Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 25, 2005 05:52 PM

Israeli Couscous

  • a

I love couscous and it is a staple in our home. I finally got around to making Israeli couscous and it was a disaster. It came out gummy with an unappealing tapioca like texture. Did I cook it wrong, or is it supposed to be this way and I just don't like it. BTW, I followed the instructions on the box & simmered 2 C of couscous in 2.5 C of liquid for about 10 minutes.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You can't cook Israeli couscous via the old fashion way of dumping in boiling water and cover for 10 min. method. At least it doesn't work well for me.

    Since the pearls are way bigger than your normal couscous, you can try boiling it like a pasta. Cook it for 5-7 min in chicken stock or boiling water. Drain and add any sauce or flavoring to your likings. Another way is to cook it risotto style. Gently toasting the couscous and then adding wine until it is absorbed, followed by several rounds of adding stock until it also is absorbed, creating a smooth and luxurious consistency.

    If you don't want the gummy texture I recommend toasting them first with oil before adding your liquid.

    1. In my experience, cooking them risotto (slow additions of stock) or rice style (your 2:2.5 ratio) makes Israeli couscous too gummy. Try cooking it like you would pasta-- in a big pot of boiling salted water until tender. Quite delicious then.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Spade

        did you try toasting/sautee in oil first? i've never had any gummy issue if i cook my cououscous with oil first.

      2. As noted by others, toast them first with onion and mushroom if you like, then cook the couscous. While the product has the same name as the smaller grained stuff, its different. Think of it more like orzo.