How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

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If you’re trying to swap out white rice for more nutritious quinoa, don’t change the cooking method. Your rice cooker is a great tool for quickly steaming quinoa that turns out fluffy and light every time. Although you only need quinoa and water to make a batch, you can easily flavor quinoa by adding spices, herbs, or flavorful liquid in place of the water.

EditIngredients

  • 1 cup (170 g) of quinoa
  • of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt

Makes 4 servings

EditSteps

EditMaking Basic Quinoa

  1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water. Put 1 cup (170 g) of quinoa into a fine mesh strainer or sieve and hold it under cold running water. Use your hands to swish the quinoa around as you rinse it.[1]

    Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker Step 1.jpg
    • It’s important to rinse quinoa before cooking it since this will remove quinoa’s bitter covering.
  2. Put the quinoa, water, and salt into the rice cooker. Scoop the rinsed quinoa into your rice cooker and pour in of water. Then stir in 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt.[2]
    • Use cold water because hot water would make the quinoa turn gummy in texture.
  3. Cover and turn on the rice cooker. Put the lid on your rice cooker and turn it on. If your rice cooker has a white or brown rice option, choose the white rice option. Leave the quinoa to cook until the rice cooker clicks off.
    Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker Step 3.jpg
    • Avoid lifting the lid as the quinoa cooks since it won’t steam properly if moisture escapes.
  4. Let the quinoa sit for 3 to 5 minutes before you fluff it with a fork. Keep the lid on the rice cooker and unplug the machine. The quinoa will finish steaming as it rests for a few minutes. Then lift off the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork.[3]
    • Fluffing the quinoa will loosen it so it’s light instead of compact in the rice cooker.
  5. Serve the quinoa. You can serve the quinoa hot along with your meal or chill it and serve it as a cold salad. For example, mix cold quinoa with vinaigrette and shredded vegetables.[4]
    Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker Step 5.jpg
    • To store leftover quinoa, put it into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
    • You can also freeze the quinoa for up to 2 months. To defrost it, put the container in the refrigerator overnight.

EditTrying Variations

  1. Substitute a flavorful liquid for the water. One of the simplest ways to add flavor to your quinoa is to substitute the water with vegetable or chicken broth. Control how salty your quinoa is by using low-sodium broth or stock.[5]

    Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker Step 6.jpg
    • For a burst of fresh flavor, add a squirt of lemon juice to the liquid.
  2. Add spices to give the quinoa a unique flavor. Stir up to 2 tablespoons (12 g) of your favorite dried seasonings into the cooking liquid so the quinoa absorbs it as it cooks. Consider what you’re eating the quinoa with to determine how to season it. For example, try:[6]
    • Mexican taco or fajita seasoning
    • Curry powder
    • Chinese five-spice powder
    • Cajun seasoning mix
  3. Stir in aromatics or oil to flavor the quinoa. Toss in a clove of crushed garlic, a piece of lemon peel, or a sprig of fresh rosemary for an instant flavor boost. You can also pour in of a flavored oil, such as walnut, toasted sesame, or hazelnut.[7]
    • Remove the garlic, peel, or herbs just before serving the quinoa.
  4. Use coconut milk and add fruit for breakfast quinoa. For a nice change from your morning oatmeal, cook a batch of quinoa in the rice cooker, but use coconut milk instead of water. Stir in chopped fresh fruit and sprinkle ground cinnamon over the top just before serving.[8]
    • If you prefer, use an alternative milk, such as almond, hemp, or soy milk, instead of coconut milk.
    • To use dried fruit, add it to the rice cooker when you add the quinoa. This will allow the fruit to plump up as it cooks.

EditTips

  • Always read your rice cooker’s instruction manual. Some manuals will include instructions for cooking quinoa.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Fine mesh strainer or sieve
  • Rice cooker
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons

EditReferences

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