How to Cook Quinoa


RECIPES: Spicy Quinoa Pilaf, Curried Quinoa Salad

Quinoa must be washed before use to remove the saponins that coat the outside. The saponins give a soapy and bitter flavor to the quinoa if not rinsed off. Domestic quinoa needs less washing, generally. A quick rinse will do, whereas imported may need several vigorous rinsings. Check the rinse water for clarity.

Quinoa will vary as to how much water is required. You may have to experiment a little. When you get it right, try to keep buying it from the same source. Quinoa may be toasted in a dry pan before cooking to give a nutty flavor. Cooking without toasting leaves the grassy herbaceous flavor of the grain in the forefront.

Quinoa is great to use as a leftover. It freezes well, and works with other grains to make a great pilaf. With roast vegetables and a little dressing it’s great for lunch, and can even do duty as a breakfast cereal.



1 cup quinoa
2 cups water


Rinse quinoa until water is clear.

Bring water to a boil. Add quinoa to water, cover pot, and return to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, check to make sure quinoa is done and all the water has cooked out. If all water is gone, fluff gently with a fork and allow to stand, covered, five minutes.

If quinoa seems consistently wet, try cooking longer. If it keeps cooking up very wet, add additional 1/4 cup of quinoa to the above recipe.

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