Thursday, March 28, 2013

Asian Fried Quinoa... A Book Club Post

Asian Fried Quinoa in blue bowl with sriracha and teaI don't gush all that often... you know, the "OMG you have to try this, this recipe is the most awesome ever! type of gushing. But I am now.

Guy Fieri's Asian Fried Quinoa is one of the best, most awesome, totally fabulous recipes I've had in a long timeAnd I've had a lot of good recipes in the last few years, so that's saying something.

Taking a turn in Kita's (Pass the Sushi - you do know her, right?), new Pass the Sushi Cook Book Club, Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It received Kita's nod for the month of March and she curated three recipes for the rest of us to choose from.  (Kita's idea is to challenge ourselves to use some of the much loved but often forgotten cookbooks lining our overflowing shelves...)

Cick here to join the club!!
I'll admit to being somewhat skeptical as I originally read the recipe.  First of all, I don't fry... anything.  So I almost didn't continue and gave thought to moving on to the enticing Cherry Cobbler Pizza.  However, glancing down an ingredient list sporting all my favorite Asian flavors mixed up in one bowl (soy sauce, ginger, egg, veggies, garlic, etc) along with my beloved quinoa, I opted to give it a go.

Asian Fried Quinoa in blue bowl with chop sticks
A bit laborious in the prep, the dish flies together once the ingredients are ready.  Never one to leave a recipe as it is, my version substituted chopped spinach in place of the cabbage and bok choy (because I didn't have them on hand), and omitted the celery (because I don't really like celery).  Looking to add a little extra spice, a splash of Sriracha brought a nice finish, and Liv's love of sesame oil had me adding a Tbs or so just for her.

I think it may be the fresh ginger which brings this dish to a new level of total awesomeness, and after only one taste I knew we had a winner.  Popping over to Kita's Facebook page I posted my enthusiastic thoughts on the recipe, and while I used glowing (but probably fairly boring) terms like, awesome, and loved it, etc, Jen from Juanita's Cocina summed my thoughts up perfectly with:

"Holy crapballs!  This is delicious on a level that made my eyes roll back in my head."

Enough said...

Asian Fried Quinoa
As my meal planning tends to be somewhat last minute, I love the versatility of this recipe.  The veggies allow for easy substitutions based on what's on hand or based on your particular tastes.
Our first serving used Guy's method of toasting the quinoa, and our second used leftover quinoa from another recipe.  Both worked wonderfully and the second version saved some time, though I will enjoy the toasted when time allows.  We've substituted spinach and kale for the greens and changed up the veggies to include asparagus and red pepper in addition to those on Guy's list.  Have fun, create, and enjoy!
Guys recipe is given from his book, Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It, my substitutions are in red.
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1 ½ cups quinoa
3 cups water or vege stock (water)
3 tbs grapeseed or olive oil (1 1/2 Tbs - I eyeballed it)
2 cups diced onions, about 1 ½ med onion
¼ cup chopped shallot (didn't use)
¼ cup minced garlic (4 large cloves)
½ cup minced ginger (2 Tbs grated fresh ginger)
1 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups shredded baby bok choy (spinach or kale)
1 cup finely diced celery (didn't use)
2 cups shredded napa cabbage (didn't use)
1 cup diced sugar snap peas (we've also used asparagus and chopped red peppers)
3 tbs low sodium soy sauce (+ 1 Tbs Sesame Oil and Sriracha to taste)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Asian Fried Quinoa in blue square bowl with chop sticks
In a large, dry, heavy bottomed skillet, toast the quinoa until lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until quinoa opens and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Wipe out the skillet and heat 1 ½ tbs of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until well browned and soft, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the shallots, and cook for 2 minutes, then the garlic, ginger, and green onion, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the carrots, bok choy, celery, cabbage, and snap peas and stir until just wilted. Pour in the soy sauce and combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover.

Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa. When heated through, pour the eggs over the quinoa until eggs have cooked. Return the vegetables to the pan. Adjust the seasoning with additional soy sauce if needed.


