This garlicky, sweet and nutty Israeli couscous with a hint of spiciness is simple to make can be made in less than 15 minutes. Fantastic as a side to any meat dishes, on top of salads or on its own!
Couscous is one of the easiest and most versatile things you can make. How easy is this? If you can boil water, you can make couscous.
TYPES OF COUSCOUS
I like to categorize couscous in sizes. There are generally 3 sizes: fine, medium and large.
Depending on what size of couscous you are making, this will change up the water ratios!
For this recipe, we are using Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous), which is the medium-sized couscous. I find the texture of the medium-sized couscous very intriguing that they are almost like mini pasta balls!
Medium Couscous - 1 cup of couscous with 1 ¼ cups of water
Large Couscous - I haven't found any of these to play with yet! So I can't really say! :)Our goal is to maintain each grain of couscous to its round form for that wonderful al dente chewy texture.
For this Israeli Couscous recipe, most of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery store.
For the miso paste, if you cannot find this at your local grocery store, you can find it at an Asian grocery store. I used red miso for this recipe for a stronger, more robust flavor but you can use any miso you prefer. The lighter the miso, the milder the taste.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Making the Israeli Couscous
- Toast it - If you have ever eaten Israeli couscous, you will notice that it may sometimes have a very strong wheaty flavor. To reduce that flavor and bring out a nuttier flavor we will toast the Israeli couscous. This is completely optional but brings out the flavors. When it is nice and brown, turn off the heat and put this aside to cool for a bit.
- Bring the broth up to a boil - Nothing special done here. Add the miso into the water and bring it up to a boil. You can substitute this with pre-made broth as well, any kind.
- Steam it - Once the broth has come to a boil, turn off the heat and carefully add in the toasted couscous. Put a lid on the pot and let it sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes.
- Ta-da! That's it! Fluff up the Israeli couscous in the pot with a fork to separate the grains and it's done. I personally like my couscous al dente so it has a bit of a chewy give to it but if you like it softer then add an additional ¼ cup of water to the broth.
Tip #1: Too much water and overcooked it to mush? It's okay when couscous cools down to room temperature it has less of a mushy consistency.
Tip #2: When you're adding the toasted Israeli couscous into the hot broth, be careful, it may cause the broth to violently bubble. Make sure you have a big enough pot so it doesn't overflow or put the couscous in slowly, a little bit at a time.
Adding in the Flavour Bits
This step can be done while you are waiting for the Israeli couscous to steam.
Chop up all the ingredients and saute it in a hot frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of oil for approximately 5-10 mins. You want the onions and garlic to brown and toast up to create a sweet and nutty flavor.
Tip #3: Garlic (the normal kind) burns quickly on high heat. To prevent this, add it in 1-2 minutes after you saute the rest of the ingredients.
Tip #4: Cooking jalapeno reduces the spicy heat from it - it almost becomes a mild spicy. To give this dish a spicier kick, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to it.
When you are done browning the ingredients, add the Israeli couscous in and mix! That's all there is to it. I like to add a small dollop of butter and melt it throughout the mix for some extra flavor, but that is completely optional.
You can even switch up the ingredients! Be creative and have fun with it 🙂
Spicy Black Garlic Miso Israeli Couscous
- 1 ¼ cups water (add ¼ cup more, if you like a softer couscous)
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 1 cup israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
- 1 ½ bulbs black garlic (approximately 1 ½ tablespoons)
- 2 jalapenos (chopped, seeds in)
- 4 shallots (sliced)
- 2-4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- Optional Sambal oelek or sriracha to turn up the heat
- Chop the jalapeno, seeds in. (When you cook the jalapeno the spicy tones down a bit)
- Finely chop the garlic and black garlic. (You can smush the black garlic with a fork as well)
- Slice the shallots
Making the Couscous
- In a frying pan, toast the couscous on medium heat until golden brown. Watch this carefully and make sure you are moving it around every 30 seconds so they don't burn. When it is golden brown, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool
- In a pot on medium heat combine the miso and water and bring it to a boil
- Once the miso mixture has come to a boil, carefully add in the toasted couscous a little bit at a time. (The mixture may bubble violently when you're adding in the couscous)
- Turn off the heat, and put a lid on the pot and put it aside to steam for 15 minutes
- After 15 minutes, check to see if all the moisture has been absorbed into the couscous. If there is still liquid on the bottom, keep the lid on for another 1-2 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the stock. Use a fork and fluff up the couscous to separate the grains once it is done.
Putting it Together
- In a frying pan, set the stove to medium heat and saute the jalapeno, shallots and black garlic for 3-5 minutes
- Add in the regular garlic and fry until the onions and garlic and toasty and brown
- Turn off the heat and add in the couscous and combine it with the ingredients
- Enjoy! This is best enjoyed warm or at room temperature
- Too much water and overcooked it to mush? It’s okay, when couscous cools down to room temperature it has less of a mushy consistency.
- When you're adding the toasted couscous into the hot broth, be very careful. It will cause the broth to violently bubble. Make sure you have a big enough pot so it doesn’t overflow or put the couscous in a little at a time.
- Garlic (the normal kind) burns quickly on high heat. To prevent this, add it in 1-2 minutes after you saute the rest of the ingredients.
- Cooking jalapeno reduces the spicy heat from it – it almost becomes a mild spicy. To add a spicier kick to this dish, add some hot sauce after the dish is done.
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