Oriental foods boast a wide range of protein and vegetable options including tofu, chicken and beef with spicy seasonings. The calories in a plate of garlic chicken stem from the cooking oils, such as sesame, and the protein-rich chicken.
The ingredients in Chinese garlic chicken varies according to preparation and ingredient amounts, however, the main ingredients of garlic, chicken and a base remain constant. The calorie count originates from the chicken, broth or base and the oils used for cooking.
A single serving of garlic chicken, prepared at home, will have around 693 calories. All Recipes offers a Chinese garlic chicken recipe using skinless chicken breasts which are stir fried, cutting the calorie count down to 277 calories per serving
A 693 calorie meal is considered substantial by FDA standards at almost 1/3 of total daily caloric intake. That count does not include variables such as preparations which include frying the chicken in calorie rich oils, or adding a heavy garlic sauce over the dish which will increase calories even further.