  1. It's true that you don't usually gush this much so I'm definitely paying attention. We are quite alike in our lack of frying and love of veggies and grains. :) This dish does look terrific and worth a try.

  2. I'm very proud to be quoted on your post. Even though I said crapballs.

    Didn't you just looooove this dish? We're having it!

  3. I'm still a little scared of this recipe, mostly because my quinoa always comes out mushy, but after reading all these rave reviews I think I'm going to have to pull on my big girl pants and give it a try anyways. Gorgeous photos, BTW!

  4. I could go on and on about this Asian Fried Quinoa too- its just perfect. Although I burnt a little - also wondering how did your grain stay so plump? any tips?

  5. I am totally convinced that I must make this now. It sounds like the kind of meal that can easily accommodate any vegetables that I happen to have in the fridge, too.

  6. Yummy! Lots of fantastic flavors in here, definitely want to try :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  7. This looks like a great combinations of textures, colors and flavors!!! Amazing!

  8. I would say that Jen did sum it all up!!!!!! Pinning this for a weekend meal! I love it and all the variations (didn't use...substituted...added this.) Love those recipes that you can just eyeball.

  9. Thank you for gushing, Kim! I am so making this! What an array of wonderful flavors! Lovely!

  10. You don't like celery? Seriously? Huh. I love your additions and agree that ginger puts things over the top. This looks amazing; gushably so.

  11. Totally love hearing that you really dug this recipe! After everyones amazing reviews of this quinoa I am tempted to bring it as my 'appetizer' for Easter dinner :D

  12. That sounds absolutely fantastic! :-) I love all the fresh veggies and delicious spices. Mmm. :-)

  13. Um yes please! Where can I pull up my chair and fork?? I carry one in my purse so all I need is the chair ;-)

  14. Kim,
    I love quinoa almost as much as you:) I see you gushing so this recipe must be over the top:) trust your judgement. I'll have to make quick trip to Costco, because I'm out of quinoa, but I'll be making tehis one soon. Pinning!

  15. I am so trying this. Thanks to Kita for her new group and you for sharing this. I still have tons of quinoa that needs to turnover from my pantry soon and I was short on recipes. If you really liked this then I'm putting it on my list for next week. Hubs loves celery so I'll have to add for him and I'm with Liv on the sesame oil. :)

    Happy Easter, Kim!

  16. Hi, do I need a wok to make this? Is that what the recipe describes when it says "large, dry, heavy bottomed skillet?" Currently I just have a standard-sized skillet. I've been wanting to purchase a wok or something similar for stir-frys, but need a recommendation for a good type/brand.

  17. Also, does 1.5 cups quinoa mean that's the dry, uncooked amount?

  18. Sold!!! And, BTW, not a huge fan of celery either :-)

  19. I laughed at the comment too about "crapballs" I like that you added sesame oil and used spinach. I do think ginger really adds such brightness to dishes, I just love it. Great photos of your dish :)

  20. I have made many dishes using Quinoa and they all say you have to rinse it well before using. This frecipe does not say that. Is it okay to use unrinsed? Someone told me that it has a protective coating on it. Please let me know about this, if you know. Thanks bunches. I have everything to make it. Can't wait. Melissa

  21. Melissa, good question!! I have to admit that I almost always rinse my quinoa. I have been known to skip that step when I'm in a big rush though, and I don't think I've really noticed a difference. Probably best to rinse, as yes, I've read the same as you about the coating. Perhaps different brands have different amounts though, so test with yours!! Can't hurt to rinse though... Let me know what you think of the dish if you make it!!!

  22. Can't stay out of it. It will be added to our 'keeper" list. Thanks, Melissa

  23. Love your food photography! I’m working for a company called Village Harvest that’s running a Facebook grain photo contest for a $7500 international trip. You should totally enter. Here’s the link:

  24. I made this last night for supper and it was so yummy!! I was surprised at how much flavor it had and how much it resembled regular fried rice! I have been looking for more recipes using quinoa and this one is definitely a keeper!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  25. Jen just has an eloquent way with words. I totally agree with here. I have to make this!


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