How do you cook quinoa?


Quick Answer

The easiest way to cook quinoa is to add 2 cups of water or stock to 1 cup of quinoa, bring to a boil in a saucepan, cover the top and simmer for 15 minutes. Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah," is often mistaken for a grain but is actually a grain seed. A distaste for this seed can come from improper cooking methods, including not boiling long enough or not rinsing the seed, which can make it taste too earthy or bitter.

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How do you cook quinoa?
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Full Answer

Rinsing quinoa is one of the most important steps to cooking good tasting quinoa. The seed contains a protective covering called saponin that will give the seed a bitter, earthy taste if left on during the cooking process. If the quinoa is used in a salad or mixed with other foods, it can change the taste of the whole dish. Rinsing the quinoa is as simple as putting in a sieve and running cold water over it to remove the casing.

Quinoa can be toasted before boiling to enhance the flavor. Toast it by adding it to hot oil in a pan and sauteing it until it browns, and then proceed with the normal boiling process. Once boiled, thoroughly drain the quinoa so that it doesn't saturate a dish with excess water. Quinoa works well hot or cold, and it is ideal as a side dish or in a cold salad.

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