An oriental dressing gives this Quinoa Salad with Bean Sprouts an unexpected twist. This bright salad is a great side. When you add beef or chicken it can serve as a meal.
I am always in search of salad combinations, combinations that I’ve not tried before and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. The missers, obviously, don’t make it onto the blog, but the ones that are good to delicious will deserve a spot.
Ingredients of the Quinoa Salad with Bean Sprouts
- bell pepper
- bean sprouts
- pine nuts
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- salt & pepper
How to prepare this salad
Pine nuts – Toast these for better flavor.
Bell pepper – I used a combination of yellow and orange bell peppers, but any color will do. Red, yellow and orange are sweeter than the green bell pepper. Cut them in strips or small cubes and use them raw or slightly toasted after rubbed with olive oil.
Asparagus – Cut them in 1-2 inch pieces and cook them a few minutes in water and salt. Cool in water with ice cubes to prevent them from cooking further. Raw asparagus are not my favorite; they can be a little tough.
Carrots – Leave raw, but shred them or cut in julienne.
Bean sprouts – The general consensus is to only eat raw beansprouts if they’re labelled ‘ready to eat’.
Quinoa – Rinse, (toast – optional), cook and cool.
Dressing – mix soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, salt & pepper.
How to assemble Quinoa Salad with Bean Sprouts
This does not require any detailed explanation. Mix and mix and enjoy!
Quinoa Salad with Bean Sprouts
For the salad
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1 bunch asparagus chopped in 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup pine nuts roasted
- 4 ounces bean sprouts
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper cut in strips
- 1/2 orange bell pepper cut in strips
- 1/2 cup carrots grated
- salt & pepper
For the dressing
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- salt & pepper
- You can toast the quinoa before you cook it for a little nuttiness (NOTE 1)
- Rinse the quinoa, cook/simmer in boiling water with salt (NOTE 2) for about 15 minutes, covered.
- Remove the pan from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Uncover and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Allow to cool.
- Boil water in a small pan, add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Drain and transfer the asparagus to a bowl of water with ice cube to stop the cooking process.
- Roast the pine nuts. (NOTE 3)
- 'Rinse' the bean sprouts with some hot water. (NOTE 4)
- Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients.
- The last step is the mix the ingredients (quinoa, bell peppers, asparagus, carrot, pine nuts, bean sprouts) and then add the dressing and mix again until coated.
- Time to serve.
- Toasting quinoa first, adds a little bit of nuttiness. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil in a pan, add the quinoa and cook for about 4-6 minutes on medium high heat. Keep swirling the pan to make sure the quinoa does not burn. The quinoa will become slightly darker/warmer in color and a nutty aroma will arise from you pan.
- Ratio water:quinoa – 2:1.
- A lot of you may have a way to toast pine nuts. Mine is the following. Spread the pine nuts on a baking dish. Transfer to the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven reaches that temperature, the pine nuts are toasted. This works every time for me.
- Rinsing the bean sprouts with boiled water is optional. I prefer to do it because it takes the very raw edge off without cooking them. Place the bean sprout in a colander and pour about 2 cups of boiling water of the bean sprouts, immediately followed by cold water.