This low sodium chicken stir fry is a great recipe for people looking after their heart health and people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as corticosteroids, commonly used to treat RA, cause the body to hold more sodium. The recipe author, Jessica Goldman, changed her diet to low-sodium to revive her failing kidneys and improve her life with lupus. Start with her delicious base for your next stir-fry and customize it to your preferences.

To make this recipe you will need a bowl, a large wok or frying pan and a spoon or ladle for stirring and serving.

Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (40.8g); Carbohydrates (28g); Sodium (153mg); Sugar (4g); Fiber (9g); Cholesterol (146mg); Protein (30g)


 2 boneless chicken thighs

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 beer with hints of fruit flavor, such as Blue Moon

2 Tbsp. salt-free Chinese Five Spice

1/2 cup of fresh Shitake mushrooms
1 bunch of Chinese broccoli
1/2 cup of bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup of green onion
1 Tbsp. garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp. of chili pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. of toasted sesame oil


1. Prep the Chicken

Cut chicken thighs into strips – about 1/4 of an inch thick.

2. Coat the Chicken

Put the chicken into a bowl with the Chinese Five Spice, a half can of beer, and cornstarch. Mix with your hands to make sure everything is coated. The cornstarch will help adhere the spices to the chicken.

3. Prep the Pan for Cooking

Heat a large wok or pan on the stove. After a minute, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. To test if the oil is ready for cooking throw in one slice of onion or garlic – if the oil spits, it’s time to get cooking.

4. Cook Chicken

Put the chicken (leaving most of the sauce in the bowl) into the sizzling pan. Let the chicken cook for 8 to 10 minutes until it is no longer pink.

5. Set the Chicken Aside in the Bowl

Put chicken back into the bowl with the sauce. Not to worry; there’s no health hazard here. You’ll be cooking the chicken again in just a few minutes.

6. Reheat the Pan

Reheat the second tablespoon of sesame oil in the pan. When hot, throw in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp and light brown.

7. Cook Vegetable

Add Shitake mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, half of your green onions, bell peppers and chili pepper flakes. If the veggies look a little dry, drizzle with sesame oil or orange juice (just a few teaspoons or so) to help them rehydrate.

8. Add Chicken and Marinade to the Pan

Add chicken and marinating liquid to the rest of the ingredients and stir it up.

9. Taste and Season

Before serving, give it a taste. If it needs more flavor, throw in a dash of white or black pepper, some paprika and maybe some ground mustard – give it a try to find your personal favorite. If the sauce has cooked down, add more beer.

10. Serve

To serve, ladle the stir fry and sauce into bowls with chop sticks and a spoon – you’ll want to drink up all that warm, soupy liquid – and sprinkle your leftover green onions on top for flare and flavor.

Arthritis-Friendly Bonuses

  • Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help inhibit cell damage caused by free radicals. Chili peppers contain natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, so feel free to up the chili flakes in this recipe, if you can handle some heat.
  • If you can’t find Chinese five spice you can substitute about a 1/2 teaspoon of each of the individual spices: cinnamon, fennel seed, anise, ground cloves and peppercorns. Feel free to experiment with your own favorite spices as well.
  • It’s easy to make this recipe stretch if you’re hungry or hosting more people by adding up to four chicken thighs.

For more information on living with Arthritis visit or chat to an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Your Health Hub.

Source: Arthritis Foundation