Chicken, Black Bean and Charred Poblano Salad with Pumpkin-Red Curry Vinaigrette

Chicken, Black Bean and Charred Poblano Salad with Pumpkin-Red Curry Vinaigrette is bursting with bold flavors and crunchy textures – and you’ll especially love the dressing, which is a great way to use extra pumpkin puree. It’s just one of many delicious recipes from The Modern Salad cookbook by Elizabeth Howes.
Salad prepared with shredded chicken, cabbage, black beans, charred poblanos, and pumpkin-red curry vinaigrette.
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Course Salad
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 895kcal
Author Liren Baker


  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander toasted
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed toasted, divided
  • 1 inch piece of Ceylon cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin or 2 tablespoons rice vinegar with 1 teaspoon maple syrup added
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup grade B
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage about 1 small head
  • 2 cups grated smoked mozzarella cheese about 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup raw hemp seeds see notes below
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper plus Maldon sea salt for finishing


  • To make the vinaigrette, grind the coriander, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the cumin, and the cinnamon stick in a spice grinder until fine. In a blender or food processor, combine the pieces with the paprika, pumpkin, garlic, red curry paste, unseasoned rice vinegar, mirin or sweetened rice vinegar, and maple syrup. With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a glass jar, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • For the chicken, preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the grapeseed oil over each breast. Grind the remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin, and season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes, bone side down, or until the internal temperature registers at least 165°F. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and shred the chicken. Set aside until read to assemble the salad.
  • Place the poblano peppers over a direct flame (your hottest gas burner or grill). Carefully rotate with tongs until the peppers are completely blackened. Remove from the heat, and place in a paper bag or wrap in parchment paper for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam makes it easier to peel the skins. Once the peppers are cool, remove the skin. Don’t worry if you can’t remove all the charred bits. Leaving some intact lends a smoky flavor to the dish. Remove the stem and seeds, and slice into 1/8-inch strips. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To assemble, arrange the shredded chicken, peppers, beans, cabbage, cheese, herbs and hemp seeds on a large platter or on individual plates. Serve with Maldon sea salt and pepper, and serve the vinaigrette on the side.


Note from the recipe author: “Hemp seeds are a concentrated source of protein, omega fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. They are soft, with a mild nutty flavor. Toasted pine nuts are a good substitute if you don’t have hemp seeds.”
Note from Liren: I substituted flaxseed for the hemp seeds and they were just as delicious!
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Modern Salad: Innovative New American and International Recipes Inspired by Burma’s Iconic Tea Leaf Salad by Elizabeth Howes (Ulysses Press, 2016).


Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 1088mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6945IU | Vitamin C: 77.5mg | Calcium: 420mg | Iron: 8.4mg
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