Quinoa Okayu

Technically this is not really Okayu  (お粥 Japanese for rice-gruel) but it is a nice name for a porridge. Quinoa Okayu easy to make, doesn’t take too long to cook, and has a lovely texture. Some may recall similar recipes in the ZRC made with rice or a little amaranth, but I thought it was nice include a plain version even if just for my own notes.

If you like to rinse the quinoa before cooking be sure to use a fine mesh sieve over an empty bowl to catch any small grains that pass through. However, by rinsing you might also wash away the natural saponins that have a mild astringent taste as well as some purported health benefits – but that’s still under investigation in the scientific world. It’s for you to decide. I find it simpler not to rinse; the grains always get lodged in the sieve or refuse to come away from the bottom of the rinsing bowl. Besides, the mild bitterness is actually not that strong, as quinoa “out of the box” is already pretty clean and most of the time it’s counteracted by all the honey, cinnamon, seeds, and nuts –  including peanut butter – that everyone enjoys dredging and dolloping on top of it!

Serves 4-5

175 g (1 cup) quinoa 
1½ litres (6 cups) water

  • Optional: rinse the quinoa using a fine meshed sieve over a clean empty bowl to catch any stray grains that might otherwise accidentally go down the sink.
  • Put the water into a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on a medium-high flame and bring to the boil.
  • Stir in the quinoa and return to the boil. As soon as it boils, turn the flame low, cover, and gently simmer for about 25 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency. Watch that it doesn’t boil over.
  • Stir often the last 10 minutes to prevent sticking.
  • Serve with honey, cinnamon, toasted pumpkin seeds, raisins, a little sea salt, or anything else that might take your fancy; peanut butter anyone?

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