My family came to our shores at the end of the 1950’s from South America where quinoa (KEEN-wah) was king. So my introduction to this relatively new comer to our pantry’s came to me as a child. In my professional life I brought quinoa to my restaurant kitchens where we prepared it using conventional cooking methods. Now I can’t see any reason to resort to those days. The sous vide method retains is dead simple and even retains more of the nutrition in this “superfood”.
Please don’t skimp on the rinsing of the quinoa it needs washing before use. The surface of untreated quinoa contains a chemical called saponin that has a bitter soapy taste. Most commercial quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but it’s a good idea to rinse it just before you use it in case there are any residues. I chose the readily available white quinoa but it does come in different varieties. I also chose whole quinoa but it is also available puffed or rolled into flakes like oats so keep your eyes peeled when shopping.
Cooking whole quinoa conventionally is usually a ratio of 2 cups of water to one cup of whole quinoa but in the sous vide method there is no evaporation so you don’t need as much water thus the ratio of 1 1/2 cups of water to one cup of quinoa. You will probably notice after cooking the sous vide bag will be very tight, not to worry the quinoa is cooked properly and just like the conventional method of cooking quinoa needs to be “fork-fluffed” after cooking.
- 1 cup quinoa, white, rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, cored and peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
1. Set the VacMaster SV1 to 180ºF/82.2ºC
2. In a small dry sauté pan over medium high heat toast the rinsed quinoa to a nutty brown color stirring all the time to prevent burning.
3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
5. Using a VacMaster chamber machine vacuum seat the bag.
6. Gently place the bag in the water bath of the SV1 and cook for 1 hour.
7. Remove the bag from the water bath and transfer the entire contents of the bag to a medium bowl and discard basil and garlic.
8. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa and season to taste with salt.
9. Use as needed.