How to cook with buckwheat? - Buckwheat recipes
Buckwheat demands your attention! It's delicious, easy to cook (especially with my recipes) and rich in nutrients, and if this wasn't enough - it is also gluten free. There are few places in the world where it is widely used, and since I have had the pleasure of being born in one of those spots, I am very familiar with the ways buckwheat can be cooked with. Time to share a few tried and tested buckwheat recipes.
Photos by Tiggered
Buckwheat groats, buckwheat kasha, buckwheat flour
Which form of buckwheat does your recipe call for?
Buckwheat comes in many forms and shapes and this may confuse the uninitiated. Here's a crash course to teach you how to swim confidently on buckwheat waters.
A 'groat' is simply a hulled grain of buckwheat (the word applies also to 'ordinary' cereals like oats or barley). This is the least processed and, for me at least, the most tasty of its forms.
'Kasha' is another word for groats. Usually, groats marketed as 'kasha' have already been roasted, so all you need to do is to cook them. Mind, not all kashas are buckwheat! It can be impotant if you are gluten intolerate - buckwheat (and buckwheat kasha) contains no gluten, other kashas sometimes do.
Buckwheat is also transformed into all sorts of flours and pastas. I don't use them in my cooking, but I'm told that buckwheat flour makes pretty decent pancakes :). Just make sure it's not mixed with other types of flour if you stick with the gluten free version.
Buckwheat with Sunday roast
Where to get buckwheat for your recipes?
Health food stores are likely to carry buckwheat kasha, but since the product is marketed as 'wonder-food', it may be touch expensive. Polish/European shops (if there are any in your area) are your best shot - it will be much cheaper. Tip: Polish name for buckwheat kasha is 'kasza gryczana'.
Otherwise, Amazon can help you out. I've listed a few links below.
Don't worry about large quantities - kasha has long, long shelf live and it's handy to have in your pantry if you're stuck for ideas for a quick meal.
Do you eat buckwheat kasha?
How to cook buckwheat kasha?
The first step in all buckwheat recipes
Buckwheat groats are hard as grit, so before you do anything with them, you need to cook them. Here's some good news: it's dead easy. Simply throw them into salted, boiling water and cook for about half an hour. If you've never tried it before, you may want to know that buckwheat kasha absorbs a lot of water when cooking, so it gets much bigger in the process and is quite easy to burn. Don't put too much of your kasha into the pot (1/3 is about right), make sure there's enough water left as it boils and that's it.
On its own, it can be eaten as a side dish instead of mashed potatoes - it goes particularly well with all sorts of gulashes and thick stews. If you add a pickled gherkin to this combination, you need to look no further for a perfect dinner. When I was a child, this dish was served in my school canteen at least once a month and until this very day whenever I eat gulash, it HAS to be served on buckwheat kasha and HAS to include a pickle - otherwise it doesn't count.
Photo by Tiggered
Cooked buckwheat kasha
I have actually cooked this for my dinner today to get some pics :) The pics were not so great, but the dish - mmm, yummy. I'm surprised how delicious it is each time I make it - it's super simple and simply shouldn't taste that good. Yet, it does - what can you do?
Onions are really essential in this recipe - the more, the better.
- 2 cups of cooked buckwheat kasha
- 3 large onions
- 250 g quark type cheese
- salt and pepper
- Chop the onions into REALLY small pieces and fry slowly until golden. Mix with your buckwheat kasha. Crush the cheese into pieces with a fork, mix in. If you can't get proper quark cheese, I imagine that cottage cheese would work just as good (drain the extra whey before adding to your dish). Season to taste with marjoram, salt and pepper.
- Voila. Easy, isn't it?
- Can be serve hot or cold, although hot tastes much better.
- Photo by Tiggered
Quick buckwheat recipe for vegetarians: - Buckwheat with fried beetroot and feta cheese
- 200 g (two cooking bags) buckwheat groats
- 1 REALLY large beetroot (or 2-3 smaller ones)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 1 small onion
- 100 g feta cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1. Cook buckwheat (see instructions above).
- 2. Peel the beetroot(s) on coarse grater. Slice a small onion, fry until it starts to sweat. Add beetroot and a pint of water, cook until beetroot is soft and nearly all water evaporated. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar/lemon juice.
- 3. Divide cooked buckwheat between two plates (if you're cooking for a larger crowd, adjust the ingredients accordingly), add a generous serving of beetroot sauce. Crumble feta cheese onto each individual plate. Serve warm.
