DRAGON BITES carb-counted recipe

A family-friendly, mostly healthy (sometimes treat-y!) easy recipe for families living well with Type 1 Diabetes.

Japanese Rumaki

These bacon-wrapped, ginger-soy marinated chicken + water chestnut bites have been one of our family’s favourite appetizers for years, and are always a hit when we take them along to a cocktail or dinner party. They’re low carb, quick and super-easy to make, and fit with most allergen-free diets (they are gluten-, diary, and nut-free - but not soy-free). We’ll be making them again this year for our family’s traditional New Year’s Eve party for four!

This recipe easily doubles – and you’ll want to do that if you’re taking Rumaki to a party, these bites go quickly!

(Recipe from The Looneyspoons Collection)

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Low-Carb? Yes
Gluten-free? Yes
Dairy-free? Yes
Nut-free? Yes

Prep: 25 mins
Marinate: 1 hour to overnight
Cook: 20-25 mins

Total Yield: 24 Rumaki bites
Carb Content: 1g each (see detailed carb content below)
Fat Content: 4g each

Note that high fat food can lead to high blood sugar later that is resistant to correction – you may need to cover the fat content in this dish with extra insulin, especially if you do not regularly eat foods high in fat. For more information on this, check out How Fat Affects Blood Glucose?


  • ¼ cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (24g) brown sugar2
  • 1 tbsp grated gingerroot
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 – 227mL can (12) whole water chestnuts, canned3
  • 1 – 375g package (12 slices) bacon, cut in half crosswise4 (ie. full width, half the length)
  • 24 round wooden toothpicks

Carb Notes:

  1. 8g carbs; 0g fat. For gluten-free, I use Superstore’s No Name sodium-reduced soy sauce (Kikkoman also has a GF soy sauce)
  2. 24g carbs; 0g fat for brown sugar
  3. 12g carbs; 0g fat for Taipan Whole Water Chestnuts (Don't let the name worry you... Water Chestnuts are a root vegetable, not a nut!)
  4. 0g carbs; 96g fat for Maple Leaf Natural Bacon (No Sugar; 25% less Salt)



First make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, gingerroot, orange zest, coriander, curry and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.


Cut chicken breasts into 24 bite-size pieces. (If you find raw chicken breast too slippery to cut easily, try freezing it slightly before cutting, making it easier to handle.)


Cut each water chestnut in half.


Combine chicken, water chestnuts and marinade in a large, leak-proof bowl with a lid, or resealable plastic bag. Mix well to coat the chicken and water chestnuts with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour. Or marinate overnight to enhance the flavour.


To make the Rumaki bites, lay one half-strip of bacon on your work surface. Place one piece of marinated chicken in the centre of bacon strip and top with a half of a water chestnut. Fold over the ends of the bacon to cover chicken and water chestnut. Secure with a toothpick. (Make sure the toothpick goes through the water chestnut, or it will fall out!)


Place Rumaki on a wire rack, on a baking sheet. (The rack keeps them from soaking in the bacon drippings.)


Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until chicken and bacon are cooked through. I like to broil them for a few minutes at the end, to crisp up the bacon.

Serve warm.

Discard unused marinade.


Total carbs: (44g minus marinade leftover, 20g) 24g
Total fat: 96g

Total yield: 24 Rumaki Bites

Nutrient Content for each Rumaki Bite: 1g of carbs; 4g of fat.

Should I Give Insulin to Cover the Fat???

Please don’t rely exclusively on my carb counting! Nutritional information is given for general information only, and will vary depending on the amount, type and brand of ingredients you choose - Please verify your carb and fat content when you make your own version of this recipe.