Zesty chicken & sprout salad with fragrant seeds

Zesty chicken & sprout salad with fragrant seeds

Chris Middleton

Brightly coloured with zesty, earthy flavours, achiote paste is a must-have for your larder if you want to capture some of the unique regional flavours of Mexico. Here it’s used as a fast marinade for a minced chicken salad which is great served wrapped in lettuce leaves or in tortillas with guacamole, or accompanied with fried tortilla chips and Queso fundito. There are now a great range of shoots and microgreens available from our local farms, which are bursting with sweet and delicate flavours. Add your favourite nuts and seeds to this zesty and healthy slaw.


Quantity Ingredient
800g coarsely minced chicken
2 tablespoons Achiote relish
2 tablespoons sesame oil
50g mix of sesame, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt, to taste
100g finely shredded carrot
100g finely shredded green papaya
50g nely shredded young white or red cabbage
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 baby lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely shredded
1 jalapeno, finely sliced
150g mix of alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts and snow pea shoots
100ml Zesty lime dressing
1 orange, segmented
1/2 avocado, sliced
assorted micro herbs, to garnish
iceberg lettuce leaves, to serve
tortillas, to serve


  1. Put the chicken and achiote relish in a bowl, mix together well and leave to marinate for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat half the sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken mixture and cook, stirring and breaking the meat down with a wooden spoon as you go, until sealed on all sides and cooked through (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer to a tray and set aside.
  3. Wipe the pan clean, add the rest of the sesame oil and set over medium heat. Add the mixed seeds and toast for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with the cumin and sea salt to taste.
  4. Remove 1 tablespoon of the toasted seeds from the pan and set aside for garnish, then return the chicken to the pan and mix together well. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Combine the mince with the carrot, papaya, cabbage, onion, cucumber, ginger, jalapeño and mixed sprouts in a large bowl. Pour over the lime dressing and toss together.
  6. To serve, divide the chicken and shredded vegetables among bowls. Top with the orange and avocado slices and sprinkle over the reserved toasted seeds. Garnish with micro herbs and serve with lettuce leaves or tortillas for wrapping.

* Tip

  • Try adding finely chopped roasted salted peanuts and finely sliced habanero chilli to this salad to give it a little extra savoury spiciness.
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