Asian couscous is a no-cook side dish. It’s a fusion of two cuisines that comes together in your kitchen in about 15 minutes.
My good friend, Allisa, of The Heritage Eatery and My Favorite Place, introduced me to couscous, and I loved it. It’s very versatile as you can add just about anything to it. When I made Teriyaki Burgers, I served them with this Asian couscous. They were perfect together.
What is Couscous?
Couscous is a side dish made from semolina wheat. Couscous is not rice. Although it is often substituted for rice, it is not gluten-free. It is, in fact, almost a form of pasta. It is made by forming semolina mixed with water into small pellets and then dried. It is an ancient food dating back to the 3rd century BC, the kings of Numidia in Algeria. Today, it’s not labor intensive at all. It’s at your grocery store.
When couscous is hydrated with liquid, it’s light and fluffy. You don’t have to cook it, just cover it with boiling water and let it sit for five minutes. How’s that for easy?
This Asian couscous gets its flavors with the addition of ginger, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. Both ground ginger and crystallized ginger are used here.
Sometimes crystallized ginger is difficult to find, but Penzey’s has it, and you can often find it in Asian markets. I recommend keeping it on hand because it does wonders for an upset stomach. A little piece will usually settle your stomach, so you don’t have to keep bottles of ginger ale.
If you have any couscous leftover, which is unlikely, you can put it in a covered container in your refrigerator. You can reheat it in the microwave. If you don’t want to you the microwave, you can melt a little butter in a pan and saute it until it’s hot.
Happily, couscous also makes a nice salad by itself, or you can add it as an ingredient.
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~~ Liquid ~~
- 1 cup Water, boiling
- 1 teaspoon Vegetable base
- ¼ teaspoon Ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Sesame Oil
~~ Couscous ~~
- 1 cup Couscous
- ¼ cup Raisins
- ¼ cup Green onion, sliced
- ½ teaspoon Crystallized ginger, chopped
- ¼ cup Almonds, slivered
- Mise en Place
- 1 cup Water, 1 teaspoon Vegetable baseTo make the liquid thoroughly mix the vegetable base and water together.
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon Soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon Sesame OilThen add the ground ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil,
- 1 cup CouscousIn the small saucepan, put the couscous,
- 1/4 cup RaisinsAdd the raisins.
- 1/4 cup Green onionAdd the spring onion
- 1/2 teaspoon Crystallized gingerAdd the chopped crystalized ginger
- 1/4 cup AlmondsAdd the almonds.
- Pour the hot liquid over the couscous and cover the pan tightly.
- Let it sit for five minutes , then fluff it with a fork. Add additional garnish as desired and serve.