Low FODMAP Orange Sesame Chicken and Tips for Converting Recipes

orange chicken

You don't need to mourn your old favorite recipes while doing Low FODMAP elimination because chances are you can make a few changes to make them compliant with the diet. I thought I'd share my process for finding a recipe and converting it to low FODMAP because it's something I do often and I kinda love the challenge. The first thing I do is try to find a recipe that looks like it could easily be substituted with low FODMAP ingredients. So if garlic is an ingredient, I know I will substitute in garlic oil, but if a high FODMAP food is a key part of the dish (like onion rings for example), that obviously would not be a good choice.

Recently, I found myself having a random craving for orange chicken, which I had years ago at a Chinese restaurant. But because it's typically not gluten free (I have to be completely gluten free though the low FODMAP diet is not) and it usually has garlic in it, I steer clear of it. I found this recipe online though, on "Jamie Cooks It Up", and it looked pretty easy to convert to low FODMAP. There was nothing that I couldn't substitute with a low FODMAP alternative.

For the flour, I substituted Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Flour (which I find works very well in most of my recipe conversions). There is garlic powder in the original orange chicken recipe, so I substituted garlic oil for this. It's not an exact science figuring out how much garlic oil to substitute for the real thing and some of that depends on preference and how much you like the taste of garlic. In general, I often start with 1 teaspoon of garlic oil for every garlic clove called for. You can always add more garlic oil if it's not enough, but you can't subtract any if it's too strong, so err on the side of caution to start!

The next thing I look at is portion sizes to determine if they fall within the FODMAP limits. In this original orange chicken recipe, it calls for 1/4 cup soy sauce. Per the Monash FODMAP Diet App, soy sauce has a low FODMAP portion of 2 TBSP. I know there are 4 TBSP liquid in 1/4 cup (a quick Google search will tell you this). So though that exceeds the low FODMAP portion, remember this is being split up into 6 servings, so it is well within the safe limit. If you are gluten sensitive you can use gluten free soy sauce (tamari). Everything else in this recipe looked low FODMAP!

Low FODMAP Orange Sesame Chicken

Makes 6 servings


4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Flour)

1/8 tsp salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp garlic oil

Orange Sauce

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 TBSP rice vinegar

3 TBSP sugar

1 TBSP orange peel (loosely packed)

1/4 cup cold water

1 tsp garlic oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp ginger

1 TBSP cornstarch

1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

White or brown rice of your choice.

I followed the quantity per the original recipe for the oil, but instead used 1/2 garlic oil and 1/2 regular olive oil. I also reduced the sugar because the first time I tried it, it was too sweet for my taste. For detailed instructions with step-by-step photos, see the original recipe from "Jamie Cooks It Up".

1. If you are having rice with this dish, get that going first and follow package instructions.

2. Add 1/2 cup gluten free flour into a medium sized bowl and add in 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Stir to incorporate.

3. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and cover each one with the flour mixture.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 TBSP olive oil plus 1 TBSP garlic oil to the pan.

5. When the oil is hot, place your coated chicken in the pan.

6. While the chicken browns, zest one orange.

7. Squeeze the juice from 2-3 oranges to make 1/2 cup juice.

8. Pour your orange juice and the orange zest (loosely packed) into a small mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce (or tamari), rice vinegar, sugar, garlic oil, sesame oil, ginger, cold water and cornstarch. Whisk it all together until the cornstarch is dissolved and all ingredients are incorporated.

9. Once your chicken is golden brown on all sides, pour the sauce over the chicken. Bring the sauce to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 10-15 minutes over medium low heat stirring occasionally.

10. When the chicken is fully cooked (cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F) and the sauce is thick, sprinkle 1 TBSP sesame seeds over the top. Stir to combine.

Serve over a bed of white or brown rice with a low FODMAP vegetable (shown in photo with bok choy and carrots). Enjoy!

*Though I haven't tried it, I bet this recipe would work well with firm tofu too.

Huge thank you to "Jamie Cooks It Up" for the original, delicious recipe! Original Recipe from "Jamie Cooks It Up" website.

I always love to hear from you so please let me know in the comments if you try it and what you thought!