I’m going to let you in on my tiny secret; I have kept this recipe from all of you for far too long and good things are meant to be shared. This is the BEST quinoa salad ever. If you ever need convincing about quinoa, this is the one dish you should try.
After being introduced to quinoa last year, I have been smitten by this humble seed. I have been eating quinoa salads at least once a week since then. They are perfect when you have been eating too much rich/oily food throughout the week and just feel like having something lighter.
Having tried different variations of making of quinoa salad, I have to say that this is my absolute favourite; it is practically second to none.
I find myself going back to this quinoa salad time and time again, week after week because it is just so delicious. I even (almost) convince my cucumber-phobic sister to eat her cucumbers in this salad. It is the first time she has eaten cucumbers willingly, with the disclaimer “as long as there aren’t too many cucumbers, they are fine in the salad.”
I have made variations of this Japanese inspired quinoa salad, adding or subtracting an ingredient (mostly ingredients found in the Japanese cuisine) and they are work well with this dressing.
You can cook a large quantity of quinoa at the beginning of the week and store it cling-wrapped in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week. The vinaigrette dressing could also be made in advance for up to a week and stored in the fridge.
Now that I’ve let you in on this little secret, will you be giving this quinoa salad a go?
Recipe: Japanese inspired quinoa salad with soy sauce vinaigrette dressing
Serves 2 for hearty salad meal
1 cup white quinoa seeds
1.5 cups tap water
pinch of salt
1/2 Japanese cucumber, sliced thinly
1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes (about 125g), sliced into halves
1 tbsp dried wakame (Japanese seaweed), soaked in tap water for about 5 mins
1/2 ripe avocado, cut into 1 cm pieces
3 tsp tobiko (flying fish roe)
2 tsp sakura denbu (Japanese fish flakes)
For the soy sauce vinaigrette: (ratio of soy sauce:rice vinegar: grapeseed oil is 1:1:2)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp grapeseed oil
Other possible additions:
– salmon slices (sashimi grade)
– salmon roe
– shaved bonito flakes
– dried cherry tomatoes
– perfectly boiled molten egg
-cooked enoki mushrooms (straw mushrooms)
1. Prepare the quinoa: Wash the quinoa seeds in running water thoroughly and soak it for about 20-30 minutes before cooking (to remove the coating of saponin that lies in the outer husk of the quinoa that gives it a bitter aftertaste). Drain the quinoa seeds using a sieve or fine mesh strainer.
2. Cook the quinoa as per packet’s instructions. I use the ratio of 1: 1.5 for quinoa seeds to water/stock. Add a pinch of salt and bay leaf/smashed garlic clove if using water. Start cooking the quinoa at medium high heat until it starts to boil. Then turn down the heat to low and allow the quinoa to absorb the liquid. The quinoa takes about 10-15 minutes to cook. The ready quinoa will start to look slightly translucent. Fluff up the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool while you prepare the salad ingredients.
3. Wash and cut up vegetables. Soak the dried wakame in tap water and allow them to “bloom”.
4. Prepare the soy sauce vinaigrette: Place soy sauce and rice vinegar in a bowl and whisk lightly to combine before drizzling the oil in. Whisk well to combine before using.
5. Toss the salad ingredients with the cooked quinoa and vinaigrette. Taste and season if necessary.