Asian Quinoa Remix

by Holly on June 19, 2011

in Asian,gluten-free,recipes,travel,vegan

You’d think that living in Thailand would teach me a thing or two about Asian cooking.

Well…if you thought that, you thought foolishly wrong, my friends.

For 10 months, I subsisted on a diet of (a) khao pad topped with kai dao (vegetable fried rice with a fried egg) (b) vegetable + meat stews over rice from Talat Wongsakorn, my local market and (c) som tam polamai, spicy papaya salad. Since eating out was much cheaper than cooking, if I did get my teacher self behind our kitchen’s one gas burner to make dinner, it was usually to heat up a can of Campbell’s Soup or mix yogurt, muesli + fruit (no burner required).

I didn’t dip my homemade food in delicious Thai sweet chili sauce.

I didn’t touch Sriracha.

I didn’t buy bok choy, daikon radishes and other mysterious Thai vegetable staples at the market.

And when I did cook, I certainly didn’t make Asian food.

Seriously, you try eating rice and veggies for EVERY meal of the day and tell me how long you last before all you want is to scarf your face with a plate of Italian food. Or a gigantic turkey sandwich. Or a melty waffle cone of REAL ice cream.

In my defense, I did take a Thai cooking class while in Bangkok. We made gang pet ped yang (red duck curry), prawns in tamarind sauce, som tam and a spiced chicken dish wrapped in pandan leaves. I’m pretty sure Thomas and I almost got kicked out for our inappropriate, borderline violent use of the papaya-cutting machete, but once our teachers saw how how talented I was at arranging food presentation, we got to stay.

A food blogger-in-training, me thinks.

{proof of said machete incident}

Today, I vow to include more Asian-inspired meals in my Everythingtarian repertoire.

Today, I am going to take some help from my friend Ted, who spent a year in Taiwan and actually took the time to learn about Asian cooking, and tweak my Make-Your-Own Quinoa Bowls recipe to include an Asian variation based on his own.

Today, I will redeem myself for stooping so low as to eat overpriced Campbell’s Soup purchased from the American grocery store in Bangkok.

You’d think living in Thailand would teach me a thing or two about culture too, no?

If you thought that, you thought foolishly wrong, my friends…again.

Make-Your-Own Quinoa Bowls (Asian-Inspired Remix)

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 T coconut oil
1/2 T minced garlic
1 t freshly grated ginger
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 heads baby bok choy, roughly chopped*
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen edamame
4 eggs**
3 T sesame oil
3 T mirin (rice vinegar)
2 T soy sauce
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t freshly grated ginger
drizzle of honey
Sriracha, to taste
salt + pepper, to taste

*roughly equal to two cups

**omit eggs to make dish vegan

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, boil quinoa and water. Once water comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the coconut oil, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add halved tomatoes, bok choy and edamame. Let cook, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, drizzle of honey and Sriracha, salt + pepper, to taste. Add more Sriracha if you want a hotter, spicier flavor. Set aside.

To serve, there are two options:

(1) Once the veggies + edamame are lightly browned, add in the cooked quinoa and scramble the four eggs, continually stirring and mixing until the eggs are cooked. The mixture will look very similar to fried rice. Toss in sesame soy vinaigrette + more Sriracha and devour!

(2) Fry eggs in 1 t of coconut oil. While eggs are cooking, add the cooked quinoa to the veggies + edamame. Mix. Add the sesame soy vinaigrette, and toss until mixture is completely coated. To serve, plate up 1/4 of the quinoa salad and top with a fried egg + more Sriracha. Devour!

Makes 4 servings

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Evan Thomas June 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I will totes be making this with some gluten-free soy sauce. Love me some runny yolk and warm carbs to sop it up.

Brittany June 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I LOVE making rice and quinoa bowls and your version looks amazing! I’ll have to try the scrambled egg method.

PS- Do I spy the Devil in your ingredient photo???

sofia June 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

this looks delightful. that machete face is priceless. and how have i never tried sriracha? i feel like i haven’t LIVED.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

“Since eating out was much cheaper than cooking…”– well isnt that a surprise to beat all!

