Easy Quinoa “Fried Rice”
Hi, I’m Natalie and I love Chinese food. Seriously though, I’m kind of obsessed. If you’re a frequent reader or if you’ve taken a peek through my recipe index, you’ve probably noticed a few Asian-inspired recipes. I can’t stop and I won’t stop! Now that I know good Chinese food can be made at home, I’ve made it a mission to add a bunch of easy and delicious recipes to the blog (more coming this spring/summer)! This quinoa “fried rice” is definitely not authentic, but it’s January, so I thought I’d bring you guys a slightly healthier version of a takeout classic.
When I was browsing through the ingredients of my standard fried rice recipe, I contemplated whether or not I should use brown rice or quinoa for this particular recipe. While brown rice probably would have been more of a traditional substitute, I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan… and neither is the hubby. Especially in a dish where it’s so very prominent, I thought the flavor and texture of quinoa would be slightly less noticeable. I was right! It was light, fluffy and absorbed all of the flavors of the sauce- it tasted great!
I cooked my quinoa the night before so it would have plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator. Chilling the quinoa helps dry it out, firms it up and prevents the end product from getting mushy. You’d do the same if you were using white rice too. Just make sure to spread it out on a large sheet, let it cool at room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour or two before covering it… you don’t want to seal in moisture and you certainly don’t want condensation to build up on the plastic wrap!
When you’re ready to get started you’ll need to prep a few of the veggies first. Because carrots take so dang long to soften up, I prefer to cube them and steam them (I cheat and use the Ziploc steam bags) along with my broccoli. That way you don’t end up with half cooked veggies! Once the prep work is out of the way, in a large skillet or wok (I’m totally jealous of you if you own one), heat half of the oil. Cook the egg (directions below), remove it and then add in the remaining oil along with the garlic and thawed peas. Cook the garlic until it’s fragrant and translucent, then add the cold quinoa! I like to let mine “fry” for a few minutes, then stir it and cook a few minutes more. Then add the scrambled egg back in and the remaining veggies. Pour the soy sauce, sesame sauce and oyster sauce (key to the flavor of the dish) over top and cook until everything is nice and hot!
Our whole family loved this dish, especially our little one! It’s easy to make and even easier to customize. If you want to add even more protein to this recipe, try some cooked chicken, ham or pork. If you’re looking to spice it up add some Sriracha or red chili sauce! You can’t go wrong! Enjoy!!!
- 3 tbsp. oil (vegetable or coconut, but not olive oil)
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 c. cooked quinoa, cold
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
- 1 small head broccoli, lightly steamed and chopped
- 1 carrot, cut into cubes and lightly steamed
- 5 green onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- ¼ c. oyster sauce
- Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat (I've used both a nonstick and a regular skillet, I kind of prefer a nonstick for this rice). Pour 1½ tbsp. of the oil into the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the lightly beaten eggs. Let them cook for about 30-40 seconds or until set, then scramble. Once the eggs are fully cooked, remove them.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan- when the oil is hot, add the garlic and peas and cook until the garlic is fragrant and translucent. Turn the heat up slightly and add the cold quinoa. Cook the the mixture for about 2 minutes, then add the eggs, broccoli, carrot and green onion. Pour the soy sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce and stir until combined. Cook until the mixture is hot, serve immediately.
Recipe source: Life Made Simple