The beauty of using quinoa – which is generally a lot less fussy to prepare than rice – is that you don’t have to make it in advance and let it dry out. If you use fresh rice versus stale leftover grains from a take out container, the final dish ends up being a little mushy. The grains don’t toast as well in the pan, and when they’re not over the hill and starved for hydration, they don’t absorb all the flavors you add to them. Quinoa, on the other hand, can be cooked to al dente without being too toothsome in the middle. And when you finish it in the pan, you get the benefit of all that flavor being infused into the grains (a la a pilaf) and the sturdy texture that a good fried rice demands.
- In a medium lidded saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is al dente. Uncover and remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet. Saute the carrots, shallot, and white scallions over high heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Season with salt. Add the garlic, ginger, and green scallions and stir fry until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Fold in the quinoa and stir fry until well-coated in the vegetable mixture and beginning to toast, 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha.
- Push the quinoa to the side of the pan to create a well. Pour the eggs into the well and cook, stirring gently, until nearly set. Toss the fried rice with the eggs. Transfer the quinoa to bowls and serve right away.
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