And I keep forgetting you lived there. Wow. What an experience!

I love Thai food, never make it at home though. But always have bok choy, quinoa, edamame on hand.

Great recipe. And thanks for making me laugh with your great wit :)

Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) June 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Ummm… YUM! June 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm

my first thought when i saw that last picture:
“oh man, i so want to take a nap in that. a warm, carby, sriracha filled nap of happiness. what luxury that would be.”

i swear. i don’t do drugs. i just eat too much sriracha and carbs. on the dizzaily. and i need to sleep more.

Jess June 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm

That looks really good! I love making Asian at home–I have memories of making stir fries and such with my dad :)

Ted June 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I like how you tweaked it – the egg is a super-authentic touch! (Also a little flattered)

Karis' Kitchen June 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Love the look of this recipe, and it perfectly solves my dilemma of what to do with the bok choy I received in my CSA box last week.

Ted June 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

@Karis – straight-up chopping up bok choy and stir frying or steaming makes for a delicious side dish! Add garlic or ginger for flavor.

Ashley June 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Wow. That machete face is epic!

dana @ my little celebration June 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Yum. Teach me more Asian things. I’m all ears.

Amanda @ the beauty notebooks June 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I enjoyed reading this post! The recipe sounds simple and oh so delicious: I bookmarked it! thanks so much for sharing.

Shelley June 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

this sounds unreal!!! I also want to buy quinoa and this post reminded me of all your quinoa bowl creations.. i may have to copy :)

Lauren @ WWoB June 20, 2011 at 1:30 am

How cool that you lived in Thailand! I visited Thailand 3 years ago with my mom, it was beautiful. I took a cooking class one day that lasted 6 hours and we made 5 or so dishes – all of them were so delicious. Fish sauce and palm sugar were definitely secret key ingredients… I totally understand what you mean though – that cooking there would have been more expensive than the street food. Cant really beat 1$ meals..

Lauren June 20, 2011 at 5:59 am

This looks delicious! I have a bunch of fresh bok choy I need to use and I had no ideas until now!

Gillian June 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

Oh man this is my kind of meal. And I feel ya, after living in France for a year I went crazy over English muffins and jam, cereal and oatmeal. And then I fell in love with Turkish and Lebanese food. “Croissant? Pass the hummus.”

Elizabeth@The Sweet Life June 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

Meals in a bowl always taste better, don’t they?!

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport June 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Does this mean I should currently be learning to cook the coveted Spanish Omelette or how to slice the Iberian ham? I better get on it! :)

Katy @fitinheels June 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I teach mostly asian students- and I totally understand the lack of wanting to eat rice!!! I’ve tried to teach them about other food groups (Dairy products! Bread! Pasta! Salads!) and it is just not in their menu! This, though- looks FA-BU-LOUS. I will definitely be trying it! I don’t love Bok Choy by itself but in that delicious mix, it looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing! :)

Megan (Braise the Roof) June 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I love that this is topped with a fried egg rather than scrambling the egg into the mix like other fried rice/grain dishes. Oh, and can we PLEASE take a cooking class together??

Sarah@The Flying ONION June 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

This sounds fabulous!! And the picture of you with the machete is classic. I totally would have gotten kicked out with a kitchen tool like that…haha.

I’ve been on a quinoa kick for the past…I don’t know…three weeks or so. I can’t wait to try this recipe! :D

Adam Deane June 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

That picture is amazing. I can just picture you becoming borderline violent with a papaya and a machete… We have huge machetes at work like that now, and every time I used one I will now think of you and this story! I miss reading your blog already and it has only been a week for me to catch up! Hopefully once I get into the groove of things here on the West coast I will be able to catch up on everything HealthyE! :D

Jessica B. June 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

My husband doesn’t like quinoa (I know, the horror), so this was the perfect dish for me when he was out one night this week. It had great flavor, even given that I am a wimp and kept the heat very mild. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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