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Chinese Fried Quinoa with Spicy Garlic Sesame Oil

Melissa Hemsley's recipe for Chinese-style fried quinoa with a delicious garlic sesame oil is an easy and comforting dish, perfect for a busy weeknight as it's quick to prepare and you can throw in any veggies that happen to be in your fridge.

From the book

Melissa Hemsley


This is a veggie-packed, 15-minute home version of a Chinese takeaway. I have to eat it with chopsticks to make myself slow down – it’s that good! It’s an ideal way to use up leftover quinoa and you just need 10 minutes to chop everything up so that it’s ready to go, then simply fry it all together, serve up and make a super-speedy spicy garlic sesame oil to go on top. Top with a fried yolky egg or scramble in a few eggs, and serve with some kimchi on the side.

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1 tbsp coconut oil
6 spring onions, sliced (green parts saved to garnish)
1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
200g green beans, trimmed and finely sliced
2 large courgettes, finely chopped
1 large red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 quantity of cooked quinoa (see below)
2 tbsp tamari
Sea salt and black pepper
For the quinoa:
500ml water or stock
200g quinoa, rinsed well
For the garlic sesame oil:
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder


1. If you aren't using leftover cooked quinoa, first make the quinoa. Pour the water or stock into a large, wide pan, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and bring back up to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 17 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. (If the quinoa has been soaked first, simmer for 15 minutes). Uncover, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.

2. In a large, wide frying pan, melt the oil over a medium-high heat and fry the white parts of the spring onions with the chilli flakes and garlic for 1 minute, stirring occasionally so they soften but don’t brown.

3. Add the carrot and green beans and cook for 1 minute, then add the courgettes and red pepper and stir-fry for another minute.

4. Stir in the cooked quinoa and the tamari, turn the heat up to high and cook for 2 minutes until the quinoa is heathed through and until it’s a little crispy on the bottom.

5. Divide among bowls and top with the leftover green parts of the spring onions.

6. Straight away, put the pan back on a low heat, add the oil and when the oil has melted, stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds to soften but not brown. Take off the heat, add the chilli flakes, tamari, toasted sesame oil and five-spice powder, then tip the mix into a little bowl and let everyone help themselves. A little goes a long way!

Use It Up: You can really fridge-and-freezer forage here to use up any veg that
needs eating.

Tip: Don’t worry too much about perfect dicing. The vegetables just need to be chopped to roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.


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From the book: Eat Happy: 30 Minute Feel-good Food

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