- Photo by Tiggered
Buckwheat groats with thick meat stew
My favourite buckwheat dinner recipe
You can use any stew for this recipe, so if you have your own personal favourite (such as veggie or low calorie version) don't hesitate and go for it. I use various recipes myself, it all depends on what I have in the fridge. I cooked this particular stew especially to take some pictures for this page, so it is only right and proper to supply the recipe as well :)
I cook for two, if you have a larger crowd to feed, adjust quantities accordingly.
You will need:
- 250 g (1/2 lb) of raw bacon (note: this is what I used this time for budget reasons. It worked, but I still prefer to use pork steak. The recipe will work with any meat as long as it can be diced)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 litre (about a pint) of stock or a stock cube
- 3-4 bay leaves
- freshly ground pepper (here my mortar and pestle always come handy)
- red paprika powder - lots of!
- chili flakes
- 2 tsp of heavy cream
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 1 bag (about 100 g) of buckwheat groats
Let's get cooking:
Dice the meat into 2-3 cm chunks. Fry with little oil, add thinly sliced onion when the meat starts to brown. Stir fry for another 5 minutes, then transfer to a large pot or a casserole dish.
Cover with stock, add as much water as you think can evaporate within an hour or so of slow cooking. Add bay leaves and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes. Relax with a good book in the meantime (Optional. You can relax in any way you want).
Back in the kitchen, add the remaining veg to your pot. I usually slice carrots, but you can cut them as you like best. Feel free to add extra veg if you wish. Bell peppers work great, so do mushrooms, string beans, Chinese greens etc.
Add more water if necessary. You want your veg to be covered, but only just.
Season to taste. I like my stew quite piquant to I add lots of chili and black pepper. Red paprika powder is not really spicy in itself, but its smoky flavour is perfect for meat dishes. It is best to leave salt out until you know exactly how much liquid you'll have.
Cook for another 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare buckwheat. If you're using cooking bags (I'll explain later), then simply throw a bag (or two) into boiling, salted water and forget about it for 20 minutes or so. If not, procedure is the same, but you need to stir the groats from time to time. Scrape the bottom well, they like to stick.
When your buckwheat is almost ready, it's time to thicken the stew. Depending on the amount of liquid you have in your pot, a few spoonfuls of thick cream can be enough or you might have to reach for heavy guns and use flour.
Mix two spoonfuls of plain flour with half a cup of cold water. Stir really well, you don't want floury lumps in your sauce. Add to the boiling stew, cook through for two minutes or so.
Adjust for saltiness and spiciness.
Divide buckwheat between two plates (more if you've adjusted quantities), pour meaty sauce over the top. Garnish with a pickle - gherkins generally work best.
Your buckwheat dinner is ready, bon appetit!
Photo by Tiggered
Buckwheat Pierogi - a fancy recipe if you want to impress - Dumplings stuffed with buckwheat groats and meat
- 1 bag (100 g) buckwheat
- 250 g (1/2 lb) minced meat (I use pork)
- 2 large onions
- chili flakes
- 1/2 kg plain flour
- 2 eggs
- First, cook buckwheat in a separate pot.
- In the meantime, prepare meat: coarsely chop one onion, fry until translucent. Add mince, stir-fry until cooked. Season to taste with anything you like - I went for chili flakes and oregano.
- Mix meat with cooked buckwheat, cool a little, then add one egg. Stir until everything is combined.
- Prepare pierogi dough: take flour, egg and enough water to get elastic dough. Knead until smooth (it might take a while - 5 minutes or so).
- Roll the dough out until 2-3 mm thin. With a glass or a cup, cut out circles. Place a spoonful of buckwheat stuffing in the centre of each circle, fold in half and pinch the edges together. Make sure they stick well or else your dumplings will fall apart in cooking!
- Boil salted water in a large pot. Transfer pierogi into the pot and stir gently. They should float to the surface after a minute or two. After another 5 minutes you can fish them out and dig in.
- For extra flavour, garnish with fried onion.
- Photo by Tiggered
Buckwheat pierogi - see recipe above
Recipe for buckwheat groats with kale, red onion, garlic and feta cheese
Vegetarian buckwheat recipes
- Buckwheat stir-fry with veg and shiitake mushroom
A quick and taste dinner recipe
- Vegetarian buckwheat bake recipe
Fridge almost empty? This recipe can help you out
- One more buckwheat bake
This time with lots of herbs and mushrooms
- Buckwheat risotto with spinach and mushrooms
A creative alternative to classic rice dish
- Spicy salad with buckwheat kasha
You simply cannot get healthier than this
- Buckwheat pulao
Indian style buckwheat recipe - with some glorious pictures!
- Buckwheat stuffed cabbage rolls
A buckwheat version of the classic Eastern European recipe
How many buckwheat recipes do you know?
