Contains: Eggs, nightshades. Is: Gluten-free. There are tasty vegetarian suggestions towards the bottom of the recipe.
Not all that many months ago, I posted a Fried Rice blog post. But recently on Cooking Bites, a foodie BBS, I thought about a challenge regarding quinoa… Why not try something more or less in an eastern Asian theme? And just have fun, without claiming veracity on methodology or history? (Quinoa is not an element in Asian cuisines.) Okay, and yes, my goal is also (obviously) to make the dish taste good! Basically, what I wanted to do was make fried rice, but with day old cooked quinoa instead.
For this, I chose a red quinoa. Choose as you choose.
In the photo below, we’ve just added the egg to the center of the skillet, with most everything else pushed to the side. I don’t have a wok (I need to find one that will work on an induction cooktop, which is the only disadvantage I’ve seen about induction.)
Prep Time: You’ll need to make the quinoa the day before, or use leftover quinoa. For day of serving: – 15-20 minutes.
Cook Time: For day of serving -15 minutes.
Rest Time: Not needed.
Cuisine: In the Chinese style.
Chinese-Inspired Fried Quinoa, with Pork and Egg
- A heaping 1/3 cup quinoa.
- 1.5 teaspoons of a good cooking oil, for initial quinoa preparation.
- 4-5 ounces pork, preferably cut from the shoulder region. Another option is boneless skinless chicken thigh meat. Remove fat, cut into small pieces.
- 2-3 teaspoons cooking oil.
- 1-2 ounces canned sliced water chestnuts, drained, and cut further into halves or thirds.
- About 2 ounces of bell pepper, any color, sliced.
- 1/4 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns.
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder.
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
- 1 beaten egg.
- 1 scallion/green onion, chopped
For multiple people – double / multiply all ingredients except the eggs – 1 egg can serve one or two people.
Make the quinoa the day before. Use 1x of quinoa to 2x of water. Cover and refrigerate.
Day of use:
Remove quinoa from fridge, and set up the mise en place,
In a skillet (or wok!) on medium to medium high heat, bring the oil to temperature. Add the pork and stir fry until nearly done (about 5 minutes). Add the water chestnuts. Add the quinoa. and then immediately add the Szechwan peppercorns and Five Spice powder. Stir fry for another 3 minutes, then add the bell pepper. Stir again another minute or two, depending on how crisp you like that bell pepper. Taste and adjust for salt and ground pepper.
Now, push all the ingredients to the side, leaving a hollow area in the center of the skillet. To this, pour the beaten egg. Allow it to firm up on one side – if you mix too soon, it will just blend into the rest of the dish. This should take 1-2 minutes, but judge for yourself. Flip the egg, and allow for another minute or so on the other side.
Break up the egg into small pieces while still in the pan (a spatula is handy for this), and gently mix into the rest of the dish.
Here, you can either add the scallion/green onion now, or you can plate and add these pieces as a garnish.
(For vegetarians: You can substitute the meat with shiitake or button mushrooms. Should you use dehydrated shiitake, re-hydrate in advance and use the rehydrating water as your water in the initial quinoa-making step, being sure to cover well the re-hydrated mushrooms themselves overnight. Another idea would be tempeh or tofu, in small pieces, best if marinated in your favorite Asian marinating sauce overnight.)
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