How to Properly Clean and Toast Quinoa

Recipe by Chef Joey Z.
READY IN: 25mins
YIELD: 1 cup
UNITS: Metric




  • Each grain of quinoa (unless pre-washed) is covered in a soapy substance called saponin. It tastes bitter and will affect the taste of your quinoa if you don't remove it.
  • First measure the quinoa and put it into a large bowl. Fill it with clean water. Let is soak for a little while. Then, using a wire whisk swish the quinoa around until you see a soapy residue come out of the quinoa. You might have to do this for a few minutes to get all the saponin off.
  • Once the soapy residue is off strain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve then rinse the quinoa with fresh water and set aside.
  • Now get a big heavy saute pan (I used a 12" stainless steel pan) and heat it up on medium low. Put one cup of the wet quinoa into the saute pan (anymore and it will be over crowded). Using your wire whisk start moving the quinoa around the pan.
  • Once it gets hot, the water is absorbed and the quinoa starts popping you know it's finally drying out. Keep swishing it around with the whisk until the grains of quinoa start to brown. You will see it transform before your eyes and it will smell nutty.
  • When it's sufficiently done, remove from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.
  • Store it in a jar in the fridge so it will last a while. When ever you want some just go get it.
  • It pays to do 3-4 cups at a time so you have some on hand.
  • Bon Appetit!