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“Quinoa Soup, Saigon Style”

Quinoa Soup, Saigon Style.  Served with homemade dumplings.

Quinoa Soup, Saigon Style. Served with homemade dumplings

Continuing the quest for healthier food, we’re delving into whole grains. Next on the list, quinoa. I’ve cooked it once before, and it wasn’t good. But it’s apparently a superfood — loaded with nutrients and protein, and devoid of anything bad for you. So it was worth a try. Thankfully, we had Rebecca Wood’s The Splended Grain for guidance, and found this great recipe for quinoa soup, Saigon style.* We love Vietnamese food, so I figured if anything can make quinoa taste good, it would be some fish sauce, lime, and cilantro.

But first, some education. Quinoa has grown in popularity enough that we’re no longer at the “keen-WHAT?” stage, but it’s still not something everyone is familiar with.

Quinoa is a grain. Or is it? Maybe it’s a grass. Or a pseudo-grain. (Seriously? Pseudo-grain?). It’s part of the goosefoot family, related to beets and spinach, if that helps clarify things.

At this time of year, Jewish cooks might be wondering if this grain-like item is kosher for Passover, when most grains are forbidden. It is. Or maybe it isn’t. It’s confusing. Proceed with spiritual caution.

Grain or not, it’s got its very own section in a cookbook all about grains, and that’s where we got this tangy soup.

Quinoa Soup, Saigon Style
Adapted from The Splendid Grain

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 medium onion, chopped. About 1 cup.
6 C chicken stock
1/2 C quinoa
1 medium bell pepper, diced small
1 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic, or two cloves minced/pressed
1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 C bean sprouts
1/2 C chopped cilantro

In a medium saucepan, saute the chopped onions in the sesame oil over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until well-browned.

Add the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Add the quinoa, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Return it to a boil, cover, and reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, check the seasoning and add salt or pepper to taste. Stir in the lime juice, bean sprouts, and cilantro, Serve immediately.

* I don’t think there’s much quinoa in Saigon, in soup or otherwise. But that doesn’t change the fact that this soup is fast, easy to make, and really good.


    1. 蓝月谷 says:






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