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Help - My quinoa is mushy, not fluffy

I'm following the recipe in terms of proportion, bringing it to a boil then turning it down to a simmer...but I keep getting mushy quinoa. What's the secret??

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  1. are you doing 2:1 water:quinoa? a couple of nights ago I used about 1 1/2 cups of water (maybe a bit more) with a cup of quinoa and it came out great.

    1. It sounds like you do an absorption method, like rice? Rather than a boil and drain method like pasta? I've only ever done the boil and drain method and it's always fluffy:

      Rinse 1 cup of quinoa until water runs clear. Bring about 10 c. water to a boil over medium high heat. Add quinoa. Boil uncovered for 11-14 min., until there no white dot of starch visible at the center of the grain and some of the comma-shaped filaments are released from the individual grains. Drain, let sit in strainer for about 5 minutes, then fluff up.

      1. I started rinsing my quinoa pretty thoroughly a while back, and I haven't had mushy quinoa since then. I also do a little less than 2:1.

        1. I usually start the quinoa without water, like risotto. That is, heat some oil/butter with any seasonings in the pot, toss in the quinoa, and stir until you get the nutty smell of the grains cooking. Then, add water (your 2:1 ratio sounds about right), a bit more oil, cover, and simmer over over medium-low heat for about 15 min, stirring once or twice.

          Good luck!

          1. I have been cooking quinoa for a number of years, and lately, I've been buying it at Trader Joe's. I do not pre-wash it - never have.

            I have always used the bring to a boil method, then reduce heat (I have gas) to the lowest and put a lid on the pot. I time it for exactly 17 minutes - never lifting the lid, then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 15 or so minutes. Never a problem all these years, always fluffy.

            I've used 1 cup quinoa to 2 1/2 cups water, or 1/4 cup quinoa to a little less than 3/4 cups water.

            I have sauteed, in olive oil, cilantro stems and/or green onions with the quinoa, then slowly added the water, being careful to avoid a grease splatter. and repeated the above process.

            Successful always for about 10 years.

            2 Replies
            1. re: toitoi

              I have also used TJ's quinoa for a long time. Lately, they have been out of it, and say that it's becuase of distribution problems. Has anyone else run into this problem?

              1. re: Missyme

                Their supplier was out of quinoa, but that is being fixed now- TJ's will start sourcing from another importer. The product will also be cleaner as they will do a second de-stoning in the US. TJ's quinoa will be the only quinoa in the US that is re-cleaned and quality controlled in the US

            2. I have only been making it recently. I don't rinse but I do toast it in the pan. Then I add broth and bring to a boil and then simmer for about 13 minutes for two cups of quinoa. I have only used the Trader Joe's brand and follow the quantity of liquid to guinoa and haven't any mushy results.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                The 17 minute timing comes from David Rosengarten's THE DEAN AND DELUCA COOKBOOK, published in 1996.

              2. Recently, I tried the steaming method for the first time and it was amazing. Before this, I could not get my quinoa to come out separate and fluffy. I used the method outlined in this recipe:

                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                It seems fussy but give it a try.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sogi

                  thank so much everyone! i made my mushy quinoa today, so it'll be a few days before i try again, but i'll let you know how it goes.

                  1. re: sogi

                    Love this salad, and just made it last week. This method is fussy...but it works for me too.

                  2. To get the quinoa fluffly: Forget that whole boild and strain thing. You take the quinoa, put it in a pan and toast it until you smell that it's nutty and slightly browner. Then you rinse it (unless it's already pre-washed) and then boil it for 15 minutes. 1-2 ratio or 1-1+3/4 ratio (covered). slow boil. The resulting quinoa is super fluffly and tastes better as well.

                    This is the recipe from Bolivia...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: slgnunez

                      toasting it first sounds great -- I'll try this next time!

                    2. Hmm, all I do is rinse quinoa in a strainer, add to a pot of hot water (use a 2:1 water:quinoa ratio), bring to a boil with lid on, turn off heat, leave lid on and let it sit for a while. The quinoa absorbs the water and does not get overcooked/mushy.

                      1. OK, well, I haven't tried the tried and true quinoa suggestions on this page yet, but I did make millet yesterday. And guess what I got? MUSH.

                        Sigh.