Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Senior year of college I lived with ten other girls in an 11-bedroom house.  Suffice it to say that we were a group of “strong-minded” Cornell women, infringing upon other roommates’ personal space and sanity with less than stellar cleaning habits and oftentimes downright rude clothing theft (which we considered silent “borrowing” at the time).

The other day over drinks a few of us were laughing about the fact that almost all of us now live alone, in very clean spaces.

Clearly that experience left a lasting mark on all of us, so this post is dedicated to my fellow Cornell alum/solo-dwelling/sanity-seeking former roommates, whom I will always admire for going through all that we did.

Now let’s get to the food: this is a seriously good meal which you may consider strange to make for one person.  I can’t decide whether I agree with you, but regardless you can easily double this recipe and enjoy it with a significant other, good friend, roommate, etc.

If you’re wondering, the answer is yes: you can most definitely substitute another cooked grain for quinoa, with certain ones immediately coming to mind such as faro, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, millet, or couscous.  Cook each and every one according to package instructions and you’ll be golden.  On Friday I discovered a fantastic and fool-proof way to cook quinoa, in which you cook it like pasta and drain it once fully cooked – no need to worry about adding the perfect amount of water.  Amazing, I know.

I think you should make a big batch of quinoa to start, so you can use it in this recipe and then save the rest in the fridge for later.  Why make so much quinoa?  Simply put, if you make a big batch on a Sunday (which takes all of 15 minutes), you can do all sorts of easy things during the week with it, like make Heidi Swanson’s delectable Little Quinoa Patties or Joy The Baker’s awesome-sounding Breakfast Quinoa with Toasted Coconut and Fresh Mango.   Or you could make stir-fried quinoa with eggs and soy sauce every night, which is cheap and delicious.

That’s all folks, I bid you a beautiful Tuesday and a wonderful week of eating.  I’d like to leave you with something nice I read yesterday:

I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you really do the same things too, so we’re not that different, me and you.

Shrimp Fried Quinoa – Makes 1 Serving
I show you below how to make more quinoa than the recipe calls for.  Since you’re already cooking up quinoa, I highly recommend making extra to have handy in the fridge.  If you want to make just enough for this recipe, reduce uncooked quinoa quantity to 1/4-cup.
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, or baby bella, stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, and boil for 9 minutes. Drain quinoa and reserve.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and a pinch of salt, and cook, tossing once or twice, until just cooked through (no longer translucent), about 2 1/2 minutes. Set aside.
3. Heat remaining teaspoon over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Add 1/2-cup cooked quinoa, toss until toasted, about 1 minute. Make a well in center and add egg. Immediately start stirring constantly until egg is thoroughly incorporated. Add shrimp and toss to combine.
5. Turn off heat and add soy sauce, chives, and lemon juice. Stir to combine and season to your liking with salt and pepper.

10 thoughts on “Shrimp Fried Quinoa

  1. Ashley, I can not thank you enough for this great recipe. First, I am grateful for the quinoa, mine always came either over cooked or to watery. second I am thanking you on behalf of myself and my husband to teach us how to cook shrimp. we either over cooked or udercooked it. I am going to make this for our dinner tonight. And my shrimp won’t be over cooked again. as long as is not translucent, then is good to go.

  2. Ashley, I made a modified version of this recipe last night! It came out so good…I also added in some sirachi hot sauce. Thanks!

  3. Cornell! I’m headed up there this fall to start a PhD. I’m probably past the 11 bedroom house stage though, wow.

    Quinoa with peanut sauce, tofu/tuna, and veg is also wicked quick and cheap if you have the cooked quinoa around.

    • Congrats Stephanie, that’s fantastic news about Cornell and your PhD! Ithaca has a wonderful food scene that I miss very much…I’m sure you’ll love it up there, even though the winters can be harsh.

      I love peanut sauce with just about anything, but you’re right I’d never though to combine it with quinoa. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I made this dish last night, it was AMAZING. Thank you for sharing. I think this dish will have to be a weekly dish. I love your blog. It is very helpful and resourceful.

  5. Ooh, I love quinoa. I’m going to try this as soon as I can get some shrimp. LOL I always make extra quinoa –you can put a little milk and honey on it and heat it for breakfast in the morning. Delicious!

  6. I just found your blog and it is a lifesaver! My husband just left for his first deployment and I was really bummed about doing everything (including eating) for one. I’ve tried two of your recipes and loved them both (set to try a third tonight!). Having good recipes to try is making me feel a tiny bit better about being alone for the next 3 months. Thank you!

  7. This was amazing – I’d never tried quinoa before but was looking for something a bit different. It’s great not to have to halve a recipe for just one. Thanks.

  8. I needed something to make for dinner and stumbled across your blog. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It turned out so flavorful and easy to cook. I’m excited to try your other recipes as well. Plus, I doubled it easily so I can have lunch for tomorrow.

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