I’ve become determined to make quinoa tasty, or at least find one or two palatable uses for it.
My inspiration this week was Chinese fried rice, where you take leftover rice and stir fry it with vegetables, etc. Why couldn’t you do the same thing with leftover quinoa (which I had from The Qunioa Wars Part 1)?
Well, one of the few forms of cooking I knew something about pre-CrummyCook was stir frying. I read a paperback back in the ‘70’s with a “theory” or stir frying: a generalized approach to the cooking method that helped you improvise.
So you cut up everything your going to cook into bite-size (and cooking-size) bits. You heat up some oil in a wok (which is better than a frying pan because you can push food out from the center and let it rest (relatively) while other stuff cooks) and cook the things in a sequence determined by their cooking time and their contribution to the taste. So: garlic and onion and ginger first, then meat, then vegetables in order of longer cooking time, then tofu or whatever. Then you put a sauce in (1 part soy sauce to 1 part sherry or mirin to 2 parts chicken stock + minced ginger and other tastes) and cover the wok so everything steams in the sauce for a while, then you open up and finish (cornstarch, garnish, whatever).
OK. So I did onions, cauliflower sliced thin, and then the quinoa. When I put in the sauce it formed, to my astonishment and dismay, a kind of slurry. Either I had erred on the side on too much sauce or somehow the quinoa was forming a new form of matter with the liquid.
It didn’t taste too bad (i.e., the quinoa was subdued) but if I try this approach again I’ll put some stronger vegetable tastes in there (and probably some meat too) and try even harder to throttle back the — well, soap – taste in the mix.