More ambitious buckwheat recipes
Plus a handful of buckwheat tips and tricks
Cheese and onion kasha makes great stuffing for variety of dishes. Some examples include pierogi (dumplings), crepes or cabbage leaves (cook them, stuff with your kasha and roast for about an hour).
It can be easily turned into baked dinner - simply pour some cream & egg mixture on top and bake for about half an hour in a casserole dish. A sprinkle of grated cheese on top wouldn't hurt either.
If you have trouble finding quark cheese, you can skip it. Kasha with fried onions is quite good on its own.
Buckwheat for breakfast? Why not? Here's the recipe: - Buckwheat with apple and cinnamon
I have a confession to make - I've never eaten anything made of buckwheat flour, at least not consciously. I always choose groats. I noticed, though, that my readers seem to be more familiar with buckwheat flour, so here's a bunch of links to places where you can buy some.
Kasha mixes - basic buckwheat recipes for a quick dinner
Although onion and cheese is the most popular version, you can cook up various other kasha mixtures. Your imagination is the limit here, but let me suggest some combinations:
- cooked carrots, chopped parsley, peanuts
- sunflower seed, your favourite sprouts, spring onions and poached egg
- red lentils, tofu, sun dried tomatoes, black olives, basil
- fried sausage and bacon (with a glass of kefir on the side)
- cooked carrots, parsnips, onions, button mushrooms
Alternatively, you can simply mix it with some sauce and serve. Mushroom sauce and kasha are a particularly good marriage, but I have to confess that when I'm in a hurry, I simply mix up some gravy granules and it works just as well (better, of course, if you have some leftover roast thrown into the pot).
Buckwheat kasha vegan salad recipe
Buckwheat burgers - the basic recipe
The basic recipe is to mix cooked kasha with an egg and onion, mush with a fork, form little patties (larger tend to fall apart) and fry on both sides.
You can use the cheese and onion mix. You can add some minced meat. You can avoid forming patties altogether and simply form a big 'kasha-loaf' (with or without meat) and bake it. Variations are endless.
Mushrooms, marjoram, cheese, parsley all love buckwheat kasha, so use them as you please.
Buckwheat in cooking bags - what's it all about?
How to prepare your buckwheat the easy way
In Europe, buckwheat is normally sold in cooking bags - four or eight bags to a box. Each bag usually contains 100 g of raw buckwheat groats - enough for one portion, more or less.
Bags make cooking buckwheat even simpler - you simply throw one into a pot of boiling salted water, plastic and all, and forget about it for twenty minutes. When it's cooked, you simply drain the bag, cut it open and transfer contents onto your plate.
It IS possible to burn buckwheat in a cooking bag - as I've learned the hard way when preparing kasha for my buckwheat pierogi recipe - but as long as you don't make my mistake and don't forget about the bubbling pot, you'll be fine.
You can see on my picture how does it look - bag on the plate has been cooked, the one in the background is raw.
Buckwheat for dessert? Why not? - Here's a handful of recipes for sweet buckwheat dishes:
- Buckwheat, brown rice and banana pudding
Yummy suggestion for a sweet breakfast
- Chocolate chip cookies with buckwheat groats
The classic cookie gets a healthy makeover :)
- Buckwheat waffles
Just add ice cream and enjoy
- Buckwheat groats with apples and cranberries
Who says buckwheat can be only mixed with vegetables? Fruit works great too!
- Chocolate covered buckwheat groats
The simplest recipe I've ever seen (note: my guess is that buckwheat groats should be cooked before mixing with chocolate)
Even more buckwheat recipes
- Jewish Kasha Varnishkes Recipe - Recipe for Buckwheat Groats and Bowtie Pasta
This recipe for Jewish kasha varnishkes is a traditional one with just onions mixed in with the bowtie pasta and cooked buckwheat groats.
- Buckwheat with beetroot and dill
Yummy and pretty hot dish, perfect for lunch or light dinner
- Dried fruit and goat cheese buckwheat salad
Healthy and delicious salad, anyone?
- Buckwheat groats and bell pepper scramble recipe
Quick, easy and tasty breakfast recipe.
- Buckwheat kasha pilaf recipe
This family recipe for Kasha Pilaf (Toasted Buckwheat Groats) is a quick, easy, healthy and delicious whole grain side dish that is also gluten-free
- Potato-buckwheat kasha knishes recipe
This recipe requires some work, but it's so worth it!
- Spicy breakfast pudding with buckwheat groats
Who says buckwheat cannot be eaten for breakfast?
- Buckwheat groats granola
One more breakfast recipe with buckwheat groats