Like Italian restaurants that rely heavily on low-cost, non-perishable pasta and cheap–as-chips pizza dough, Chinese restaurants are lucky as dishes revolve around similarly cheap staples: rice and noodles. Bringing the cost down even further is the convenience of buying in bulk – there’s no danger of these carbs spoiling quickly, and they mostly don’t require refrigeration. Ordering a $9 dish then that comprises mostly of rice tossed through with a little protein, eggs and a handful of that day’s cheap market vegetables may well fill you up, but it won’t give you value for money. Instead, opt for a beef stir-fry with specified vegetables such as green beans or broccoli. At $15 a portion, this might seem steep, but rice will be included and you’ll get a lot more protein and nutritious greens than with the greasy fried rice meal.
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