If you haven’t cooked much with quinoa, you might enjoy trying this recipe. I developed it for my book The Quinoa Quookbook, and based it on a fried rice recipe that was one of my family’s favorites for years. Surprisingly, they now prefer quinoa to rice, which maybe isn’t all that surprising given quinoa’s nutty flavor and wonderful texture.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it with whatever you have on hand. I used snow peas, carrots, celery and onions plus some lean pork, but you can substitute other veggies and meats. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, just omit the pork and eggs.
At the end of the recipe, I’ve included a link to a Goodreads giveaway where you can win a copy of The Quinoa Quookbook and a pound of organic quinoa. You’ll also find complete directions for cooking quinoa. Enjoy!
Fried Rice Quinoa
This updated take on traditional fried rice is my family’s #1 favorite way to enjoy quinoa. Serve it hot from the skillet and see if you agree.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound lean pork, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, cut in 1/2-inch diagonal slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, scraped and cut in thin slices
1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed and cut in 1-inch diagonal slices
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it just begins to shimmer. Add the pork, celery, onion and carrot, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Add the quinoa and soy sauce and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the eggs over the mixture in a stream, stirring constantly, and cook just until eggs are cooked. Remove from heat and serve at once. 6 servings.
Between now and April 30, 2015, enter to win a copy of The Quinoa Quookbook and a pound of organic quinoa:
HOW TO COOK PERFECT QUINOA
Quinoa is extremely easy to cook, and because it’s not starchy it doesn’t require lots of picky timing. But before you cook it, you do need to give it a good, brisk washing.
Step 1 (the MOST IMPORTANT step): Rinse and repeat.
Mother Nature gave quinoa a natural coating that protects the grains, a soap-like substance called saponin. To remove the saponin, pour the uncooked quinoa in a bowl, add water and swish it around with your hands to remove the coating.
Now, dump the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it again under running water to get off every last bit of the coating.
Step 2: Add liquid and bring to a boil.
You can cook your quinoa in many liquids. Water is commonly used, but stock and broth will impart quinoa with a nice flavor. In this book, I generally recommend 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa, but you may need more or less liquid depending on your climate, altitude and the moisture content of your quinoa.
Unlike rice, quinoa won’t get mushy or stick together if you add a little liquid if it’s too dry, or cook off a little extra liquid. So relax, and simply combine your quinoa, liquid of choice and salt (if using) in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 3: Cover and cook.
Reduce the heat to simmering and cover the pot with a lid. Let it cook for about 15 minutes without peeking or stirring.
Step 4: Sample.
Remove the lid, taste a bite of the quinoa to see if it’s tender, and put the lid back on the pan. If the quinoa’s texture is chewy you may wish to cook it for a few more minutes.
Step 5: Just walk away.
Once it’s cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 6: Fluff time.
Use a fork to gently separate and “fluff” the grains. Serve and enjoy.
How About You?
Do you enjoy cooking quinoa? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it? I always love hearing your comments.