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How to properly toast Quinoa?

I recently had a Citrus salad with toasted Quinoa at a NYC restaurant and am inspired to make my own version. I'm a bit confused if I need to rinse the quinoa first to remove the saponins even if its says "pre washed." And if not, whats the best way to (rinse and) toast quinoa so I can get perfect crunchy, separate seeds?

asked by Lost_in_NYC about 5 years ago
7 answers 58234 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Benny - the lid traps heat and the dishtowel absorbs any moisture which might drip back on the grains. Do the same while finishing rice.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Thanks SKK!

Stupid follow up question: is it necessary to boil the quinoa after I toast it in the dry pan ( and after rinsing it)?

First time quinoa user so I'm just trying to fully understand the nature of the beast here...

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
added about 5 years ago

No question is stupid - and congratulations on launching your quinoa cooking career!
You are correct in rinsing first, then toasting it.
Absolutely you must bring it to a boil quickly and then simmer it per the instructions above. The simmering is what cooks it, the toasting adds a depth of flavor.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Okay so I decided to experiment and came out with two different results. I measured and rinsed 1 cup of quinoa as per standard procedure (used TJ's Organic Quinoa).

1) I dry toasted a half cup of quinoa in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Since the quinoa was wet and a little water got into the pan, I had to wait for the excess moisture to evaporate first (did this on low-medium heat). Once the all the water was gone, I increased the heat to medium-high and toasted the quinoa for maybe about ~20-25 minutes (I have an old electric stove in an NYC apt so please adjust to your stove/heat source accordingly). I heard the popping sounds and smelled the nuttiness of the grain release. I decided to brown the quinoa all the way until I only saw small specks of white in the skillet. Transferred the really toasted quinoa to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, it was extremely crunchy and amazing! I made a quick salad for lunch and added the toasted quinoa as a crunch element. It was divine!! (and it reminded me of the salad I had a few weeks ago!)

2) I toasted the second half of the washed quinoa in the same non-stick skillet as above. First I had to let the excess water evaporate and then I only toasted the quinoa until it was half toasted. I could still smell nuttiness of the grain release after about ~10-15 minutes. It came out to a light brown color. Then I transferred it to a rice cooker to let it cook under the same 2:1 cup proportions that is standard across the board. (Added some salt for flavor). It came out nicely but I think cooking the toasted quinoa loses some of its nutty flavor. I'll use this for something else but I enjoyed this as well.

I think method one is great if you want a crunch factor to your dish and method 2 is more diverse if you want to use quinoa as a proper meal. Any which way, hope you'll enjoy it!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 1 year ago

How much liquid do you use

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