tasty and low in fat.
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- Avoid dishes with heavy sauces, such as red-cooked dishes that are simmered in dark soy sauce and sugar.
- If you're trying to decide which regional cuisine to try, Cantonese is generally the best choice. Cantonese dishes tend to be light, using fresh ingredients.
- Reduce the amount of oil you use for stir-frying. If the food starts to stick, add water or broth. The broth also adds extra flavor.
- When deep-frying, make sure that the oil is at a high enough temperature before cooking. Deep-frying food at too low a temperature makes it greasy. Be sure not to overcrowd the wok with food, as this will also lower the temperature. When properly done, deep-fried dishes retain only a small amount of oil.
- Try other cooking methods besides stir-frying and deep-frying, such as steaming and baking.
- Try partially freezing meat. This will make it easier both to remove the fat and to cut the meat into thinner slices. Always trim the fat off meat before cooking.
- Reduce the amount of meat in your meal. The average Chinese daily meal is grain and vegetable based, with meat playing a secondary role.
- Author Stephen Wong notes that fat does serve the useful purpose of dispersing flavor. To make a low-fat dish more flavorful, he suggests increased use of healthy seasonings such as ginger, garlic, and cilantro.
- Stick to noodles that are lower in fat. For example, a cup of cooked rice noodles has 0.352 grams of fat, while the same amount of chow mein noodles has a whopping 13.842 grams of fat. (Source: USDA)
- Finally, if a recipe calls for coconut milk, try one of the skim or low-fat versions.
Low Fat Chinese Recipes
Egg Drop Soup
Chinese "No-Meat Balls" Appetizer
Low Fat Chicken Chow Mein