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Chinese Foods That Are High in Protein

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Chinese Foods That Are High in Protein
bowl of sesame chicken Photo Credit: phreakanature/iStock/Getty Images

Chinese dishes are often high in protein because they include protein-rich foods such as chicken, beef, pork, duck and seafood. Tofu, commonly used in vegetarian Chinese cooking, provides protein from non-animal sources. Chinese dishes also contain large amounts of carbohydrates in the form of thickening starches, noodles or rice. Some dishes contain large amounts of fat, particularly those that are breaded and deep fried; however, other dishes are simply stir fried and contain lesser amounts of fat. If you are concerned about fat and calories, choose a dish that you can order steamed rather than fried.

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Beef Dishes

beef with broccoli and peppers
beef with broccoli and peppers Photo Credit: chas53/iStock/Getty Images

Chinese beef dishes typically contain beef cut into thin strips or cubes mixed in a sauce and combined with different vegetables such as broccoli and peppers. They are usually served over rice or noodles. Other dishes, such as orange beef, contain breaded pieces of beef, which you might want to avoid if you're limiting your carbohydrate intake.

Poultry Dishes

plate of kung pau chicken
plate of kung pau chicken Photo Credit: happykimmy/iStock/Getty Images

Like beef, poultry in Chinese dishes is often cut into thin strips or cubes and is served with vegetables over rice or noodles, with the exception of Peking duck, which is served whole. Some chicken dishes, such as General Tso's chicken and lemon chicken, incorporate battered and fried chicken. Others, such as moo goo gai pan, sesame chicken and kung pao chicken, contain unbreaded or unbattered chicken. Chinese menus may also include delicacies such as chicken feet, which don't contain large amounts of protein.

Pork Dishes

plate of moo shu pork
plate of moo shu pork Photo Credit: runin/iStock/Getty Images

Pork is a mainstay of Chinese cuisine. Spare ribs, pork-fried rice, sweet and sour pork, shredded pork, minced pork meatballs and moo shu pork are common Chinese dishes. All parts of the pig are used in Chinese cooking, including the entrails.

Seafood Dishes

grilled salmon
grilled salmon Photo Credit: Maria_Lapina/iStock/Getty Images

While you might not think of seafood first when planning to eat Chinese, seafood dishes, especially shrimp, frequently find their way onto Chinese restaurant menus. Shrimp are served battered and fried or mixed with vegetables or noodles. Large pieces of fish, such as trout, are often served crispy or fried, while salmon may come steamed. You can also find more exotic seafood sources of protein, such as squid, oysters, turtle and shark, on Chinese menus.

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