While Mexico and its cuisine is a little far away from home and our standard Asian palette, it’s definitely gaining a cult following among local foodies. If you’re looking to try something different, Mexican restaurants like Las Carretas and Panchos boast a great range of delicious and authentic dishes such as tacos, burritos & quesadillas.
Tacos, in particular, are super easy, packed full of flavour and fun to assemble. I had my first taco at 25 and haven’t looked back since! Tacos are really versatile and you can tailor it to your taste – with meat, without meat, with different kinds of beans etc. This variation of a taco salad is one of my favourites, primarily because of its portability! Because all the elements are separate, you don’t have to worry about taco shells cracking or getting soggy when mixed with the salsa. When I take this dish to work, it never fail to get Oohs, Aahs and recipe requests.
Here it is today, just for you!
- Boneless chicken breast – cut into strips
- Taco seasoning mix – I use Old El Paso but you can also make your own with this recipe
- Baby romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 can of corn kernels – rinsed and drained
- 1 can of kidney beans – rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander (also called cilantro) – chopped
- 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
- 1 lime – juiced
- Black pepper
- Olive oil (extra virgin if you have it)
- Tortilla chips – I use Doritos Cool Original
1. Cut the chicken breasts into strips and coat them with the taco seasoning mix. Heat up a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and pan fry the chicken strips until cooked through. Remove them from the pan and set aside to cool.
2. Wash the lettuce leaves and tear them into bite-sized pieces. To make sure your salad isn’t soggy, dry them in a salad spinner or pat them down with a paper towel. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them into halves. Rinse and drain the corn and kidney beans.
3. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone from the center. While still in the skin, slice the avocado flesh into small cubes and use a spoon to scoop it out. Wash the coriander, cut off the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Set some aside for garnishing if desired.
4. Combine lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, avocado and coriander into a big mixing bowl. Add chilli flakes, black pepper, salt, lime juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Mix everything together until well combined.
5. To serve your taco salad (or pack it for an envious lunch tomorrow), put the salad mixture at the bottom and lay chicken strips on top. Sprinkle tortilla chips on the side and top it off with extra coriander as garnish. Serve!
Tip #1: For a vegetarian salad with a slight twist, fry some chopped onions together with corn, kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans. You can even add some firm tofu if you want. Add the taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon of water and sauté until cooked.
Tip #2: If you’re packing this as a takeaway, pack your tortilla chips in a separate air-tight bag so they don’t get soggy.