Friday, February 8, 2013

Sesame Chicken with Spinach (Low-Fructose & Gluten-Free)

sesame chicken with spinach over rice, low-fructose, gluten-free

I came across this recipe (Weight Watchers Sesame Chicken) on Pinterest a while ago and thought it would be a great one to adapt for fructose malabsorption because it is low in sugar. I love Chinese food and we still get take-out now and then even though it probably has wheat and other things I shouldn't eat. We haven't had it in quite a while though, so it was time to make some at home.

This recipe is both gluten-free and low-fructose. What I like about it is that you customize it by adding whatever kind of vegetables you can tolerate. For the ultimate low-fructose dish, I just add spinach. Or, if you are feeding a family where some of the members don't have any intolerances, you can set aside a low-fructose portion for whoever has fructmal, and then add additional veggies to the rest! Other veggie options for the rest of the family could be carrots, broccoli or water chestnuts.

For the sweetener, I usually use brown sugar. At less than a teaspoon per serving, I can tolerate it. I think it helps make the sauce richer, but feel free to use dextrose if you need to.

toasted sesame seeds

I love and tolerate sesame seeds, plus they are packed with nutrition. Sesame seeds contain healthy oils, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. I think the key in Asian dishes is to toast them. It really brings out their "sesame-ness." Sesame seeds are pretty neutral tasting, but when you toast them they get a more pronounced flavor.

                                                                                                                                              print recipe

Sesame Chicken with Spinach (Low-Fructose & Gluten-Free)
serves 4


2 tablespoons sesame seeds

sesame chicken with spinach over rice, low-fructose, gluten-free
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered dextrose (or 1 tablespoon brown sugar if tolerated)
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced (optional or as tolerated)

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon all-purpose gluten-free flour (such as Sweet Rice Flour Blend or Sorghum Flour Blend)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

6 oz. fresh baby spinach 


  1. Brown sesame seeds in a small nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring frequently. Once seeds are toasted, remove from pan to cool.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring glass, combine the chicken broth, dextrose (or brown sugar), tamari sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and garlic (if tolerated).
  3. Add the chicken, flour, salt and pepper to a large resealable plastic bag and shake to coat the chicken.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned. Flip chicken to brown the other side. Pour in the sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add spinach, in batches if needed, and cook until just wilted.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Sesame Chicken

sesame seeds, tamari sauce, dextrose, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic
Here are some of the ingredients I used.

toasting sesame seeds in skillet
Add the sesame seeds to a dry, non-stick skillet and stir over low heat until nice and brown.

sesame chicken sauce in measuring glass
Make the sauce by combining the chicken broth, dextrose, tamari sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and garlic (optional).

coating chicken with flour in plastic bag
I like to use the Sweet Rice Flour blend to coat the chicken. It helps to brown the chicken and thicken the sauce. I just place the diced chicken breast in a storage bag with the flour, salt and pepper and shake to coat evenly.

browning chicken in olive oil in skillet
Brown the chicken in the olive oil that has been heated in a large skillet over medium heat. 

flip chicken pieces and brown the other side in skillet
Flip once the first side has browned.

adding sesame sauce to chicken in skillet
Pour in the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

adding the spinach to chicken in skillet
Add your veggies and cover. If you add spinach, cook until it is just wilted. If you add other veggies, such as carrots and broccoli, cook until veggies are tender.

sesame chicken with spinach over rice, gluten-free, low-fructose
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve over rice.



  1. Eating it right now. It's delicious!!!

  2. Thanks for the yummy low fodmap recipe. We've made this 3 times in the last 2 weeks! Even my kids love it!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Glad you like it!