Recipe video above. Elevate your Quinoa Salad with two simple tricks: Toasting the quinoa in the oven to give it a gorgeous nutty flavour (great cheffy tip!), and use a wickedly good garlic/ginger dressing!It makes an excellent meal-worthy Asian-style salad, or colourful rainbow salad to take to gatherings. Don't skip the sprinkle of Wasabi Pea dust. It's the cherry on top!Serves: 10-12 as side, 5 as meal
Quinoa resting & cooling40mins
Course: Light mains, Salad meal, Side Salad
Keyword: dressing for quinoa salad, how to cook quinoa, quinoa salad
Servings: 10- 12 as a side
1cupquinoa, tri-colour (or other colour, Note 1)
1cupcucumber, finely diced (Note 2)
1carrot, medium, peeled and finely shredded (Note 3)
3cupsred cabbage, finely shredded (~1/4 small or 1/8 large cabbage)
2green onions, finely sliced
250g/ 8ozcherry tomatoes, small ones quartered, large ones cut into 6
1cupshelled edamame, cooked per packet then cooled (Note 4)
1red capsicum/bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2cupcoriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped
5tbspsoy sauce, light or all-purpose (Note 5)
2tbsprice wine vinegar(sub: cider, sherry or champagne vinegar)
2tbspsesame oil, toasted (Note 7)
2 1/2tbspcanola, vegetable or grapeseed oil
2 1/2tbspKewpie mayonnaise(sub whole-egg mayo such as Hellman's or S&W, Note 8)
2 1/2tspsugar(white or brown)
2tspginger, freshly grated
1garlic clove, crushed using garlic press or finely grated using microplane
Toast for extra flavour: Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (180° fan) Spread quinoa on a tray. Bake 15 minutes, stirring halfway, until it's lightly browned and smells nutty.
Rinse: Transfer to fine mesh sieve or strainer. Rinse under running water for 10 seconds, shake off excess water well.
Cook: Scrape into a medium saucepan. Add water, place lid on. Bring to simmer on medium heat, then lower stove to low and simmer for 15 minutes (or until all water is absorbed, tilt pot to check).
Rest: Remove from stove (lid still on) and rest for 10 minutes.
Fluff & cool: Remove lid, fluff quinoa with a fork and allow to fully cool before using. (Spread on a tray if you want to speed things up).
Dressing: Place ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Toss salad! Place quinoa in a large bowl. Add all salad ingredients. Pour over dressing, toss very well.
Garnish: Either transfer to a large serving platter or individual bowls. Sprinkle generously with crushed Wasabi Peas and sesame seeds. Devour!
1. Quinoa – Different coloured quinoa have slightly different flavours. White is the most neutral, red and black have slightly more earthy/nutty flavours. Tri-colour is a mix of all three. Any colour quinoa will work just fine here.2. Cucumber – If using Lebanese (shorter) cucumbers, there's no need to peel them but scrape out the watery seeds using a teaspoon (cut in half lengthwise then scrape out). If using the longer ones (English/Telegraph), use around 20cm/8" and peel the skin (it tends to be a bit tougher) but no need to remove seeds (it's not as watery).3. Carrot shredding – I use a shredder tool that creates really thin strands, it cost a pittance from an Asian store. The finer the strands, the better. Fallback: Standard box grater.4. Edamame – The fresh beans of young soybeans, easily found these days in the freezer section of everyday grocery stores alongside peas! Cook time is the same for with-pod vs podded, around 5 minutes.5. Soy sauce – Use light or all-purpose soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce (too strong) or sweet soy sauce (too sweet). More on different soy sauces here.6. Mirin – A sweet Japanese cooking wine, it adds depth of flavour and complexity to anything. Substitute 1/2 tsp sugar + 1 tbsp extra rice wine + 1/2 tbsp extra mayonnaise.7. Sesame oil – Use toasted, which has a more intense sesame flavour (it's brown in colour). Untoasted oil is yellow and harder to find in Australia.8. Kewpie mayonnaise – A popular Japanese mayonnaise easily found these days in the Asian section of grocery stores. Famed for the smooth flavour and gentle rice vinegar tang! Sub with any mayo.Substitute: More oil (same amount as mayo).9. Wasabi peas – Common these days, find them in the Asian section of any grocery store. Crush so some of it becomes a powder using whatever method works for you, eg. mortar and pestle, or tea towel and meat mallet or rolling pin.10. Sesame seeds – Toast, stirring regularly, in a small skillet (no oil) until lightly browned and they smell nutty!11. Storage/make ahead – Being cabbage-based, this salad keeps pretty well the next day! It wilts a bit and becomes a little slaw-like. Toss well and consume at room temperature. If intentionally making ahead, best to keep dressing and garnishes separate.11. Nutrition per serving, assuming 10 servings as a side dish.