Little red riding seeds

    It has the texture of corn germs (the flat yellow seed inside each corn kernel). With the tiny mahogany peel cracked open just a little, each quinoa seed spills out its soft white flesh, the combination gets amusing. It’s like broken rice but more vigorous and inhomogeneous, or sesame but more fleshy. It goes well with walnuts either mixed in at the beginning or added at the end. If you think hard about it, it even tastes like clariid catfish eggs.

    Several ideas spring up: quinoa chè? quinoa xôi (sticky rice with quinoa or quinoa with mung bean)? quinoa bread, quinoa pie?

    Have you cooked with quinoa before? What is your experience with it?

    Mudpie’s Red Quinoa with crushed walnuts
    (recipe adapted from Suzy’s special red quinoa)


    • 2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cube beef bouillon (or more if you like)
    • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained

    Mudpie notes that you shouldn’t go light on the seasonings, especially the beef bouillon. And if you’re not a fan of cinnamon like me, then star anise, cloves, and a tad of pepper powder can kick the Chinese five-spice powder out of the pot.


    Rinse the quinoa grains carefully before cooking, as the saponin coating on the seeds can give an unpleasant bitter taste.

    Place the water, butter, five-spice powder, ginger, black pepper, and beef bouillon cube into a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture to dissolve the bouillon cube, then add the quinoa and crushed walnuts. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

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