There are so many reasons we soak pulses and legumes. The most practical is a shorter cooking time. People say it releases a sugar found in the skin which in turn gives a softer result or that an enzyme that renders them indigestible can only be broken down on soaking. For others, it’s as simple as wanting a clean bean. All very good reasons I must say.
The reason I soak them is that a fermenting process starts the minute those babies touch water. The natural yeast on the skins get excited and all sorts of beneficial bacteria start breaking down enzymes, adding enzymes; making one big beautiful batch of goodness that serves your gut health well. You don’t HAVE to soak, but do you really want to deprive all those little critters of a good party out of and inside your belly?
Here’s a recipe for a delicious Savoury Porridge made with Quinoa. A rather fabulous name for a savoury porridge is a congee. Yep, you certainly can get a delicious bowl of rice congee when you next go out for yum cha or just stay in on Sunday and slurp on this bowl of deliciousness instead! This Congee was featured on our flipping boards in August 2015.
Begin the night before.
Soak 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water along with 5 dried shiitake mushroom and 5 pieces of kombu or 1 nori sheet torn and wrapped in muslin or other clean, loose woven fabric overnight.
The next morning remove the nori and shiitake bouquet garni, drain the quinoa and transfer to a pot. Add 5 cups of water, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and the garni.
Bring the quinoa to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a slow simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally until the mix is rich and creamy. Your quinoa will be see-through.
Remove the garni, open the muslin, slice the shiitake and add them back to the pot. (The seaweed has done it’s job adding a whole range of B vitamins to your pot of yum).
Serve in little bowls with avocado, a drizzle of soy sauce or tamari (the real fermented Mc Coy), and some toasted sesame seeds. I also love a spoon of grated carrot or beetroot and some pickled ginger.