A feature of Burmese cuisine is toasted chickpea flour (besan), which is commonly used as a thickener for soups or, like here, sprinkled over salads.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (29 votes)


  • 100 g (½ cup) forbidden (black) rice (see Note)
  • 140 g (⅔ cup) medium-grain white rice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 4 cm x 2 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 600 g chicken tenderloins
  • lime wedges, to serve


Wombok salad

  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 cups thinly shredded wombok
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 2 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed, thinly sliced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Bring a large saucepan of boiling water to the boil. Add the forbidden rice and cook for 25 minutes. Add the medium-grain rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes or until both rices are tender.

Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, oil, ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and salt in a medium glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes to marinate.

For the salad, place the chickpea flour in a small frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sandy coloured. Cool slightly. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle with the flour

Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Serve with the rice and salad.



• Forbidden rice (also known as black rice or purple rice) is nutritionally rich and has a toasty, nutty flavour, not unlike brown rice. Like brown rice it takes about 40 minutes to cook, and during cooking it turns from black to red. Fortunately, forbidden rice is forbidden no more and can be bought in supermarkets.


Photography by Leanne Kitchen. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Dixie Elliot.