Why You Should Try Cooking Your Quinoa with Less Water

published Apr 3, 2014
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Many recipes for cooking quinoa call for two parts water to one part quinoa, a ratio that was determined by importers when quinoa first started becoming popular in this country. But America’s Test Kitchen has an interesting explanation for why that ratio may no longer work, and why using far less water makes much better quinoa.

Apparently, in the early days of quinoa importing, the product was not always consistently dried, so a 2-to-1 ratio of water to quinoa was thought to safely cover any inconsistencies. (This refers to the absorption method of cooking quinoa like rice, rather than simmering it in a large amount of water and draining it like pasta.)

But according to America’s Test Kitchen, the quinoa available today is more evenly dried, and their testing found that a 1-to-1 ratio with water produces “a much lighter dish with more bite and snap.”

Personally, I find that quinoa cooked with two parts water is far too mushy for me, but I tend to prefer my cooked grains on the “drier” side — I also cook white rice with a 1-to-1 ratio of water — so I always figured it was just a personal quirk. It’s nice to know there is an explanation for my preference for less water!

What’s your preferred method for cooking quinoa?