I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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November 3, 2010

Coconut quinoa with lemongrass and lime

I had a few requests for the quinoa recipe I concocted last week and bragged about on twitter. It is quite quite delicious. Especially if you’re a coconut fan. I’ve been soooooooo into coconut as of late. It started in pregnancy for sure, when the only thing I ever wanted for dinner was Thai coconut soup. But it’s extended/been reinvigorated while making baby food, as I’ve decided coconut is the perfect addition to most things. And since it’s so delicious, all I have left to photograph from my second batch are the scraps, but you get the idea.

This recipe is so simple. Really it doesn’t need a recipe as much as a list of ingredients, but in case you’re unfamiliar with quinoa itself, here’s the step by step.

Coconut quinoa with lemongrass and lime

2 cups quinoa (I’m showing a mix of white and black, but I really prefer all white)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups of water (or enough to bring the volume up to 4 cups of liquid
4 kaffir lime leaves (see note that follows)
one stalk of lemongrass, cut into a few chunks
4 or 5 coins of fresh ginger
juice of one lime

Bring coconut milk, water, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes so the flavors have a chance to blend a bit. Add quinoa and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the grains pop open and the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Dump quinoa into a colander and let it cool over the sink.

If you’re in a rush you can always skip the cooling, but I find that heat and citrus are not always a good match. Once the quinoa is cool, mix in lime juice and salt to taste. That’s it! Easy breezy.

Optional additions include loads of chopped fresh cilantro (highly recommended), peas, lightly cooked cubes of tofu, maybe some toasted cashews, etc.

Notes on ingredients:

The lime leaves really truly are the essence of this dish. I buy mine at the farmer’s market from one particular farm, but they’re available on ebay and Amazon (of all places!). You can buy a bunch and store them in a jar in the freezer for long long periods of time. They’re delicious in stir frys too.

And if you’re into Thai/asian cooking, consider planting a lemongrass plant! It will grow like a weed and you’ll always have some on hand. Alternately, you can buy a bunch from the store or the farmer’s market and freeze it like you would the lime leaves.


  1. alyson said on November 3, 2010

    yum. this sounds so good!

  2. cevd said on November 3, 2010

    thank you for the kaffir lime leaves link. it is always painful to read delicious recipes that include ingredients that just don’t exist where i live (particularly since i used to live in california, where you could get it all). so thank you. thank you very much “).

  3. Yumi @ Natsukashii said on November 3, 2010

    We love quinoa! What a great way to prepare it. Thank you for all your delicious recipes and posts. Your son is so adorable by the way! :)

  4. charlane said on November 3, 2010

    sounds yummy and exotic

  5. Sara said on November 3, 2010

    Another great recipe! I’ve got to try this out, especially since all I need to buy is coconut milk. We have a kaffir lime tree and I’m always up for trying new recipes to use the leaves.

  6. Melissa said on November 3, 2010

    I’ll be making this pronto!

  7. Kelsey May said on November 4, 2010

    I am having such a hard time wrapping my mind around what quinoa might taste like. It looks like chocolate in the picture, but sounds more like oatmeal. I gues I will have to try it out to see! :)

  8. elissa @ faucethead said on November 4, 2010

    i can’t wait to give this a try. usually i only have coconut in my drinks, but i should try it in new ways. you’ve got me inspired!

  9. Lindsey said on November 5, 2010

    I am so excited to try this! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Em said on November 10, 2010

    Longtime reader and first time commenter – HELLO! I made this last night and it. was. amazing. So a big thank you for sharing!

  11. michela said on April 23, 2013

    would bulgur work with this recipe instead of quinoa?

  12. Kyla said on December 9, 2013

    This is exactly the recipe that I have been looking for! It has everything that I love. And to see cilantro as a recommended option…Laaaa!! I may be in heaven!! This is cooking as I type! I can not wait to have it!!

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