Chicken Salad & Black Rice Buddha Bowl

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Super nourishing and absolutely delicious, this chicken salad bowl comes together quickly using a combination of raw ingredients and layered Thermomix cooking.

Chicken salad bowl - chicken on a bed of kale and raw salad ingredients

I have made this recipe four times and photographed it almost as many times! The problem is… it tastes so much better than it looks, so I just haven’t been happy with the images. I had almost given up on putting the recipe on the site because I figured no one would make it if it wasn’t pretty! But, I loved it so much I just had to share the recipe!!

Why I love this recipe?

Food needs to be delicious, quick (or easy), and nutritious to keep me coming back and making it again and again. When I first made this recipe I felt like I had been given an instant vitamin hit.  Perhaps this was partially psychosomatic because I knew how nutritional good the individual ingredients are, but I felt my body was thanking me for the meal. The recipe ingredients can be varied depending on what you have on hand but I like to include the following as a salad bowl base and then add extra ingredients for colour and flavour:

  • Black rice
  • Kale
  • Fresh Mint
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Raw Beetroot

When I was a young mum I always listened to Rosemary Stanton (leading Australian Dietician). She used to say everyone should aim to consume a wide variety of different food items every day. She recommended trying to eat 20 different ingredients per day.  This salad includes 14 ingredients in just one meal! All the ingredients are different colours and therefore include different health benefits!

What is Black Rice?

Black rice is also known as purple rice or forbidden rice. It can come from a number of different plant species and can be glutenous or non-glutinous. The qualities of black rice depend on the species. As such the cooking times can vary between the various black rice varieties.

In this recipe, I’ve used readily available black rice from the brand Sunrise. This brand can be found in Woolworths or Coles supermarkets. I have also bought black rice through various Asian supermarkets.

Black rice is nutritionally superior to white rice for a number of reasons:

  • High in antioxidants called anthocyanin
  • Natural source of magnesium
  • Higher in protein
  • 100% wholegrain
  • Higher in fibre
  • Good source of iron
  • Less refined than white rice

Why is black rice called forbidden rice?

Historically black rice was reserved for the emperor of China or the elite citizens to ensure their good health. To ensure a supply was always available for the Emporer it was forbidden for those of lower class to eat black rice.

Overhead image of 5 Chicken salad bowls on a wooden background

What would you call this salad?

I put this question to my Facebook ThermoKitchen group because I was struggling to name this salad. There were so many wonderful things I wanted to convey! I love eating a rainbow and this really is a rainbow salad, full of colours and therefor all different nutrients. My group come up with some beautiful names such as:

  • Asian Inspired Rainbow Salad
  • Chicken Buddha Bowl
  • Bowl of plenty
  • Garden of Eden
  • Forbidden Salad Bowl
  • Forbidden Salad
  • Emperors Spiced Chicken Salad
  • Un-forbidden Bowl

In the end, I went with the Buddha Bowl option, even though the other names sounded so much more beautiful. I figured google won’t know what a Forbidden salad was so no one would be shown this recipe.

How to Serve the Chicken Salad Bowl

You can choose to serve this in two different ways.  The recipe is the same for each but the plating up is a little different.

Chicken Buddha Bowl Style

I have shown this plating up styling in the picture above. All of the ingredients have a separate position in the bowl which really shows off the various colours and textures of the ingredients.  The dressing is then added to the bowl.  To serve in this manner its easiest to have the serving bowls ready at the start of your preparation. As each ingredient has been chopped or cooked it’s then added directly to the serving bowl.

Layered Chicken Salad Bowl

For the first image in this story, I combined the base salad ingredients and then layered the spiced chicken and dressing on top. The recipe below will give instructions for this method as I think I like the presentation a little better. 

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Me holding my chicken salad bowl

Portrait image Black rice chicken salad bowl on white background

Chicken Salad & Black Rice Buddha Bowl

Julie Carlyle
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 26 mins
Course Healthy, Lunch, Lunchbox, Main, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Australian
Servings 5 serves
Calories 605 kcal



  • 280 g sweet potato peeled and cubed 2cm
  • 420 g canned corn
  • 170 g kale cut in thirds
  • 25 g fresh coriander
  • 25 g fresh mint
  • 200 g raw beetroot peeled and halved
  • 200 g black rice
  • 1000 g tap water
  • 600 g chicken thigh fillets
  • 100 g edamame beans

Yoghurt Dressing

  • 25 g fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp mild oil macadamia

Chicken Seasoning

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


Chicken Seasoning

  • Place all the spices in a bowl and stir to combine. Reserve

Yoghurt Dressing

  • Add garlic, mint and salt to TM Bowl. Mince 3 sec/Speed 9.
  • Scrape down the bowl.
  • Place yoghurt, cumin and oil in TM Bowl. Combine 10 sec/Speed 9.
  • Scrape down the bowl. Mix 10 sec/Speed 9.
  • Reserve in a serving bowl in the fridge.

Chicken Salad Bowl

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place sweet potato on a baking tray and spray with oil. Bake 20 minutes or until cooked and golden (turn halfway through if necessary).
  • Drain corn and reserve in a large bowl.
    Salad Bowl vegetables
  • Add kale, coriander, and mint to TM bowl. Blitz 6 sec/Speed 6 (Use the spatula in the lid to stir as the TM chops).
  • Repeat for 2 seconds if required. 2 Sec/Speed 6.
  • Reserve the kale mixture with the corn.
    Image of salad ingredients ready to be combined
  • Add beetroot to TM bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 6.
  • Reserve beetroot with kale and corn.
  • Rinse TM bowl.
  • Add the internal steam basket and tare off scales. Weigh black rice into the internal steam basket.
    Black rice in the internal steam basket to be steamed
  • Add 1000g warm tap water to TM bowl.
  • Add a trivet or egg rings to the deep Varoma basket.
  • Place the chicken thigh fillets in the Varoma. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over both sides of the chicken.
    Seasoned chicken thigh fillets in Varoma
  • Place the Varoma on the TM bowl. Cook 22 min/Varoma/Speed 4.
  • Add Edamame beas to the Varoma tray. Place the tray in the Deep Varoma Dish. Cook 5 min/Varoma/ Speed 4.
    Edamame beans on Varoma tray


  • Gently combine the reserved kale mixture, corn, beetroot mixture, and cooked black rice.
  • Place a fifth of the salad on each serving plate.
  • Slice the cooked spice chicken and add to the top of the salad.
  • Garnish with sweet potato and edamame beans. Serve with dressing.


NOTE: In some of the photos I have also added spiralized carrot and zucchini. Feel free to mix up the vegetables according to what is available.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 605kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 36gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 467mgPotassium: 1192mgFiber: 7gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 12422IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Beetroot, Black rice, Buddha bowl, Chicken, Poke bowl, salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Have a wonderful day and please don’t forget to come back and let me know how you went making my recipe.

Happy Cooking


I share loads of great recipes on the page. Our community group page is a fabulous place to ask questions and share images of recipes you have made! It helps inspire others to cook new and interesting dishes.

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