OK, so there's no rice in this dish. It should probably be called "Fried Quinoa" or "Veggie Fried Quinoa" or whatnot. But that sounds so... fried. And in reality this dish is super healthy.
It's just like Chinese fried rice, but with quinoa. More protein, more nutritious and an amazing quick fix for when you're craving some takeout. The quinoa stands in admirably, soaking up the soy sauce and that wok-charred flavor that defines the best fried rice. It reheats better than rice, too, making it a great work lunch.
The dish works best with leftover quinoa that's been completely cooled down. I'd recommend cooking some the night before or in the morning and letting it chill in the fridge all day. That way you'll get the texture of fried rice, and not some gloopy wet mess that will send you running straight to the menu drawer.
Quinoa Fried Rice
Yield: Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 10 min Total Time: 20 min
cooking oil (I use grapeseed)
half an onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
Veggies - I like frozen peas, snap peas, snow peas, red bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach... Whatever's around.
2 eggs, beaten
1.5 to 2 cups / 350-450 g cooked quinoa
1 Tbs soy sauce, maybe a bit more if you love soy sauce like I do
1 drizzle toasted sesame oil
Garnish (optional): Sliced green onion, sesame seeds, fried shallots
Heat a glug of oil in the skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Saute onions, garlic and carrot til tender, about 5 minutes. Add additional veggies (except any leafy greens) and sauté til almost cooked.
Push veggies to sides so there's an empty well in the middle of the skillet. Pour in eggs. Cook til set, about 1 minute. Break up eggs and toss through veggies.
Turn heat to high. Add quinoa and soy sauce to skillet and stir fry, about 3 minutes. Stir through sesame oil. Top with garnishes and serve.
A note on cooking quinoa: There are lots of ways to cook quinoa, but the easiest way (and totally fine for this recipe) is to bring water and quinoa plus a pinch of salt to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Most recipes call for 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. I have found that my quinoa often ends up too wet with these proportions. Try adjusting to 1.75 parts water to 1 part quinoa. If, after 15 minutes, there's still a lot of liquid, remove the cover from your pot and let some evaporate, or drain it through a fine mesh strainer.
Sushi Bowl: Omit garlic, egg and sesame oil. For cooked veggies, use carrot and onion only. Add 2 tsp rice wine vinegar along with with soy sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds, diced cucumber, finely chopped pickled ginger, shelled cooked edamame and sliced avocado.
Protein Style: Marinate chicken, tofu, beef or pork in a mixture of soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil for 15 minutes, if you have time. Or use raw shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper. Before making quinoa, drain protein and sear in hot skillet, then set aside. As the final step, add to stir-fried quinoa and serve.
Spicy Mint: Either sauté sliced chilis or red pepper flakes with onion, or add Sriracha or chili-garlic sauce with soy sauce. Garnish with torn mint leaves.