5 Keto Recipes for a Low-Carb Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

5 Keto Recipes for a Low-Carb Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

Use recipes that include using chicken thigh (with the skin on, of course!) in place of your regular chicken cut for extra healthy fats. The signature Chinese sauce, soy sauce, is replaced by liquid aminos for a keto alternative. And your table is not complete without dessert. We’re referring to the classic peanut soup – all keto, so everyone can come together and eat well this Chinese New Year.

Speak to anyone on keto, and they'll say it's not an easy diet to follow. That's especially when you need to cut out sugar.

What's life without sweetness?

Well, thankfully, Swerve is a popular sugar-alternative ketonians use, and we've come to realise how useful and tasty a head of cauliflower can be.

Recipes like the 5 here created specially for Chinese New Year lets you join in the reunion table, even if you're having your own keto-rendition of some Chinese New Year classics.

Happy Chinese New Year! 

1.     Keto Braised Pork Belly 

A thoroughly delicious and addictive meat main for your Chinese New Year dinner.

Inspired by the culturally significant dish of Adobo in the Philippines, this Keto Braised Pork Belly is also similar to Kong Bak, or fatty pork slices that the Chinese are familiar with. 

What's keto about this?

Well, for starters, the bun is super low-carb, with a little over 3g of fat. The meat is succulent strips of fatty pork, marinated in full flavoured dark soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, vinegar and herbs. No sugar's in anything of course, the sauces are keto ones. When buying ready-made sauces, be sure to scrutinise the labels thoroughly. That's because most store-bought sauces contain sugar. Now, Swerve, the equivalent sugar substitute is used instead. 

If you don't want to add the bun, simply skip it and just serve the pork belly instead. It's a rich, low-carb and high fat complement to your reunion meal. 

The recipe for Keto Braised Pork Belly is right here

2.     Keto Cauliflower Porridge 

Now if you’re on keto, you know how hard it is to avoid rice, especially at reunion dinners.

Here, join in the family feast with a cool substitute – keto cauliflower “porridge”. That’s crumbed up cauliflower, boiled and thickened with xanthan gum to give a delicious porridge-like texture. It’s creamy, drizzled with fragrant sesame oil and we think, perfect for the Chinese New Year table and your daily keto diet.

What's keto about this? 

Cauliflower, cauliflower and more of it. To replace high-carb rice, pasta and noodles, the low-carb vegetable is used as a perfect swap. It makes a super fine substitute as the grainy, creamy texture paired with cauliflower's natural sweetness is substantial and filling as your main staple.

Some, like this recipe for Keto Cauliflower Porridge uses xanthan gum as a thickener. The gum is used in place of high-carb corn and wheat flours and added most commonly to soups. In this one, a spoon of it gives your cauliflower porridge a more rice-like texture. 

And like your favourite porridge, add a lovely deep fragrance to this one with a dash of sesame oil. Don't forget your Chinese New Year condiments too, century eggs, sweet sauce soaked peanuts (check the sauce labels for sugar, which is not recommended on the keto diet), and a little indulgence - a wee bit of lap cheong, or Chinese sausage is safe! Remember to check your carb count, and if you've not exceeded it, go on ahead. 

The recipe for Keto Cauliflower Porridge is right here.

3.     Keto Chicken Ball Shirataki Noodle Soup 

Noodles are typically eaten to represent good fortune and prosperity during Chinese New Year.

But that’s hard to do while you’re on Keto, so simply replace high-carb noodles with keto-friendly shirataki ones. Make your own meatballs too using friendly-fats in chicken thigh, and join in the meal with your noodle-loving family.

What's keto about this? 

It's all in the S word - Shirataki. Made from konjac yam, shirataki is often added to Japanese soups for a short slurp and chew while sipping on hot soup. But they're also used as a noodle replacement for ketonians because of its low-carb quality.

Called "miracle noodles", shirataki contains 97% water, and 3% glucomannan fiber. The fiber, which comes from the root of the konjac plant, is said to aid weight loss as it absorbs an incredible amount of water, keeping you full for longer. 

But it's not just the noodles, the meatballs too are formed with chicken thigh instead of the usual lean chicken meat. Chicken thigh is a much fattier cut than other parts of chicken, and if you're on keto, pick cuts like these instead for a healthy dose of fats! 

The recipe for Keto Chicken Meatball Shirataki Noodles is right here

4.     Keto Stir-Fried Dragon Chives and Beansprouts 

If you’re on keto, leafy vegetables are the best for the diet. They’re low in carbs compared to stem and root vegetables, but still taste delicious. For a Chinese New Year meal, you’ll want to make this Keto Stir-Fried Dragon Chives and Beansprouts, whether your family is on keto or not- it’s that yummy. 

What's keto about this? 

The thing to remember for vegetables when you're on keto: First, leaf, then stem, last root. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and onions are highest in carbs so use little of it. Stem vegetables like celery, asparagus are the middle option. Finally, leaf vegetables such as chye sim and dragon chives used in this recipe, are ideal for the keto diet.

The good thing is that a lot of vegetables used in Chinese cuisine are leaf vegetables found readily in supermarkets, like chye sim, watercress and more. 

Ghee, used here as the oil base for stir-frying is an excellent oil for keto. Not only is it high in fat (a plus!), it has a higher melting point that works well in this recipe, and many wok-fried foods in Chinese cuisine. Use liberally, or just a pinch is enough. The magic golden spread has a deep aroma and butter-like taste. The last thing about ghee? It's cheap and available in supermarkets. Very convenient and cost-effective. 

The recipe for Keto Stir-Fried Dragon Chives and Beansprouts is here

5.     Keto Peanut Soup 

Peanut Soup is probably the most iconic Chinese New Year dessert.

It has always been a crowd-favourite, and now- ketogenic. Simply add sugar substitute Swerve for a sweeter taste, and xanthan gum to give it a lusciously thick and smooth texture. One bowl won’t be enough.

What's keto about this? 

Peanuts, hands down. This recipe uses peanut butter, but you can use any nut butter you wish. It's widely agreed that the ideal nuts for keto are high-fat ones. Those are pecans, macademias and brazil nuts, among others. They're great for their creamy, rich taste and thick texture. And here, together with peanut butter, high fat cream is swirled in for an extra dose of fat. 

Sweetness is reproduced using the keto sugar, or Swerve. Swerve is an erythritol-based sweetener with almost zero-calories that measures just like sugar, so it's super easy to bake and cook with. Opt for brown sugar Swerve if you want a deeper, richer and subtly sweet taste. 

And last, xanthan gum, the keto alternative to high-carb wheat and corn flours is used to plump up the smooth creamy peanut soup just a little bit further for a delicious dessert-like soup that you can spoon and savour. 

The recipe for Keto Peanut Soup is here

What's keto really?

Well it's a high-fat, low-carb diet that's believed to help people lose weight.

The concept? Cutting out carbs, and focusing on consuming high-fat foods helps the body burn fat. That's also why it's called the "fat-burning diet".

Reason? Research shows that the body, starved of carbs, will burn fat for energy, and eating more fat in turn aids this process. Ketonians- those who adopt the diet, enter a state called "ketosis" where the body's fat-burning process begins.

Enjoying these keto recipes? Well, you've got Our Foodie, Janti, to thank! She's an Indonesian chef and baker that's also an ultimate keto fan. Follow her on all socials @jantibrasali .

Which foods are great swaps and which ones don't make the cut? Check out more diet-friendly foods here

And finally, for more Chinese New Year recipes, see our specially curated page

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