It’s probably pretty obvious the ways in which traditional sesame chicken is a huge problem for those with IBS and/or GERD. Fried chicken pieces are loaded in a sugary sauce, yeah… not very IBS/GERD friendly.
With some modifications, though, it’s possible to have a thoroughly tasty version of sesame chicken that isn’t quite as sweet but actually gives off more sesame flavor, which seems like it should be a crucial component, right?
Anytime you deal with soy sauce and/or oyster sauce, you definitely have to add in some sugar or else you end up with a super salty, potent sauce that basically tastes like straight soy/oyster sauce. I think the end result here is sweet enough to overpower the saltiness of those ingredients without being so sweet that it’s a no-go for us IBS/GERD sufferers.
With that said, for IBS/GERD sufferers there is a decent amount of fat and sugar in this recipe (for anyone without digestion issues, it’s no problem), so just watch your intake of fat/sugar the rest of the day. Maybe skip the high-sugar yogurt and have a lower fat entree for your other protein of the day. It’s worth it to be able to eat this! It felt like eating takeout, but without the guilt and the inevitable flare-up that would occur afterwards.
Skinny Sesame Chicken
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (uncooked) - pounded into even size, then cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 cup gluten free flour (I use King Arthur Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (it must be pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup, or it will not taste right)
- 3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (it needs to be low sodium or the dish will be way too salty)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (read labels and find one that is gluten free, or skip this ingredient)
- 2+1/2 tsp. brown sugar (unpacked - very important for IBS/GERD)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chives (chopped) - plus more for garnish, if desired
- Place the sesame seeds in a dry, medium-sized skillet over medium heat.
- Heat, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes until the seeds are lightly browned. Remove from heat and reserve the toasted seeds in a small dish.
- Place the flour in a large ziploc bag, then add the chicken, seal the bag (leave air in the bag), then shake the bag around until the chicken pieces are coated with flour.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray and then add in the floured chicken pieces (try not to get any excess flour in the pan).
- Cook the chicken pieces for ~4-5 minutes per side, until they have browned and the internal temperature of the larger pieces has reached at least 165 degrees F. *Note: When I had to flip them over, the cooking spray had pretty much disappeared. So I moves the pieces over to one side, sprayed the pan, flipped some in the sprayed part, then kept doing that until I made it all the way across the pan and all the pieces were flipped and on a spot with some cooking spray.*
- When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to a plate or baking sheet, then set the skillet aside (off the burner) to cool down for a couple of minutes. Once cooled down a bit (but still hot), carefully wipe it out with some slightly wet paper towels (you don't want any of the burned bits in there or the sauce will have a weird taste).
- While the skillet is cooling down a bit, place the maple syrup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and chives in a small dish and mix together until combined.
- Once the skillet has cooled down and is wiped out, return the skillet to the burner and add in the maple syrup/soy sauce mixture, starting to stir immediately and continuing to heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens up quite a bit (this only takes ~20-30 seconds). *Notes: It's important to have waited for both the burner and pan to have cooled down before adding in the maple syrup/soy sauce mixture, otherwise the mixture will burn when it hits the pan. Also, the sauce will thicken more after the chicken pieces are added in (from the flour coating) and also once it cools, so don't leave it going too long. You do want to end up with a decent amount of sauce for the chicken pieces, especially if you serve the chicken over rice or noodles.*
- When sauce has thickened, remove from heat, add in the chicken and sesame seeds and stir to combine.
- Garnish with some additional chopped chives for color, if desired. Serve on its own as an appetizer, as a meal with a side of white rice and some steamed snow peas and/or carrots or do as I do and make a bit of a Sesame Chicken Lo Mein (recipe being posted later on 8/30/15).
- When serving just as chicken, weigh out 3oz of the chicken, then add some extra sauce, if desired. Total weight of chicken and extra sauce should be no more than 3+1/2oz for IBS/GERD.
- This dish is relatively high in both fat and sugar. It shouldn't give you problems on its own, but you will need to be careful with what you eat the rest of the day you eat this. Choose fat free or very low fat options for your other meals, and skip yogurt and other foods with high sugar content. This is only for those with IBS and/or GERD. Anyone without digestion issues would be fine.
- When serving, weigh out 3oz of the chicken, then add some extra sauce, if desired. Total weight of chicken and extra sauce should be no more than 3+1/2oz for IBS/GERD.
*The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.*
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