Saturday 21 August 2010


Claypot Quinoa without Claypot/煲仔藜谷[Bāo zǎi lí gǔ]

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4

Preparation & Cooking Time: 45 minutes (excluding marinading the meat)

- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 250g meat (beef, pork or chicken sliced or minced)
- 8 dried Chinese/shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water for 30 minutes and cut into strips)
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
- 3-4 slices of ginger chopped
- 1 TBS cooking oil
- 1 stalk spring onion chopped
- 1 leek chopped (white portion) (optional)
- A handful of frozen peas (optional)

Seasoning for meat:
- 2 TBS oyster sauce
- 1 TBS soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground oatmeal
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp brown sugar
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese Shaoxing rice wine (note: contains approx. 17% alcohol) (optional)

Seasoning for quinoa:
- 1 TBS soy sauce
- ½ tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chinese sesame oil

1. Marinade the meat with the meat seasoning, mix well and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.

2. Rinse quinoa in rice-cooker, add 2 cups water and the quinoa seasoning and switch on the rice-cooker.

3. Then heat pan with cooking oil and fry garlic and ginger until golden.

4. Add in shitake mushrooms and leek and fry until fragrant.

5. Add carrots and fry until almost cooked, then add in the meat and quickly stir-fry until almost cooked.

6. After the quinoa has been cooking in the rice-cooker for 15 minutes, transfer the meat and mushrooms from the pan into the rice-cooker by placing them on top of the quinoa, throw in the frozen peas and continue to cook until the rice-cooker button jump to “cooked”.

7. Sprinkle with spring onions and serve.

Nutritional Value:
Quinoa is a highly nutritious food. Quinoa has been rated by the WHO as possessing protein of a quality similar to milk. It has been classified as a supercrop by the United Nations on account of its nutritional value and high protein content. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. The protein quality and quantity in quinoa seed is often superior to those of more common cereal grains. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat. Quinoa grain has a lower sodium content and is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Quinoa is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that serve as cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme. Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage created during energy production as well as guard other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals.

Quinoa also contains vitamins B6, Niacin and Thiamin. Quinoa is lower in carbohydrates than most other grains, but an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and cooks in about half the time of regular rice. Quinoa is low in fat.

Quinoa is gluten-free, suitable for people allergic to gluten.
Additional Information:
I ran out of idea what to make for dinner tonight. So I asked my Significant Other, whether he would mind if I make the same dish as yesterday. He did not mind. But I decided this time round to make this “claypot” dish with quinoa, instead of brown rice. Quinoa is a super grain, very nutritious and comes with complete chain of proteins. Hmm… where should I classify this dish… quinoa is eaten in South America, but the method of cooking is Chinese. For the sake of convenience, I will classify it under Asian cooking. Cooking quinoa is quicker than cooking brown rice.


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