The Easy Tip To Prevent Watery Quinoa

Long before quinoa became a trendy superfood in America, South Americans had been enjoying it for centuries. This pseudo-cereal grain is not only nutrient-packed but also a delicious addition to a range of dishes from salads and stews to cookies and burgers. You can even have it as a side dish in place of rice or pasta. Unfortunately, despite being so easy to prepare, one challenge many cooks face when cooking quinoa is ending up with a watery, bland dish that's nothing like the picture-perfect fluffy goodness we see everywhere on the internet. The good news is there's an easy way to avoid this blunder, and it starts by understanding what kind of ingredient you're dealing with.

Most importantly, you should know that quinoa is a seed and not a grain, despite how much it looks like one. Therefore, when cooking, don't handle it as you would another grain. This seed has the capacity to take in a lot of water (that's why it's able to swell to almost twice its size after cooking). And because of that, be ready to exercise moderation with your liquids and get rid of any excesses, which leads us to the simple hack for preventing watery quinoa: drain your cooked quinoa.

Drain your cooked quinoa to avoid a watery dish

Let's first ensure we're on the same page on how to cook that quinoa before we drain it because there'll be more opportunities along the way to ensure a fluffy finished dish. Begin by rinsing your seeds with cold water to remove the outer coating that's known to produce a bitter taste. Next, place it in a saucepan and add the cooking water and salt to taste. Note that most recipes call for two-part water for one-part quinoa, but since the seeds probably took in a bit of water during the rinsing, you can reduce your cooking water just slightly. Now bring the liquid to a boil, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to the lowest level to allow for a gentle simmer. After 10 to 15 minutes, your quinoa will be cooked.

This is the point where you can turn off the stove and drain the quinoa through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the excess water that wasn't absorbed. But that's not the end; return the cooked grain to the cooking pan, cover it with the lid, and let it rest for around 5 minutes. This will allow your quinoa to dry out, resulting in a fluffy dish. Then, when you uncover and ruffle it up with a fork, it'll look like the nice and fluffy quinoa you dreamed of.