Learn How to Cook Buckwheat groats perfectly every time! This superfood is gluten-free, a common staple in Eastern Europe and can be used instead of rice, bulgur or barley in many dishes.
As a kid, I grew up eating buckwheat on a weekly basis and we still cook it all the time. For kasha to come out tasty and not mushy you need to learn how to cook buckwheat properly!
Buckwheat kasha is very versatile, inexpensive and can be enjoyed in many ways, from savory to sweet dishes.
What Is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed and despite its name has nothing to do with wheat. It is not a true grain and belongs to a food group called pseudocereals. Buckwheat groats have nutty flavor and soft texture.
According to this source, buckwheat is a superfood rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates and contains small amounts of high-quality plant-based protein. It has higher than of any other pseudo grain levels of minerals and antioxidants, but is lower in vitamins.
Once you learn how to cook buckwheat, you will be cooking it as often as quinoa or white rice. If you are on a gluten-free diet, suffering from Celiac disease or trying to eat more whole foods, buckwheat is for you!
Where Can I Buy Buckwheat?
When it comes to cooking buckwheat, it is super important to purchase only toasted buckwheat. You can find it in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and even Asian markets. It has golden brown color and has been pre-roasted.
You can also often find buckwheat in a bulk section of a health food store. If it’s brown, it’s roasted buckwheat.
Buckwheat groats, on the other hand, are raw buckwheat seeds that have pale green color. You can find it in any regular grocery store. It has very earthy flavor, slightly bitter taste and fall apart during cooking. I don’t think you will enjoy this buckwheat.
Ingredients and Notes
My easy buckwheat recipe requires just 4 simple ingredients.
- Toasted buckwheat: The best buckwheat to use is this toasted buckwheat. You can try to roast raw buckwheat groats in a dry skillet on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Us, Slavic people, prefer to buy it for best results.
- Water: Usually water isn’t a major component but in this buckwheat recipe it is essential. Use cold water and its ratio has to be precise. We do not use any kind of broth when cooking buckwheat but you can if you are planning to use it in savory dishes only.
- Salt: It is important to add salt before cooking kasha and not after. So it has a chance to infuse entire dish.
- Butter: We add generous amount of unsalted butter at the end to make kasha more tasty, flavorful and less dry and sticky.
How to Cook Buckwheat Groats
Here is how to cook buckwheat groats in 4 easy steps, so it comes out perfect and not mushy every single time! Once you combine all ingredients, let them cook and do not open the lid.
- Rinse buckwheat: Add buckwheat into a medium-fine mesh strainer, rinse with running cold water and drain. Go through it with your hands to remove any debris or rocks. Make sure to drain it well so the buckwheat to water ratio isn’t thrown off.
- Cook it: In a medium pot, combine buckwheat grains, water and salt. No need to stir. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 13-15 minutes. Do not open the lid!
- Let it rest: After turn off heat and remove pot from the burner. Let buckwheat stand covered for 10 minutes. Do not open the lid!
- Add butter and fluff up: Now open the lid, add butter and gently fluff with a fork. Butter should melt right into hot buckwheat making it fluffy and moist.
Tips for Best Results
- Purchase the right kind: Majority of people who have tried and do not like buckwheat, have cooked pale green raw buckwheat groats. Try to buy this toasted buckwheat at an Eastern European market, health food store or online.
- Do not peek inside the pot: Just like with rice, you want to cook kasha undisturbed. Every time you open the lid, you skew off cooking time. Add water, close the lid and do not open it until it’s time to add butter.
- Quality cookware: Any pot like stainless steel pot, non-stick pot or Dutch oven works for cooking buckwheat. Just make sure the lid fits tightly.
- Follow all measurements closely: A little bit extra water and your buckwheat will be more mushy. Not enough water, whole buckwheat groats won’t have enough liquid to pop open and kasha will come out dry. In fact, it is a matter of personal taste, so none final result is wrong.
Serving This Kasha Recipe
Buckwheat is a huge part of Ukrainian cuisine. There are three main ways we like to serve buckwheat.
- Buckwheat side dish: Fluffy buckwheat serves as a perfect blanket to soak up the juices of any saucy dish like chicken with tomatoes. Think of anything with gravy!
- In soups: This buckwheat soup was a staple in our household. Buckwheat holds its shape well, keeps broth clear and makes soup flavorful.
- As breakfast cereal: Ditch the sugar-loaded colorful cereal boxes and make healthy buckwheat porridge. In a bowl, add hot buckwheat, a pat of butter and pour in warm milk. Sprinkle with sugar, stir and enjoy!
How to Store and Reheat It
Store: Just like rice or quinoa, leftover cooked buckwheat can last for up to 5 days in an airtight container when kept refrigerated. It is perfect for meal prep.
Freeze: You can also cook a big batch of buckwheat and freeze in airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Reheat buckwheat in a small pot, covered and with a splash of water. Simmer on low heat until warmed through.
You can also pan fry it in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil until crispy. Us, Ukrainians, also like to saute some chopped onion and sliced mushrooms and mix them with buckwheat.
No. When cooking any buckwheat recipe it is not necessary to soak the whole groats. Unlike other whole grains, they cook quickly and can be made last minute.
Avoid mushy buckwheat by following recommended buckwheat to water ratio and not overcooking it.
The ratio of cold water to buckwheat is 1.5 cups water to 1 cup of uncooked toasted buckwheat kernels. Add more, and kasha will be more mushy.
Yes. To cook buckwheat in Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and 1 cup buckwheat, then press Rice button. In rice cooker, cook like you would cook white rice.
More Buckwheat Recipes and Tutorials
How to Cook Buckwheat (Kasha Recipe)
- In a fine mesh sieve, rinse buckwheat with cold water, drain well and remove any debris.
- In a medium pot, add rinsed buckwheat, water and salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water has absorbed. Do not open the lid to take a peek!
- After turn off heat and let buckwheat kasha stand for 10 minutes, without opening the lid and peeking inside.
- Add butter, gently fluff kasha with a fork, stir and serve warm.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat: Reheat buckwheat in a small pot, covered and with a splash of water. Simmer on low heat until warmed through.