Skip the Takeout: Healthy Chinese, Indian and Other Asian Recipes

Make your favorite Chinese, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese takeout dishes at home for easy, healthy meals that are friendlier on the wallet.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne

Photo By: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Chile-Beef Stir-Fry with Scallions and Snow Peas

Aida Mollenkamp lightens this takeout classic by using less-fatty flank steak. She tosses the trim meat with snow peas in a chile-garlic paste enhanced with soy sauce, honey and sesame oil.

Get the Recipe: Chili Beef Stir-Fry with Scallions and Snow Peas

Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce

Ellie Krieger's slimmed-down noodle dish calls for whole-wheat or vegetable pasta, along with a nutty peanut butter sauce that gives the plate indulgent creaminess with less fat.

Get the Recipe: Aromatic Noodles With Lime Peanut Sauce

Pad Thai

Takeout joints typically oversweeten this stir-fry, which is served by street vendors in Thailand. Our rendition plays up the dish's savory and tangy sides with ample doses of lime juice and fish sauce.

Get the Recipe: Pad Thai

Red-Cooked Chicken with Assorted Vegetables

This Chinese method of braising is named for the crimson-hued glaze that it produces. In our recipe, the sweet-and-spicy sauce adds flavor to tender chunks of bone-in chicken.

Get the Recipe: Red-Cooked Chicken with Assorted Vegetables

Vegetable Chow Mein

Chow mein doesn’t have to be an oily fat trap — Ching-He Huang uses little more than a tablespoon of oil and one or two tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce to soften and flavor the dish’s fragrant vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Vegetable Chow Mein

Lettuce Cups With Tofu and Beef

Though lettuce wraps may seem like a healthy menu option, the fillings are often made with high-calorie, high-sodium sauces. Ellie uses a moderate amount of sweet hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce and powerful chili-garlic paste that flavors her lettuce cups, and saves calories by mixing lean ground beef with tofu.

Get the Recipe: Lettuce Cups with Tofu and Beef

Chicken Stir-Fry Soup

Half chicken stir-fry, half chicken soup, this bowl gains flavor from a hot and spicy preparation of the chicken and low-sodium additions to the stock.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry Soup

Thai-Style Halibut With Coconut-Curry Broth

Ellie gives mild halibut distinct Thai flavor with red curry paste, coconut milk and fresh lime juice.

Get the Recipe: Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut-Curry Broth

Healthy Sweet-and-Sour King Prawn Stir-Fry

Using just a few tablespoons of peanut oil, Ching-He gives her prawn stir-fry flavor with ginger, chiles, onions, pineapple and just a taste of honey for additional sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Sweet and Sour King Prawn Stir-Fry

Spicy Ginger Chicken in Lettuce Cups

It takes only half an hour to whip up this refreshing and versatile meal. To save time, mix ground chicken with diced vegetables, then dress the mixture in a spicy ginger sauce.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Ginger Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Sesame Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Use flavorful and juicy vegetables like asparagus and tomatoes and you’ll need very little sauce to turn out a tasty, moist stir-fry.

Get the Recipe: Sesame Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Thai-Style Coconut Chicken with Snow Peas

Lime zest and low-sodium fish sauce cut the heaviness of this creamy Thai standard, which features leaner, healthier chicken breasts instead of thighs.

Get the Recipe: Thai-Style Coconut Chicken with Snow Peas

Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Snow Peas and Carrots

Instead of standard carb-heavy pasta, opt for lighter soba noodles made with buckwheat flour. A dash of cayenne pepper sauce gives the plate — loaded with shrimp, snow peas and shredded carrots — a nice kick.

Get the Recipe: Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Snow Peas, and Carrots

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews

Along with skinless chicken thighs, Emeril Lagasse packs his one-pan meal full of vibrant fresh vegetables. Rice noodles and roasted cashews round out the hearty dish.

Beef Tossed With Wild Betel Leaf and Lemongrass

Aromatic betel leaves and lemongrass add their distinct flavors to this recipe, which you might find being served by street carts in Saigon. Seed-in chopped chiles add fire when the beef is wok-fried, and this surprisingly simple, healthy dish is ready in just 15 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Beef Tossed with Wild Betel Leaf and Lemongrass: Bo Xao La Lot

Radish and Sesame Soy Noodle Salad

Bulk up this whole-wheat noodle salad with radishes and cucumbers, then dress it in a minimal amount of vinegar-sesame-soy dressing. Consider adding dipping sauces, but with a topping of toasted sesame seeds, this cold pasta dish already possesses plenty of nutty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Radish and Sesame Soy Noodle Salad

Yakisoba

Though you'll find endless versions of this dish throughout Japan, there are three integral ingredients: noodles, aromatic vegetables and a unique combination of sauces. Mark Bittman's protein-packed take contains pork, cabbage and a sweet, salty and spicy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Yakisoba

Papaya Chicken

Bal Arneson uses popular Indian spices and herbs, like cumin, coriander, fenugreek and paprika, to flavor this sweet, creamy chicken recipe.

Get the Recipe: Papaya Chicken

Sichuan Peppercorn Steak

A tangy, spicy rub of papaya seeds and both black and Sichuan peppercorns gives this steak distinct Asian flavor, complemented by aromatic grilled onions.

Get the Recipe: Sichuan Peppercorn Steak with Grilled Green Onions

Stir-Fry Vegetable Wraps

Filled with fresh veggies and flavored with a minimal amount of oil and soy sauce, Ching-He’s wheat-pancake vegetable wraps are an easy, healthy lunch or dinner option.

Get the Recipe: Stir-Fried Vegetable Wraps

Black Bean Mussels With Chinese Beer

In this low-calorie, high-protein dish, mussels are infused with distinct Chinese flavors when cooked in a garlic, peanut oil, soy sauce and Chinese beer mixture.

Get the Recipe: Black Bean Mussels with Chinese Beer

Chopped Suey: Chicken and Mushroom Stir-Fry

This healthy chicken stir-fry is fresher and more flavorful than many takeout dishes, thanks to a number of sauces, fiery spices and vibrant, crispy vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Posh Chopped Suey (Fragrant Chicken and Mushroom Stir-Fry)

Sichuan Orange Beef

Inspired by the use of tangerine or orange peels in Sichuan cooking, Ching-He incorporates fresh oranges to infuse her beef with bright citrus flavor.

Get the Recipe: Sichuan Orange Beef