Most of my cooking skills come from watching my father in the kitchen, as he has always done the majority of cooking in my house. One of his favorite things to do is experiment--a penchant for "adventure" that produces groans all around. Over the years he has created some pretty inedible dishes, but some delicious things, too. As a consequence of this, I'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen and not afraid to screw up now and again. Most of the time I think to myself, "I like these flavors, so let's put them together in this way." Luckily, unlike my brother's atrocities, what I make usually turns out pretty good. Tonight's dinner, a combination of my dad's experimentation and my randomness, was no exception. He created a pretty delicious fried rice a few years ago, and I decided to alter it a bit. Instead of rice, quinoa! Better for you and just as good. I also made some miso tilapia, a fish mild enough to take on the flavor of its seasoning. This will definitely be a staple for years to come.
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Mix together to make a paste. Brush one side of the fish before cooking. Throw on your grill or in a hot skillet, glazed side down. Brush glaze on the other side while cooking. Flip halfway through.
Quinoa "Fried Rice" (Serves 4)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped brown onion
3 chopped green onions
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 eggs (or egg white equivalent)
any other vegetables or meat you'd like to mix in
1. Cook your quinoa the night before you want to make this dish. I cook mine in the rice cooker, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. When done, pour into a large bowl and fluff with fork. Let sit on the counter until it has cooled down. Then cover and place in the fridge until the next evening. Doing this prevents the quinoa, or rice if you want, from getting mushy when cooking.
2. Prep your veggies, meats and eggs and set aside. We used carrots, broccoli and onion because that's what we had on hand. We microwave-steamed the carrots and broccoli for 3 minutes in a bowl with a little water. If you like peppers, you might want to precook depending on how crispy you want them. Same with peas and bok choy. However, do not precook onion or sprouts, or they will lose their crispness. As for meat, you can add chicken, beef or shrimp to this dish quite nicely. They won't be in the wok very long, so you'll want to make sure they are cooked through prior to mixing everything together.
3. Heat your pan with the olive oil and sesame oil. Add in cold quinoa and sir around until hot, and a little crispy. Then add soy and oyster sauces.
4. Throw in your veggies, including your onions and sprouts, the eggs, and your meat. Stir around so they pick up some flavor and are hot. Right before you take it off of the heat, add in green onions and sprinkle in some sesame seeds.
The add-ins in this recipe are very versatile. I think some cashews or sliced almonds would be a nice complement. And some pork. The only thing I wouldn't recommend would be pineapple despite my love of pineapple fried rice. That's best left for a lighter flavored recipe.