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Recipe: Yangchow Fried Quinoa

January 16, 2011

After eating quinoa (pronounced keen wa) twice last week, in very healthy salads, I decided that there had to be a good use for this rice substitute.  I was thinking about how much I love fried rice and I haven’t had it very often lately.  It took nothing more than this spark for Yangchow Fried Quinoa to be born.

Ingredients:

  • 8 green onions (julienned or diced, whichever you prefer)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely diced or pressed)
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 pound (8 oz) barbecued pork (cut into strips)
  • 6 oz cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) green peas
  • 1/2 green pepper slivered
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  • soak the quinoa in cold water for 15 minutes, then strain.
  • Bring 1 cup of quinoa in 1 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.
  • Saute your green onion and garlic in oil for about 2 minutes.
  • Add green pepper and cook for another 4 minutes
  • Add barbecued pork and shrimp, stir together and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add quinoa and stir to mix.
  • Add soy sauce.
  • Mix the 2 eggs and add them.  Be careful to make sure that the eggs cook thoroughly by breaking up the quinoa as it cooks with the egg mixture.
  • Add peas, stir and cook for one more minute, take off heat and serve in 4 equal portions.

Nutrition per portion:

  • 480 calories
  • 20 g fat
  • 37 g carb
  • 33 g protein
  • 5 g fibre

Notes:

The nuttiness of the quinoa goes perfectly with this meal.  You can add slivered onions or cashews to this meal.  As well, if you don’t have barbecued pork (you can order a barbecued pork appetizer from any chinese food restaurant and just keep it in the fridge) or shrimp, you can use pretty much any left over meat.  That is the beauty of this meal, it is a perfect way to use leftovers.  As well, add any vegetable you can think of.  Green beans (steamed), asparagus (steamed and sliced), broccoli and cauliflower (steamed) would all be excellent in this meal and help to fill you up.

Fried rice works better with older, drier rice.  I found that the quinoa worked perfectly a few minutes after it was cooked, but I am sure it would work well with several day old quinoa.

I was worried when I added the egg right into the quinoa mixture.  It appeared that I was going to get one big gooey mass, but that didn’t happen.  I was able to keep mixing it and cook the egg throughout.  I didn’t get those telltale pieces of egg that I usually get in my fried rice.  One way to pull this off, could be to move the mixture to the side in the frying pan and cook the egg a little before mixing it in.

I only suggest 2 tablespoons of soy sauce in the recipe but I add at least twice that amount.  Some fried rice purists don’t add any soy sauce, which is fair enough, as you can always add it after.  I love soy sauce.  I think only maybe 2 or 3 of the recipes in ‘You Are Not A Fit Person’ don’t have soy sauce in them.  In any case, adjust this to your liking.

I used barbecued duck in my Yangchow Fried Quinoa because my asian grocery store had sold out of barbecued pork before I got there.  I was quite skeptical and more than a little angry to not have my favourite ingredient on earth in this dish, but the duck was unbelievable.

Experiment and have fun with this recipe, it is shockingly versatile.

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