Sumac Chicken Salad Bowl

The protein for salad bowls benefit immensely from the ‘kiss of the wok’. As soon as that spiced chicken touches down into the searingly hot embrace of your wok, you’ll know what I mean. The high heat and smoky caramelisation from the wok give you the illusion that you fired up a grill and spent time tending to it when all you actually did was stir-fry. 

This is just one of the unexpected yet delightful recipes to be found in my latest cookbook, The Essential Wok Companion.


600g (1 lb 5 oz) chicken thigh fillets, cut into roughly 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes

1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced

2 tbsp pine nuts

2 tbsp vegetable oil

your choice of salad add-ons (e.g. mixed salad greens, pea shoots, cucumber, avocado, thinly sliced radish and pickled beetroot)



3 garlic cloves, finely grated

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp sumac, plus extra to serve

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper



½ cup thick unsweetened Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

plus extra to serve

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp honey

1 garlic clove, finely grated

½ bunch parsley, stems and leaves roughly chopped

1 tsp sea salt

  • Step 1

    Add the chicken, onion and marinade ingredients to a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, breaking up the onion as you go. Allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

  • Step 2

    Next, add the dressing ingredients to a small blender and process until smooth (alternatively, just finely chop the parsley and mix the ingredients together by hand).

  • Step 3

    Place your wok over medium-high heat. When the wok is hot, add the pine nuts and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate or bowl and set aside for later.

  • Step 4

    Place your wok over high heat. When it starts to smoke, add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, then add half of your chicken and onions (leave any excess marinade behind in the bowl). Spread the mixture out in the wok and allow to sear for 3–4 minutes or until the chicken starts to colour. Then toss and stir-fry, allow the chicken to settle again, and sear for another 3–4 minutes. Repeat until the chicken is cooked through and the onions start to char. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil, chicken and onions. Allow to cool slightly before building your salad.

  • Step 5

    To serve, load your bowls with your chosen salad add-ons, pickled beetroot and your warm chicken and onions. Scatter over the toasted pine nuts and serve with lashings of the green yoghurt dressing.

  • Notes

    This recipe is featured in The Essential Wok Companion. In my latest book, I wanted to share a concise yet informative and practical yet inspiring guide to using a wok in your home kitchen. Rather than just recipes to follow, I would love this book to give you the technical tools and confidence to go your own way. I’m immensely proud of it and hope it will be of great value to you in your cooking endeavours. Order your copy today at cookdinehost.com.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

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