Low-FODMAP ‘Copycat’ Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe; Gluten-free, Dairy-free
January 24, 2019Printer Friendly Version
Oh how I miss the Orange Chicken at Panda Express! Last month I was traveling to Arizona with my family and we ate at Panda Express no less than 4 times that trip. I am used to packing low-FODMAP snacks (check out my low-FODMAP travel tips blog for the inside scoop) and was not complaining about having steamed rice with my Happy Jerky. But I did wish I could have a huge plate of that orange chicken instead of a tiny taste.
I turned that loss into gain for us all.
Once home, I worked on creating this amazing low-FODMAP Copycat Orange Chicken Recipe. It is healthier than fast food, with a fresh home cooked flavor, but maintains that crispy, sweet, orange flavored goodness that Panda’s version has.
But to be fair- this is not, by definition, a ‘healthy’ meal choice. If you are looking for a lighter chicken dinner for your family, then check out my low-FODMAP Grilled Lime Chicken, or my low-FODMAP One Pan Italian Chicken and Vegetables.
This low-FODMAP Orange Chicken is fried in oil to be crisp outside and tender inside. It is coated with orange flavored sauce, sweetened with sugars. It tastes like chicken candy. I love it.
Save it for special occasions, but don’t deny yourself this amazing low-FODMAP Orange Chicken, if like me, you were feeling deprived!
Be healthy and happy,
Rachel Pauls, MD
Low-FODMAP ‘Copycat’ Panda Express Orange Chicken; Gluten-free, Dairy-free
Although this recipe has not been lab tested, a single serving should be low-FODMAP based on the ingredients (*using FODMAP data at time of posting)
Prep time 15 min
Cook time 30 min
Total time 45 min
For low-FODMAP breaded chicken pieces:
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (about 1.5 lbs); chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
- Canola or other preferred oil for frying
- Chives or scallion tips, optional for garnish
For low-FODMAP Orange Sauce: (makes about 1.5 cups sauce)
- 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil (for tips on shopping for infused oils see my low-FODMAP recipe swap blog)
- Infused oils with onion and garlic are safe to eat on the low-FODMAP diet, as the FODMAPs will not absorb into the oil. This is not true for water based products and these spices!
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Can also substitute 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on desired spice level)
- 1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce, gluten-free if necessary (I use low-sodium)
- **I prefer to use 1/4 cup soy sauce for a less salty taste
- 1/2 cup vinegar (white vinegar, apple cider or rice vinegar); confirm gluten-free if necessary
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar (if you like a very sweet sauce, increase to 6 tbsp)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 1 medium orange)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from the same orange)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
For low-FODMAP Fried Chicken Pieces:
- In a medium bowl, mix eggs, salt, and pepper
- In a second medium bowl, add 1 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
- Heat canola or olive oil (for frying) in a wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Working in small batches, dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then the cornstarch mixture and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Do a few pieces at a time for maximum crispness
- Discard oil and clean wok
For the low-FODMAP Orange Sauce
- Place your wok back over high heat and add 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds
- Add red pepper flakes then stir fry for a few seconds
- Add soy sauce and stir again
- Add vinegar and continue to stir to combine ingredients well
- Place 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp cornstarch in a cup and stir to combine well (creates a ‘slurry’)
- Add the cornstarch/water slurry to the pan and stir
- Heat until the sauce has thickened on medium low heat
- Add corn syrup and brown sugar
- Add orange zest and orange juice
- Allow to thicken to desired consistency
- Stir in sesame oil
Assemble the low-FODMAP Orange Chicken
- Add the chicken pieces to coat
- Garnish with chopped green chives if desired
- Serve with low-FODMAP Steamed Rice and low-FODMAP Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry