In Eastern European countries, buckwheat is a staple ingredient. My mom prepared buckwheat for us at least once a week and vowed that it would single-handedly prevent me from getting headaches.
Serve buckwheat with a cabbage salad. This makes it a filling, delicious meal.
Buckwheat is a super-food that totes so many health benefits. It’s gluten-free, packed with protein, low in cholesterol and high in fiber. Bonus: this grain is super affordable!
Back home in Ukraine, buckwheat is commonly served as a porridge referred to as kasha. In fact, any grain that is cooked in water and served with butter is called kasha by Ukrainians and Russians. This wholesome, oatmeal-like dish can be served savory or sweet and is typically paired with a vegetable and a protein.
In my interpretation of a savory kasha, I dress it up by adding in some mushrooms and fresh herbs for a well-rounded, nutritious meal. Consider it a healthier, but just as delicious, alternative to mushroom risotto!
What Should I Serve my Buckwheat Dish With?
How to Cook Buckwheat
Besides being a childhood comfort food, I love buckwheat for its convenience. Despite the grain being dense, you do not need to soak it in water before cooking. It can go straight into boiling water and be ready in 20 to 25 minutes.
Water to Buckwheat Ratio
Just like white rice, buckwheat uses a 2 to 1 water to buckwheat ratio. Easy, peasy!
Why is My Buckwheat Mushy?
This is where my recommendation to buy buckwheat from an Eastern European market or off Amazon comes in most handy. The texture of the buckwheat from these stores is denser, which prevents it from overcooking and becoming mushy. Also, Eastern European brands typically come toasted and golden brown. If the grain you purchased is not pre-toasted, I recommend that you quickly toast it in a dry pan for about 4-5 minutes before cooking.
How Many Calories does Buckwheat Have?
When prepared in water, one serving of cooked buckwheat (one cup) only clocks in at 160 calories. It is a great ingredient to add to your pantry if you are trying to lose some pounds. For barely any calories, buckwheat will keep you full and satisfied.
Where Can I Buy Buckwheat?
If you want to find the most authentic buckwheat, venture out to an Eastern European market. Ukrainians and Russians have been harvesting the grain for hundreds of years and you can find a very high-quality buckwheat grain for quite cheap at any of their specialty stores.
If you aren’t feeling like going out to the store, hop onto Amazon and order it online. This brand on Amazon is one of my favorites.
I will steer you away from going to an organic or health food store to purchase the grain. I find that the texture in these stores is very different than what I am used to. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed too many times by brands I have purchased at Whole Foods and other similar stores.
Other Buckwheat Recipes
- Prepare all ingredients for the buckwheat dish. To cook buckwheat: Bring water to boil, add buckwheat and salt to taste, cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Preheat a pan, add butter and onions to the pan. Add diced mushrooms to the mix and cook until it becomes golden brown.
- Combine mushroom mixture with buckwheat, let it sit for about 5 min to allow flavors to come together.
- Finally, add in fresh green onions and stir to combine everything together. Serve right away.