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Our Top 10 Healthy Chinese Dinner Recipes

Our Top 10 Healthy Chinese Dinner Recipes

As a Chinese person living in the west, I often find myself craving authentic Chinese home cooked meals. However, many traditional Chinese dishes can be high in sodium, fat and calories. In this article, I will share my top 10 healthy Chinese dinner recipes that are lower in calories and contain nutritious whole foods. All recipes serve about 4 people.

1. Steamed Chicken and Broccoli

One of my favorite healthy and low calorie dinners is steamed chicken and broccoli. For this recipe, I cut 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and place them in a steamer basket along with 1 head of broccoli broken into florets. I steam everything over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is tender. Steaming is a healthy cooking method that retains nutrients. This simple one pan meal takes only minutes to prepare and is satisfying yet light.

2. Stir Fried Tofu and Vegetables

As a protein rich alternative to meat, tofu is a staple in many Chinese kitchens. I enjoy making stir fries using extra firm tofu, sliced into cubes, along with an array of fresh vegetables. Some of my favorite combinations include tofu with carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, mushrooms and broccoli. I stir fry the ingredients in a small amount of olive or sesame oil over high heat until the vegetables are tender crisp. This dish is low in calories, high in fiber and contains a good mix of vitamins, minerals and plant-based protein.

3. Baked Salmon with Green Beans

For a healthy protein packed supper, I like baking wild salmon fillets alongside green beans. I season the salmon simply with salt and pepper and place it on a baking sheet. On the same sheet, I lay out green beans that have been lightly tossed with olive oil and seasoning. Everything bakes in the oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until the salmon is opaque and flakes with a fork and the beans are tender. This complete meal is satisfying, easy to prepare and provides healthy fats from the fish along with vitamins from the beans.

4. Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

On cold nights, there is nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup. One version I enjoy making is a chicken and brown rice soup. I start by sautéing diced onions and carrots in a pot until softened. Then I add boneless chicken breasts, brown rice, water or broth and simmer until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. For extra nutrition, I may also throw in spinach, mushrooms or bok choy during the last few minutes of cooking. Warming and nourishing, this soup keeps me full for hours.

5. Stir Fried Tofu with Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce lends a savory depth of flavor to dishes. For a satisfying plant-based dinner, I like to stir fry extra firm tofu cubes with black bean sauce, garlic, ginger and vegetables like bean sprouts or bell peppers. The sauce is thick and clingy, coating each bite. I serve the stir fry over brown rice or quinoa to soak up every last drop. Packed with protein and flavor, this is one of my go-to healthy Chinese recipes.

6. Vegetable Fried Rice

Who doesn’t love fried rice? By using cauliflower rice instead of traditional white rice, I’ve found a lighter twist on this classic Chinese takeout favorite. I cook frozen cauliflower rice until softened. Then I stir fry it with frozen peas and carrots, garlic, ginger and egg alongside cooked chicken or tofu. With just a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil added at the end for flavor, this vegetable fried rice satisfies cravings without weighing me down.

7. Sesame Tofu and Bok Choy

For a nutritious one-pan dinner, I pan fry extra firm tofu that has been seasoned with rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic and grated ginger. While the tofu cooks, I quickly blanch baby bok choy until bright green. I arrange the tofu and bok choy on a plate, drizzling them with the flavorful pan juices and a sprinkle of toasted white sesame seeds. Loaded with calcium, plant-based protein and immune boosting nutrients, this easy meal is light yet filling.

8. Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas

Shrimp is light, low in calories and high in protein and antioxidants. I like to stir fry large shrimp along with sugar snap peas and water chestnuts in a sauce of ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, cornstarch and chicken or vegetable broth. The peas retain a pop of crunch while the shrimp cooks just until pink and curled. Served over brown rice, this dish is a hit with its fresh, bright flavors. Best of all, there’s minimal oil needed since the shrimp and peas release their own liquid as they cook.

9. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

For a healthier spin on an appetizer favorite, I make lettuce wrapped chicken parcels. I shred poached chicken breast meat and toss it with hoisin sauce, chopped peanuts, sliced scallions and shredded cabbage or carrots. Wrapping it all in large romaine or butter lettuce leaves makes for a fun, handheld meal. Crisp, fresh and light, these lettuce wraps satisfy my craving for Chinese flavors in a low calorie way. I like to serve them with steamed edamame for extra protein and fiber.

10. Baked Salmon with Ginger Scallion Sauce

As a special treat, I prepare baked wild salmon fillets glazed with a homemade ginger-scallion sauce. To make the sauce, I finely mince ginger and scallions and mix them together with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of brown sugar. I brush this savory mixture onto individual portions of salmon and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes with a fork. The ginger-scallion combo adds a lively zing to each rich, flaky bite of salmon. This healthy protein-packed meal is perfect for company or relaxing weekend night.

In conclusion, I hope these 10 healthy Chinese dinner recipes have provided you with some new lower calorie, whole food ideas to enjoy authentic Chinese flavors at home. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Focusing on ingredients like chicken, fish, tofu, rice, vegetables and light sauces allows me to eat dishes I grew up with while keeping calories and sodium in check. With a bit of tweaking, many traditional recipes can become lighter options perfect for everyday home cooking.



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