Low-Carb Dim Sum? Possibly

I’ve been eating breakfast with my friend who really likes dim sum. I must have eaten more dim sum in the past half year than I’d eaten in the prior decade.

Ever since I got my diabetes diagnosis, I started to wonder if there were some lower-carb options besides gai lan. So, I photographed the menu at NBC Seafood in Monterey Park. Here’s the menu, with all the possible “good” items highlighted.

I’m definitely not saying all these are okay. Char siu, for example, is marinated with sugar. It’s probably not okay, but their version might not use that much sugar.

Also, the meats may contain vegetables, or root vegetables, or even corn starch, to help make the item more tender. That would add carbs.

The sauces may contain sugar. That’s not necessarily a given, but it’s not uncommon either. They don’t do “sweet and sour” or “orange chicken” here, but even the salty sauces may contain some sugar.

Some of the fried items were battered. So they are probably not low-carb, but the batter isn’t like a thick shell – it’s lacy, so it may only contribute a little bit of carb.

So, unless you’re making it at home, there’s no way to be certain. Fortunately, you can make it at home. So you’ve got that.

There is one “super ingredient” on this menu: tofu skin. It’s also called yuba in Japanese. It’s a skin that forms on a vat of soy milk as it cooks down. They now produce this product specifically, and it’s being used as a wrapper.

I’ll get more into soy skins in the future.