Chef's Recipes

Chicken quinoa salad with recado verde

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for chicken quinoa salad with recado verde by El Publico restaurant in Perth.

By Sam Ward
  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus cooling
Chicken quinoa salad with recado verde
Chicken quinoa salad with recado verde

"This is a simple salad with odes to the Mayans and Aztecs and their old world grains," says Ward. "The recado [a sauce-like seasoning] is from the Yucatán."


  • 2 skinless chicken breasts (250gm each)
  • 150 gm white quinoa
  • ½ white onion, shaved on a mandolin
  • 1 radish, shaved on a mandolin
  • 1 cup coriander leaves (loosely packed)
  • 2¾ tbsp chia seeds
  • Juice of 1 lime
Recado verde
  • 100 gm coriander (about 1 large bunch)
  • 100 ml canola oil
  • 80 gm flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 50 ml white malt vinegar (see note)
  • 2 tsp each ground allspice and ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange


  • 1
    Steam chicken in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water until cooked through (8-10 minutes; or you can poach the chicken; see note) Set aside to cool slightly, then thinly slice.
  • 2
    Cook quinoa in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender (8-9 minutes; you want the quinoa to be a little bit al dente).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for recado verde, process ingredients in a blender to a smooth paste, then season to taste and set aside.
  • 4
    Rinse onion under cold running water for 5 minutes, drain and place in a bowl with chicken, quinoa and remaining ingredients, toss to combine, season to taste, stir in recado verde and serve.


Note White malt vinegar is available from select delicatessens; if it isn't available, substitute half apple cider and half malt vinegar. To poach the chicken, place chicken in a saucepan of water, bring to the boil, remove from heat and stand for 10-12 minutes.
Drink Suggestion: Two Brothers Gypsy pear cider. Drink suggestion by Paul Aron