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A low carb meal in an Asian restaurant?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by cz_dave, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. cz_dave

    cz_dave Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone, occasionally I eat out and it's usually not a problem to find a low carb meal.

    However, what about an Indian, Chinese or a Thai place?

    Any tips for a low carb meal there?
  2. Boo1979

    Boo1979 Other · Well-Known Member

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    #2 Boo1979, Oct 28, 2018 at 6:51 PM
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  3. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    Chinese I usually have crispy duck or pork belly (without pancakes sauces etc obvs... ) in a few you may even find crispy lamb with lettuce wraps.

    Thai more difficult as there's usually sugar involved.. maybe something salady like tiger cry (steak salad) or larb? although I think that larb usually has rice.. or a non sweet green curry I have found ok as well.
  4. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thai is the hardest to do as Low Carb, as most dishes include sugar.

    Indian, just avoid curries with a heavy sauce as it is likely to be thickened with something.

    Chinese, ditto plus avoid sweet sauces.
  5. Venkat Kommi

    Venkat Kommi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  6. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Don’t eat Thai often so can’t help

    Indian I tend to go for butter chicken and my bsl barely changes. Mushroom bahjees is a good side for me. I avoid korma and masala as these are sweet. Obviously no bread s or rice. I’m a wimp for spices so can’t speak for the hotter stuff.

    Chinese I find really hard. For yung (omelette) is safe but I find the sauces or batter on most other things a bit sweet to risk.
  7. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I get the odd chinese takeaway. Beef with ginger and spring onion, or spicy beef, kung po pork. No rice and I don't finish the sauce/gravy.
  8. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    In Thai Restaurants I usually get the beef, chicken or shrimp skewers from the appetizers.
  9. Chronicle_Cat

    Chronicle_Cat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I love Indian food and I cook and eat it often. I also have an Indian son-in-law.

    Usually Indian places aren't difficult to eat low carb as they don't traditionally put either flour or sugar in sauces (if they use a thickener, it's usually a small amount of nuts) - this is more true of places that cater to Indians and have mostly Indian customers rather than more westernized Indian food. Most of their menus will describe the item and the ingredients that are in it.

    Generally north Indian is easier than south Indian. South Indians favour a lot of dishes with rice in them (especially vegetarian places who rely heavily on rice, lentils and other grains. Hyderabadi places are easiest of all south Indian as they usually have kabobs and meat curries. Chettinad places also have lots of meat dishes).

    Dishes I'd recommend:

    - tandoori chicken (it should never have any breading) or other Tandoori dishes

    - butter chicken*
    - chicken tikka masala (wet or dry)* (neither of these dishes traditionally have either sugar or flour in them but it's safest to ask in case someone decided to get creative in the kitchen).

    - egg curries

    - fish curries

    - meat curries ie. rogan josh (lamb), most meat will generally be lamb

    - kabobs (if they are ground meat ask if they put flour or besan- chickpea flour in it, if they do avoid them unless you know you can tolerate besan/chickpea flour).

    - vegetable curries without potatoes (aloo), ie. aubergine (baigan bharta), okra (bindi), lots of others

    -paneer (a soft cheese) dishes like palak paneer (spinach paneer), saag paneer (mustard greens paneer)

    - raita or curd (yogurt, helpful if you get a dish you find too spicy)

    - chutneys and pickles are usually fine

    - pakoras and bajjis can be iffy (some people react to the besan/chickpea flour breading, others don't), if you do have them, avoid the tamarind dipping sauce that sometimes comes with these, it has palm sugar (jaggery) in it to counteract the sourness of tamarind


    - lassis (milk based drinks), mango or pineapple juice

    - any bread (naan, chapatis, paranthas)

    - samosas (wheat pastry & potatoes/peas), some versions have meat in them)

    - dosa (especially masala dosa filled with potatoes), idlies, vadas, upma, uthapam, sambar, (these are south Indian). Stay away from semolina, millet, rice flour.sorghum.

    - any dals (dried beans) & chana masala (garbanzo beans)

    - rice and biryani

    - kormas unless you know they aren't sweetened (traditionally they aren't supposed to be)

    - vindaloo (not it's not just any hot curry. Traditionally it is made with vinegar and does contain a bit of sugar to counteract the vinegar)

    - Watch the for rice flour used as a breading in deep fried snacks/appetizers. The following south Indian dishes often use rice flour as a breading which spiked me once, ask first : lollipop chicken , chili chicken and chicken 65.

    - any desserts
    - any sweets

    -skip the multicoloured fennel in the little bowls for a post meal digestive some places have at the exit (it's coated with sugar), regular fennel is fine.

    Ask for your masala chai (spiced tea) to not be sweetened.

    BTW the word "masala" just means "spiced" in Hindi.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    #9 Chronicle_Cat, Oct 29, 2018 at 1:36 AM
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  10. SamJB

    SamJB Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I find a lot of the sauces are thickened with cornflower or some other carb-heavy thickener. In Indians I tend to have tandoori chicken wit ha veg side; in Chineses I tend to have Chop Suey or meat cooked in beansprouts
  11. type1gabs

    type1gabs Type 1 · Member

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    Chinese or thai are my absolute favs! But also the worst for sugar unfortunately... but there are low carb options ive learnt over the years!

    Chinese i always go for spare ribs (hardly anything in them, just dont dip in too much of the bbq sauce). The best low carb as a main is meat in black bean sauce. Beans are low in carb and gi, and go for a lean meat ( i always go for beef personally.) I usually give 4 units in total for both (ratio 1:10) and levels are stable :)

    Thai - stir fry in oyster sauce with veg and chicken is the lowest carb (no noodles). I have chicken satay as a starter ( satay sauce made out of peanuts so low in carb, but high in calories). I give arpund 4 units inntotal for both :)

    Hope that helps! Good luck!
  12. cz_dave

    cz_dave Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the very useful tips. Will give it a try. Didn't realize there are all these options available!
  13. Bananas 2

    Bananas 2 Parent · Well-Known Member

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    For Thai restaurant,

    Make a card with the following to present to staff:

    (I am diabetic
    Please do not add sugar or starch)

    Inside the parentheses is for the feminine "I", ผม is the masculine.

    A few good things to order:

    Gaeng Som Cha-om (acacia-egg squares in a spicy fish broth)
    phad gaphrao or any curry (provided no sugar or starch)
    haw mok (seafood curry custard - served either in a clay pot or banana leaf - specify no added starch)
    steamed fish with nam-jim thalae (lime+chili+fish-sauce dipping sauce)
    lemongrass chicken
    spicy chicken with long beans
    chicken with fermented bamboo shoots

    tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup)
    tom kha gai (chicken soup in lite coconut broth)
    tom khlong (VERY hot/spicy soup with smoked fish)

    We avoid dishes with oyster sauce as it contains a lot of sugar.
    I hope this helps.
    • Informative Informative x 3
    #13 Bananas 2, Oct 31, 2018 at 9:05 AM
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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