Miso-Sake Quinoa with Tofu and Vegetables in a Peanut-Sesame Sauce

…man that title is a mouthful. I’m not really sure how to better summarise this though.

My friends Dave and Rachel came round for dinner last night. Rachel is vegan, and I haven’t cooked anything vegan in ages, so I was struggling a bit to come up with something. After some googling for inspirational recipes (which this is not an implementation of any of, but they gave me some ideas) and a quick run to whole foods, this is what I came up with.

It needs some refinement in order to turn it into a proper recipe, but it was extremely tasty, so I will totally make this again. A lot of it.

Miso-Sake Quinoa

This is pretty simple to make. You make quinoa as normal, but you add brown rice miso and replace some of the water with sake. The proportions I used were one cup quinoa, one cup water, 3/4 a cup of sake and a very heaping dessert spoon of brown rice miso paste.

This turned out to not be enough liquid. I’m not sure why – it would have been enough if it were water. It might be that the sake evaporates faster, it might be that the salt from the miso slows down the cooking of the quinoa. Either way, I had to keep topping it up with water.

Peanut-Sesame sauce

This contained about equal portions of crunchy peanut butter, boiling water, sesame oil and brown rice vinegar. Mix it all up in a jar and alternately shake vigorously and whisk with a fork until you’ve got a smooth creamy sauce.

The main dish

This requires the sauce and the quinoa as above. Other than that it involved:

  • About an inch of stem ginger
  • A third of a red cabbage
  • 5 medium sized carrots
  • Two packages of Taifun almond and sesame smoked tofu
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • A bit of salt

The salt is really to help things fry rather than for flavour (this recipe has plenty of salt. Possibly too much, although it doesn’t taste like it’s too salty). Feel free to omit it.

By the way, the Taifun smoked tofu is amazing. If you’ve not tried it, you definitely should. It’s by far my favourite form of tofu I can buy in the shops. I’d recommend it even if you think you don’t like tofu – I’ve fed this to various people who thought that way and they rather enjoyed it. (Disclaimer: Not affiliated with them in any way. I just eat their food).

Then the instructions are simple:

  1. roughly julienne the cabbage and carrots
  2. chop up the ginger
  3. Fry it all until the carrots are starting to turn soft
  4. Chop the tofu into roughly cm cubes
  5. Add it to the mix and fry until the tofu is reasonably cooked (it can be eaten raw, so this doesn’t need to be very long
  6. Add the peanut sauce, stir until thoroughly coated
  7. Add the quinoa, mix thoroughly and let it cook for a few more minutes
  8. Eat


As Dave put it, “It tastes very fancy”. There are a fair few different flavours in here (ginger, peanut, sesame, miso, sake), which given that I created this recipe more or less ex nihilo could have gone horribly horribly wrong (some flavour combinations which seem like a good idea turn out to really not be). Fortunately it didn’t, and the different flavours turn out to complement each other very well!

The miso-sake quinoa was definitely a win. I’ll make that in other contexts (and hopefully figure out the right proportions to get it to cook properly). If I were serving it on its own rather than as part of a larger dish I would probably reduce the amount of sake (and maybe the amount of miso) slightly, but in this the proportions were just about right.

The peanut sauce is something I’ve made before a few times, but it’s a really nice easy way to make things very tasty. If I weren’t using the miso quinoa I would probably have added soy sauce to it, but this recipe really didn’t need more soy.

Other than that, I’m not sure what I’d do differently other than minor tweaks and figuring out good proportions for things. Maybe experiment with different vegetables, though carrot and cabbage was a surprisingly good base for this.

All in all, this was extremely tasty and I’ll definitely be making it again.

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