Chinese stir fry

Chinese Takeaway is healthy?! You’ll be bowled over!

Following our exploration of the health benefits of sushi recently we thought we’d follow on with another takeaway classic: the Chinese takeaway.

Let’s face it, nothing quite hits the spot like a greasy Chinese takeaway; endless noodles, lashings of soy sauce and crunchy prawn crackers on the side… we can all understand why it is the UK’s favourite takeaway!

But maybe you’re trying to eat more healthily? Well, contrary to popular belief Chinese cuisine doesn’t automatically have to be fattening and many ingredients can even be really good for you. Just try a few of these foodie tricks and you’ll be able to enjoy the tasty East Asian delicacy without your waistline suffering.

Curry rice

Nice rice

Here are some tips for a healthier Chinese takeaway experience:

Make a few simple food swaps

Fried rice —–> boiled rice
Fried rice was once innocent white rice that got brutally thrown in some hot vegetable oil and mashed together with meat, carrots, peas and whatever else the chef fancied. This process ups the fat content, particularly if fatty beef or pork is added to the mix. We suggest sticking to simple boiled rice… or even better is brown rice if it’s available!

Mini spring roll —–> vegetable dumpling
These little spring rolls might seem innocent enough, but 3 of them can set you back over 200 calories and that’s BEFORE you’ve even begun your meal. Steamed veggie dumplings on the other hand are about 35 calories so opt for those to start the feast off nicely.

Vegetable dumplings

Send the dumpling this way!

Eat with chopsticks

Eating with chopsticks means most of the sauce is left on the plate so you’ll consume less of it yourself. Chopsticks also slow you down (unless you’re one of these Youtube stars who takes part in chopstick races with Smarties, then maybe not). A study by Cornell University observed that diners at a Chinese buffet went back to the buffet fewer times if they were using chopsticks. The slower you eat, the more time the brain has to register that you’re full. (It takes 20 minutes after the food has entered the mouth).

Start with a soup

How about a tasty chicken and noodle soup or mixed vegetable soup like these tasty offerings from Oriental Cuisine in West London ( By consuming one of these tasty broths before your meal you could end up consuming 20% fewer calories when it comes to the main dish (according to a study). Plus soup warms your cockles when the ‘summer’ weather isn’t quite playing ball.

Chicken noodle soup

I can taste the health

Avoid anything marked ‘crispy’

That includes you, crispy chicken wonton, crispy aromatic duck and shredded crispy beef. Why must you tempt us with your delicious battered taste? Deep-fried food is high in fat so choose steamed dishes or stir-fries where you’ll get a good amount of your 5-a-day!

Look for veggies in the name

If you know beef will hit the spot, instead of going for crispy shredded beef, opt for beef with mixed vegetables or even beef with mushrooms and that way you’re still getting your meaty fix, but in a healthier way.

Certain herbs and spices can make a difference to your meal so if you want to add an extra dose of healthy look out for these ingredients which provide taste AND a health boost:

King prawns in garlic sauce


That King Prawn with garlic and chilli from New China Town in Leicester might not be such a bad idea after all. Ok, it’s not exactly first-date food, but garlic is packed with antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help to strengthen the immune system and lower blood pressure. So a bit of pongy breath for all these great health benefits isn’t too bad, is it?


Nicknamed the ‘wonderspice’, ginger is known to aid healthy digestion, strengthen the immune system and can also ease joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. If roast duck, ginger and spring onion from Happy House in Leeds Happy House in Leeds didn’t jump out of the menu at you, it sure will now!

So now you know eating healthily doesn’t have to spell the end for your Chinese food enjoyment. Just a couple of miniscule changes and you won’t even notice. Now you can order your Chinese takeaway with confidence and not shy away each time your mates mention the T word. What are you waiting for?

Posted on: May 7, 2014 | by: Jennifer

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The easy way to takeaway