This light and healthy faux fried “rice” is made with fluffy quinoa and crispy, caramelized ginger, shallot and garlic. Ready in under 30 minutes, quinoa fried rice is perfect for a filling and flavorful work from home lunch. Serve the next day’s leftovers with a poached egg for the yummiest savory breakfast bowl!
I have to tell you I really struggled to come up with a name for this recipe. “Quinoa Fried Rice” seemed sort of redundant and inaccurate but “Fried Quinoa” didn’t sound right to me either. So as you can see, I went with Quinoa Fried “Rice” and I hope it gets the point across because I really love this recipe and want everyone to give it a try!
I have nothing against rice! I actually love it but this quinoa version of “fried rice” is really delicious and a bit unexpected! Plus, I usually have a container of leftover quinoa that needs using up and this recipe is perfect for such circumstances. The magic of this recipe lies in the trio of thinly sliced garlic, ginger, and shallot that are slowly cooked in oil until they caramelize then become golden brown and crispy. The oil is then infused with all of that garlicky, ginger, and shallot flavor, which in turn is used to stir fry the quinoa. It’s so, SO good, and it all happens in less than 30 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this recipe: cooked quinoa, leftover from the day before is perfect, fresh ginger, garlic and shallot, toasted sesame oil, a splash of neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola, sesame seeds, green onions and soy sauce.
Step 1. Sauté the Garlic, Ginger and Shallot
Cook the garlic, shallot and ginger in a combination of neutral oil and toasted sesame oil until deeply caramelized and crispy. You’re kitchen is going to smell ah-mazing with this combo. Do try your best to avoid the temptation to reach into the pan and start snacking.
Step 2. Toss in the Quinoa and Serve!
Next, add the quinoa and soy sauce to the pan and toss everything together until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Finish with sesame seeds, green onions and chopped cilantro.
FAQs and Expert Tips:
Yes! You could add chicken, beef, shrimp or crispy tofu to this quinoa for a little added protein.
1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear.
2. Fill a small pot with 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp of salt and a glug of olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam in the pot for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
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Quinoa Fried “Rice” with Crispy Garlic and Ginger
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp neutral oil sunflower, avocado, grapeseed etc.
- 6 large cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1 inch knob of ginger peeled and thinly sliced into slivers
- 2 large shallots thinly sliced
- 3 c cooked quinoa see recipe notes for cooking instructions
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari/coconut aminos
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 c loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems roughly chopped
- (optional) chili oil and extra soy sauce for serving
- Heat both oils in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers add in the sliced garlic, ginger and shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes until the shallot is deeply caramelized and the garlic and ginger are golden brown and crispy.
- Next, add the quinoa and soy sauce then cook, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the quinoa is piping hot, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add in the cilantro, green onion and sesame seeds .
- Divide between bowls and top with additional cilantro. Serve with chili oil and extra soy sauce if desired.