I just love this vegetable couscous. It’s such a simple and delicious side dish recipe.
Couscous is a very versatile grain. It’s quick and easy to make it the star of the meal, or a great side.
What is Couscous?
Couscous is actually a very tiny form of pasta. It is a mixture of semolina flour and water that has been dried and formed into tiny balls.
It is made from wheat, so it’s not gluten free. If you really need any couscous recipe to be gluten free you can replace the couscous with an equal amount of cooked quinoa. It will still taste great and not interfere with any dietary issues.
How to Make Couscous
Couscous is very quick and easy to prepare. The wheat has been fully cooked during the process of turning it into couscous, so all you need to do is to steep it in boiling water for 5 minutes or so. It plumps up the little grains and makes them nice and soft to eat.
Couscous is usually cooked in boiling water and seasoned after it is cooked, but this recipe adds extra flavor by steeping the couscous in chicken or vegetable broth. Before you add any other ingredients your couscous already has great flavor from the broth. All you need to do is add some vegetables and a few more flavorings and you’re good to go.
I haven’t added any salt to the recipe because most of us use prepared broth, which has quite a bit of salt in it already. The soy sauce that’s added later is also salty. You can always add extra salt once it’s prepared if you want.
Try it and let me know what you think.
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 1 1/4 cups couscous, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup mushrooms , sliced
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- In a 2 quart saucepan over high heat, heat the broth to boiling. Remove it from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let it stand (off the heat) for 5 (or up to 10 minutes) to allow the couscous to absorb the broth. Fluff it with a fork
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the mushrooms, onions, peppers, ginger and garlic until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir the mixture often while it is cooking.
- When the vegetables are cooked, stir in the soy sauce and lemon juice. Pour it over the cooked couscous, mix it all together and heat it through.
Toasted CouscousYou can add even more flavor to the couscous by "toasting" it before you add the boiling water. Melt 1 teaspoon or oil or butter in a saucepan, add the couscous and saute it for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant and the grains are slightly colored. Boil the broth in a separate pan, then add the toasted couscous to it and proceed as in the recipe above. This is a healthy side dish recipe, but it makes a great vegetarian main course too. The flavorings are simple in this recipe - just soy sauce and lemon juice. If you like things a bit hot, feel free to add a few chopped Thai chilies to the vegetable mixture. I personally prefer it without, but we all have different tastes.
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