This quinoa recipe was my first experiment with using fish sauce in my cooking. I had debated over buying it for quite some time. The top recommended brand of several food bloggers is the Red Boat brand. It’s a minimally processed (extra virgin, first press) fish sauce from the Vietnam Island of Phu Quoc. The only two ingredients are fresh wild caught anchovy and sea salt.
The first place I found it was at Whole Foods, and it was a bit pricey (between six and seven dollars for a bottle). I just didn’t know if I’d use it enough to justify the expense. Then, I happened to see someone’s Instagram of a bottle that she said she’d gotten from Trader Joe’s. Sure enough, the next time I went to TJ’s I found a bottle, and the price was around four dollars. That’s a little more affordable, so I got a bottle to try.
I’m not going to lie, you don’t want to stick your nose up to the bottle and take a whiff. The smell is far from yummy. It does however add a unique and delicious flavor to a variety of dishes.
I just love colorful dishes like this Thai-Inspired Quinoa, don’t you? They do say you eat with your eyes first. This is a tasty side dish that I think would be great served with some type of Thai-style Chicken or even my Honey Dijon Chicken with Lime recipe.
- 1-2/3 cups of water
- 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed, if not using pre-rinsed quinoa)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil , ghee or olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 small jalapeño , minced
- 2 small cloves of garlic , minced
- 2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the quinoa, sea salt and water into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed . Keep covered and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. Fluff with a fork.
Towards the end of the quinoa cook time, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeño to the skillet and sauté until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and fresh ginger to the skillet and cook for a minute more.
Add the cooked quinoa, fish sauce, cilantro, lime juice and toss to combine. Serve immediately.