1. Fill a deep saucepan about 3/4 full with salted water, and bring to a rolling boil. Specific ratios are not important for this technique. Be sure to have plenty of boiling water for the amount of grains being cooked, much like cooking pasta. Add the grains to the boiling water. Check the package or cook time of the specific grain and boil them for five minutes longer than directed so the grains become fully hydrated. 00:31
2. With a fine mesh sieve, strain out the water and spread the cooked grain onto a sheet tray to dry completely for up to two days. 01:24
3. Prepare a saucepan or bowl with a sieve and set aside. Fill another saucepan about 1/4 full with oil and heat until it starts to smoke, about 450 to 500 degrees. Add the cooked grains. They will puff almost instantly, and should be strained immediately. Transfer the strained grains to a clean dishtowel or napkin, season with salt and let them cool before using. 02:20
What You'll Need
- Deep saucepan
- Large bowl
- Fine mesh sieve or strainer
- Clean dish towel or napkin
- Baking sheet or large plate
- Black quinoa (optional)
- Canola or vegetable oil (1 cup)
- Salt, to taste
Nearly any grain can be used with this application: green, black, or jasmine rice, red, white or black quinoa, and barley are just a few examples of grains to apply this technique to.
Puffing grains is a technique that goes back for centuries. It is mostly commonly seen today in rice cakes, puffed grain cereals, and popcorn.
To learn more about quinoa, visit Chef Kelly Boyer's "Everything You Need to Know About Quinoa" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.