Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 21, 2007 08:58 PM

What does cous cous taste like?

I am all for trying new things and am curious about this dish. It looks like rice but is made of semolina. Does it taste like rice? Is it any good? I know it is usually in Moroccan cuisine and I usually don't go that ethnic but was just wondeirng if anyone could gimme some insight. Thanks a lot for your help to whoever respondss!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. couscous doesn't have much flavor on its own; it picks up the flavor of whatever you cook it with. At the very least you need to make it with stock of some sort, although there are all sorts of other things you can do with it.

    1. it tastes nutty.. sweeter than rice.. but still very bland.. it depends what you cook it with.

      We have friends who don't eat rice, and I use it as an accompanyment for dishes when they come over.

      It's uber cheap, uber easy and can be as simple or as complex as you like it.

      My basic recipe is boil one cup chicken stock, add a knob of butter.. when butter is melted and the stock is boiling, remove from the heat and add one cup of couscous, stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper and a wee bit more butter if it's a little dry.

      That's your basic recipe...

      1. It's a bit like tabbouleh (bulgur).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Humbucker

          Tabbouleh isn't bulgur, it is a salad containing bulgur amongst other ingredients.

        2. the beauty of couscous is that it can taste like anything. just pick a theme and run with it. boil it in salted water (like pasta) and then mix in whatever you want. i posted about this before, but i like to either do something mexican (avocado, tomato, red peppers, corn, cilantro, lime, cheese and beans) or italian (sauteed mush, onions, spinach, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, parm and basil). this weekend i made one with lentils, lemon juice, chickpeas, garlic olive oil, dill, cumin and red onion. but sometimes i just put in butter and milk and cheese and make like 1 minute mac and cheese. i got my mom hooked on couscous recently and she makes a nice version with feta, olives, oregano, fennel, chickpeas, tomatoes and cukes, lemon and olive oil. mmmm.

          2 Replies
          1. re: taryn

            OP, note that this would be a cold salad. Make the couscous according to the above recipe, let it cool, then dress it and mix it with the other vegetables.

            You can also use couscous next to or under some stew that has yummy sauce--it will soak it up beautifully.

            1. re: Louise

              sorry i should have been more clear. i usually mix up my couscous salads with hot couscous (so the cheese melts and because i'm too impatient to wait), but for the greek one, i let the couscous cool off fully before tossing the ingredients. regardless, it tastes good warm, room temperature, and straight from the fridge the next day :)

          2. couscous is basically pasta - semolina and water. Its just really really tiny and thus cooks a heck of a lot faster than say spaghetti. Its also a pain in the butt to make (handmade) and requires a lot of skill. I have also heard that the correct way to cook it requires hours as opposed to 5 mins (which is how most supermarket couscous is cooked). I think it takes so long, because you have to steam it, dry it, mix it up, etc etc. But you definitely don't need to do that with supermarket cous cous

            Basically it tastes very similar to semolina pasta and tastes nothing like rice. I love it and I use it as a side dish or even thrown into a cold salad with parsley, mint, tomatos, and olive oil.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bitsubeats

              It takes about an hour to an hour and a half if you do it the long way, steaming, moistening and letting sit a few times.

              1. re: wally

                that is a lot of work, but I bet it tastes unbelievable. I saw some moroccan women doing this on TV once, and it looked really fascinating