If you're Lithuanian, cooked toasted buckwheat was probably one of the first scents you got familiar with after being brought home from the hospital - it's that common. It did not affect me positively, I suppose, because as a kid I used to hate toasted buckwheat and whenever I tried it, I never ate more than a spoonful. However, a couple of years back I tried tasting it again and it was... alright! I actually liked it. In fact, I fell in love with it so quickly, I'd finish the whole bowl in a blink of an eye. Since then you can always find toasted buckwheat in my pantry. Now it is often my go-to meal when I need a quick snack or if I'm prepping a lunchbox. I also serve it as a side dish a lot. Best way to cook it? Simply boil the grains, drain them and then mix in whatever you like: vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, olives, rocket leaves, a knob of butter. I personally love it best with a dash of soy sauce & some stir-fried veggies. Oh, and don't forget that poached egg.
BUCKWHEAT + CARROT + CELERY + ONION + POACHED EGG
Serves 2 | Hands on time: 15 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 eggs
- 125 g of dry toasted buckwheat 'kasha' (brown in colour)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 of a yellow onion
- 1 small celery stalk
- a hanful of parsley
- a knob of butter (oil for vegan version)
- soy sauce
Omit eggs and butter for a vegan version
COOK BUCKWHEAT: place 125g of toasted buckwheat in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until cooked through, but not mushy, approximately 15 minutes. Drain and set aside covered.
COOK VEGGIES: In the meantime, dice the onion, carrot and celery into really small pieces. Heat a knob of butter in a pan, add the chopped veggies and stir fry until softened, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in the buckwheat and finely chopped parsley. Pour in a small amount of soy sauce.
POACH EGGS: take a very small saucepan and fill it with water. Crack an egg into a small bowl, but be careful not to break the yolk. Bring water to a simmer. Once it is simmering, swiftly pour the egg into the water and, using two spoons, try to push any of the egg whites towards the yolk. Egg will slowly start to cook and firm up. You can now take the spoons out and leave egg to cook for a couple of minutes. You will determine the time once you've done that for a few times, but usually it's only a couple of minutes before the yolk starts to cook, too. We don't want that, we need a runny yolk, so keep an eye on it and take the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon once you think it's just right. Put it on a clean plate.
SERVE: Add the buckwheat into prepared plates, top with a poached egg, some coarsely ground pepper and a drizzle of soy sauce.
NOTE: 1. I like to use reduced sodium soy sauce for this dish, as its flavour is more subtle. 2. You can poach eggs using the 'water swirling' method instead. Once water in a saucepan is simmering, submerge the handle of any long kitchen utensil into the water and start swirling it in circles. Quickly remove your utensil and immediately pour in the egg - moving water will help the egg to keep its shape while it is firming up. Finish cooking and remove from water.
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