Steamed Buckwheat (kasha)

Makes approximately 3-1/2 cups

I recommend the greenish, tan and white untoasted buckwheat. It has greater vitality than the factory-toasted amber buckwheat (a.k.a. kasha) with its strong, almost scorched flavor. While the water is coming to a boil, to enhance its flavor, I lightly toast the buckwheat to the degree that suits my palate. This small extra toasting step enhances the flavor significantly.

This recipe may be doubled. Buckwheat is, however, a hearty grain and is more substantial than white rice or corn polenta.

1 cup buckwheat (untoasted)
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon butter or extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Freshly milled pepper to taste

Toast the buckwheat in a thin saucepan or wok over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes or until its color turns several shades darker and it emits a deep fragrance. (If you wish stronger flavor yet, reduce the heat and continue to toast for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes a deep amber color.)

Place water, sea salt and oil, if using, in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. When boiling, slowly (to prevent the water from splattering out) pour in buckwheat. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Let steam, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes with the lid on. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Variations

  • To create a more warming dish, saut√© the buckwheat in the oil (rather than dry toasting) and/or season with garlic and ginger.
  • If you wish cooked buckwheat to stay together (rather than fall separately off your fork), stir one egg, or 2 egg whites, into the grain before toasting it.
  • Stir 1/4 cup freshly toasted sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts into the boiling water. For a crisper texture, stir the seeds or nuts into the cooked buckwheat.
    Replace water with an equal amount of vegetable, chicken or beef stock.

May you be well nourished,

Rebecca Wood

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