A 5-Minute Steam Bath Is The Secret To Mush-Free Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious base for many recipes, but if there's one essential thing you need to know about the super food, it's how to cook it properly. Quinoa is technically a seed, and is considered to be a pseudo-grain or pseudo-cereal — though many know and enjoy it as a fluffy grain to use as a delicious and nutritious base in salads, bowls, and other recipes.  

To make quinoa is a multi-step process: It must be rinsed, toasted, and then cooked on a stovetop. For those who don't know how to make quinoa, they may forget the fourth and crucial step, which is to let it rest. This is the five-minute steam bath trick used to get fluffy and light quinoa, instead of ending up with a disagreeably mushy disaster. 

After turning off the heat, instead of reaching for your quinoa straightaway, let the quinoa sit in the pot with the lid on. Having the grain rest for about five minutes will allow it to steam. Don't lift the lid to peek! This final step will give you the most optimal fluffy quinoa.

Let your quinoa rest

While it may be tempting to dive into this superfood as soon as you can, you'll be rewarded if you resist the urge. The additional rest time lets the quinoa finish cooking in the heat that's already in the pan. This also helps any moisture left in the pot to evaporate. For an additional fluffy factor, you can also use a fork to give your quinoa some air. Some quinoa recipes may call for 10 minutes or more of rest time, so you may need to experiment to figure out the perfect timing for your tastes. 

If you still aren't satisfied with how your quinoa is turning out, some home cooks swear by a rice cooker to make it, which takes about half an hour (use the same ratio of grain to water as you would for cooking on the stovetop with a lid). And if you're an Instant Pot user, you can cook quinoa perfection even quicker.