Sept. 23, 2023

Why Restaurant Quinoa Is So Much Better

Published July 23, 2023, 6:40 p.m. by Monica Louis

Why Restaurant quinoa Is So Much Better

00:00 Intro

00:47 Washing quinoa

02:13 quinoa : Water Ratio

03:23 Cooking quinoa

04:14 Resting and Fluffing quinoa

05:42 Storing quinoa

06:46 Crispy quinoa

1.5 cups of quinoa

1.75 cups water for instant pot or a rice cooker (2 cups of water for a regular pot)

2 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher (or 1 tsp table salt)

Put quinoa into a pot you plan to use to cook it and cover with lots of cold water (this is not the measured water). Agitate with your hand and drain well through a fine mesh sieve. Repeat until the water is no longer soapy looking. Return quinoa to the pot and add the right amount of water for your kind of pot. Add the salt.

Instant pot or rice cooker: Seal the pot. Press the Rice button. Turn off “Keep Warm”. Let the cycle run and wait for the pressure to drop naturally. I set my timer for 1 hour after pressing the Rice button to make sure my quinoa is thoroughly rested.

Regular pot: Set over high heat and bring to a boil uncovered. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 min. Take off heat. Don’t uncover. Let rest for 20 min.

Fluffing quinoa:

Rake the quinoa with a fork gently starting with the top layer and gradually working your way down. If you encounter any sticking. Cover quinoa with a paper towel and let it cool an extra 15-30 minutes. Then continue to gently rake with a fork until all the grains separate.

Storing quinoa:

Cool quinoa completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze. Use in salads cold or rewarm in a pan on moderate heat with some butter or olive oil.

Crispy quinoa:

Cook, cool, and fluff quinoa as described above. Put just enough quinoa into a cast iron or non-stick skillet to create a very thin layer (a 12 inch skillet holds 150g of cooked quinoa comfortably). Add 1 tsp olive oil and rub into quinoa with your hands to help separate the grains. Set over moderate heat and cook until quinoa starts to steam. Once you see steam, you have to stir very often (roughly every minute). For the first 10 minutes, you shouldn’t see any color. Somewhere between 10 and 20 minute mark your quinoa should start to brown. Cook until it feels completely dry, crispy, and brown. Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.

Before serving, toss with the seasoning of your choice. It’s good to include something acidic (lemon juice, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, or some vinegar), something aromatic (za’atar, smoked paprika, etc), olive oil, and salt.

Here is the za’atar that I use:

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