Even though there are distinct differences between rice and quinoa, it’s actually pretty easy to substitute one for another in a number of recipes. Fried rice is one tasty, tasty example of that!
Quinoa absorbs flavor beautifully through the steaming process, so it’s a great time to incorporate the uniquely umami flavor of miso. Miso paste is made from soybeans, a grain of choice (typically rice or barley, but some varieties are strictly soy), and koji (a culture to start the fermentation process). Generally, you can find miso in three different color categories: white, yellow, and red.
- White miso is the sweetest of the three, and it has the highest amount of grain in the mix. You can use this easily for seafood marinades, salads, and light soups.
- Red miso is the most potent of the options, and it doesn’t skimp on the salt (around 13% of its weight!). This miso ferments for at least a year to develop its rich flavor and color. Try mixing this into a stir-fry or a hearty stew!
- Yellow miso is pretty much all-purpose. This is a combination of both white and red miso, and it’s delicious anywhere that you want an extra touch of savory flavor!
This is a delicious option for a vegan-friendly dish, but your favorite thin-sliced meat would be a great addition! If you want to incorporate meat, add it in with the carrots and onions, and make sure to cook it completely.
Miso Quinoa Fried Rice
2 TBSP miso paste
2 cups broth (I used vegetable broth, but dashi is good if you want to keep with traditional Japanese flavors)
3 TBSP oil, divided
1 cup quinoa
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
3 TBSP soy sauce
Dissolve the miso in the broth, then set aside. Put a large saucepan over medium heat, then heat 1 1/2 tsp of the oil in the pan. Toss in the quinoa, cooking and stirring until fragrant. Add in the broth, then bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed, then cover the pan for 5 minutes to let the quinoa steam. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, then let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
Pour the remaining oil in a large sauté pan or wok on medium heat. Once hot, add the yellow onion and carrots, and cook until tender. Add the green onions, then stir and cook until the green onions are vibrant. Add in the quinoa and soy sauce, and toss to evenly combine. Cook until the quinoa is heated through, and serve immediately.
Serves up to 4.