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Five-Spice Quinoa with Toasted Almonds

Romulo Yanes

Servings: 4 to 6

Five-spice powder is a seasoning that usually includes star anise, cinnamon, licorice root, fennel, and black or Sichuan pepper. It plays well against the slight nuttiness of quinoa, a grain that is rich in protein. Toasting the quinoa in a little oil adds a pleasing nuance of flavor.

This recipe is excerpted from Simple Asian Meals. Read our review.


For the sauce

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the quinoa

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 3 Tbs. minced scallions
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds


  • Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.
  • Rinse the quinoa, if necessary, in a bowl, using your hand as a rake, and drain in a sieve. (Rinsing is recommended if the quinoa is sold loose or in bulk. If you buy the quinoa in a package, you can skip this step).
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat until very hot, about 20 seconds. Add the scallions, ginger, and five-spice powder and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa should be tender to the bite. Remove from the heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.
  • If the almonds aren’t toasted, cook them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Let the quinoa cool slightly and then stir in the toasted almonds. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or soy sauce if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature as a staple dish instead of rice or couscous.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • Kokinneke | 11/08/2015

    Full-bodied complex taste, and still light because it's quinoa. Quick & Easy. A keeper with a little less oil.

  • endriagodenoche | 05/11/2015

    This is a staple in our household! We make it all the time. I don't always have fresh ginger, so I often sub a dash of ground ginger from the spice rack. I buy the 5-spice from the bulk section at Central Market. This is also great for those who are eating vegan diets. I also often add more almonds than called for... because I like them. Thanks for sharing!

  • User avater
    khavasutra | 10/11/2014

    I really wanted to like this recipe. The moment that five spice hit the oil my apartment smelled like heaven. What ended up happening was a overpowering bitterness throughout the taste of the dish. Maybe I used too much ginger.

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