Low FODMAP Sweet & Sour Chicken

If you have IBS, there is a good chance that take-out sweet and sour chicken is on your list of foods you avoid. But if that’s what you are craving, we have a recipe you can make at home! This low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken is fresh and tasty without the greasy fried chicken, onions, or garlic.

The recipe includes deliciously browned chicken, bright red and green bell peppers, fresh pineapple, and green onions. And it is complete with a homemade low FODMAP sweet and sour sauce.

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Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Chicken FAQ

Bowl of Low FODMAP Sweet & Sour Chicken

Can this be made vegetarian?

Yes! Firm or extra firm tofu is a low FODMAP vegetarian substitute that can be used in place of chicken.  

You will need to press the tofu to remove excess moisture. Start by slicing the tofu into thirds width-wise, so you have three narrow slabs.  Place paper towels underneath, between the slices, and over the top of the tofu.

Place a plate on top of the tofu and add a weight (a can of food works well). Let sit for about 20 minutes. Then, discard the paper towels and cut the tofu into cubes. Or use a tofu press.

Follow the recipe for coating the tofu as you would the chicken. Cook the coated tofu just until browned on all sides.

Substitute firm or extra firm tofu for a low FODMAP meatless option

Is low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken gluten-free?

It can be! The main ingredients are naturally gluten-free. The low FODMAP sweet and sour sauce is gluten-free if gluten-free ingredients are used.

Use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce.

Most brands of ketchup do not have gluten-containing ingredients, but they may be produced in the same factory as other gluten-containing products. Therefore, there could be cross-contamination. If you need to avoid gluten, check out this article on gluten-free brands of ketchup.

It is best not to assume that a product is gluten-free. Be sure to check the labels on the specific products you are using.

Is pineapple low FODMAP?

Is pineapple low FODMAP?

Fresh pineapple is low FODMAP in a serving size of 1 cup, chopped. A low FODMAP serve of canned pineapple in juice (strained) is 90 grams, or a little under ½ cup. A low FODMAP serve of canned pineapple in syrup (strained) is 65 gram, or about 1/3 cup.

The FODMAP of concern in pineapple is fructans. Fresh pineapple is recommended for this recipe.

Is pineapple juice low FODMAP?

Pineapple juice has not been tested for FODMAP content. Based on the fact that pineapple contains some fructans, it is likely that pineapple juice has fructans as well. However, like the fruit itself, there might be a low FODMAP serving that is tolerated by most people.

In fact, there are some products on the market that have been certified as low FODMAP that contain some pineapple juice. This supports that there is likely an amount that is safe to consume on a low FODMAP diet.

The sweet and sour sauce used in this recipe has been tested with both orange juice and pineapple juice. A low FODMAP serve of 100% orange juice (not from concentrate) is ½ cup. Therefore, if you have concerns about pineapple juice, you can use orange juice instead to assure that it truely is a low FODMAP sweet and sour sauce.

Can I buy sweet and sour sauce instead of making it?

Commercially available sweet and sour sauce is low FODMAP at a portion of 2 Tablespoons. So if you are ok with going light on the sauce this could work for you.  That means for a recipe yielding 4 servings you would add up to ½ a cup of sauce.

I am only aware of one product on the market that is certified low FODMAP. This is Bay’s Kitchen Sweet & Sour Stir-in Sauce and is available in the UK.

Is rice low FODMAP?

Is rice low FODMAP?

Yes! Plain white and brown rice have no FODMAPs. The less common red rice is low FODMAP at a portion of 1 cup (cooked). Wild rice and black rice have not been tested.

Brown rice is a great option to add some fiber on a low FODMAP diet.

The Ingredients

Get out your pad of paper! Here is what you need on your grocery list for this low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken recipe.

Stir Fry Ingredients

Garlic Infused Olive Oil – A low FODMAP alternative to fresh garlic. If you don’t miss the garlic flavor you can just use regular olive oil.

Chicken Breasts – Plain chicken is a low FODMAP source of protein. You could also try this recipe with pork. Or for a meatless option, go with tofu (see above).

Red Bell Pepper – Red bell peppers are low FODMAP at a serving size of 1/3 cup, raw. This recipe uses a bit more than 1/3 a cup, but when spread out across four servings the FODMAP load is low. The FODMAP of concern here is fructose.

Green Bell Pepper – This recipe uses more green bell pepper than red. This is because green bell peppers are low FODMAP at a larger serving of ½ cup, raw.

Pineapple – Fresh pineapple is low FODMAP at a serving size of 1 cup. The FODMAP of concern for large portions of pineapple is fructans. If you swap out fresh for canned pineapple, use pineapple packaged in juice (not syrup).

Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds are low FODMAP in the portions most people use. In very large portions (6 tablespoons) they contain high amounts of oligosaccharides and fructans.

Green or Spring Onions – Just use the tops. The white bottoms contain fructans.

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Sauce Ingredients

Orange Juice – Use 100% orange juice, not from concentrate. A low FODMAP portion is ½ cup.

I personally prefer the taste of pineapple juice over orange juice in my sweet and sour sauce. This is a riskier move since it has not been tested for FODMAP content (see above FAQ section).

Orange juice or pineapple juice

However, spread across four servings, the amount of pineapple juice is pretty low. You can test your tolerance to pineapple juice or just stick with the safer option of orange juice.

Ketchup – Ketchup can contain high fructose corn syrup, onions, and garlic. However, it is generally low FODMAP at about 1 tablespoon. FODY Foods makes a low FODMAP ketchup.

Tamari – Tamari and soy sauce are low FODMAP. I used tamari here to make sure the recipe was also gluten-free. Feel free to substitute soy sauce if you do not need to avoid gluten.

Brown Sugar  – This recipe uses brown sugar which is low FODMAP. Avoid the use of honey, which is high in fructose.

Rice Vinegar – Low FODMAP and generally gluten-free (check the label). You can also use apple cider vinegar if you would like a stronger flavor.

Ginger – Low FODMAP, great flavor!

Sesame Oil – Another low FODMAP addition for great flavor.

Chicken Broth – Look for chicken broth without added onion or garlic. Gourmend Foods has a low FODMAP option. You can simply use water as well.

Cornstarch – a low FODMAP thickener.

Preparation

To prepare low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken:

Dice the peppers and pineapple into half-inch pieces. Cut the chicken into approximately ¾ inch chunks.

Chopped meat, vegetables and pineapple for low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken

Prepare the coating for the chicken. Combine in a medium bowl 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon of water and a few grinds of fresh salt and pepper. Stir together.

Add the chicken to the bowl and mix until the chicken is coated.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. A wok would be great here, but I do not own one, so I used my Swiss Diamond non-stick pan.

Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Give the chicken some space. Crowding will result in less browning. Work in two batches if needed, adding another tablespoon of oil to the pan.

Browning the chicken for low FODMAP sweet and sour chicken

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb extra oil.

Next, cook the bell peppers and pineapple until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Mix all the ingredients for the low FODMAP sweet and sour sauce in a small bowl. Use a Microplane to grate the fresh ginger.

Add back the chicken back to the pan. Then add about half of the sauce. Stir to combine. Add additional sauce as desired. You may not need to use all of it.  Let cook a minute or two until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is warmed through.

Serve immediately over cooked white or brown rice, or quinoa.

Top with sesame seeds and the tops of green onions.

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe Card

Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Chicken

This low FODMAP version of a favorite take-out dish is sure to please. You won't miss the greasy fried meat, onions, or garlic in this tasty meal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 380 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Infused Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • A few grinds of sea salt and black pepper, as desired
  • 1 pound Chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper diced, about 1/2 inch
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper diced, about 1/2 inch
  • 1 cup Fresh Pineapple diced, about 1/2 inch
  • 2 Green Onions tops only
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds

For The Low FODMAP Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Orange or Pineapple Juice 100% juice, not from concentrate
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup Low FODMAP if desired, see narrative above
  • 3 Tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce Preferably low sodium
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar May also use apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Chicken broth or water Gourmend Foods has a low FODMAP product
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the coating for the chicken. Combine in a medium bowl 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon of water, and a few grinds of fresh salt and pepper. Stir together.
  • Add the chicken to the bowl and mix until the chicken is coated.
  • Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, about 2-3minutes per side. Give the chicken some space. Crowding will result in less browning. Work in two batches if needed, adding another tablespoon of oil to the pan.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.
  • Next, cook the bell peppers and pineapple until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Use a Microplane to grate the fresh ginger.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan. Then add about half of the sauce. Stir to combine. Add additional sauce as desired. You may not need to use all of it.  Let cook a minute or two until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is warmed through.
  • Serve immediately over cooked white or brown rice, or quinoa. Top with sesame seeds and the tops of green onions.

Notes

Calorie information does not include rice or quinoa, which adds an additional ~100-120 kcal per half cup serving.

Tired of looking for low FODMAP recipes? Modify Health has great low FODMAP meals that are fully prepped and ready to heat.

And don’t forget to check out this free download to make your low FODMAP journey easier:

Low FODMAP Gorcery List

Low FODMAP Grocery List

Looking for more recipes? You’ll love this homemade Low FODMAP Chili!

Chili Recipe

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