Lazy Man’s Couscous

It’s been awhile since I last did a proper cooking post, eh? The truth is, I haven’t been trying to cook new things, so there was nothing for me to share. Until today…

I’ve seen a lot of Europeans health freaks cooking this, apparently this is a healthier alternative to potatoes, bread and even rice. It so happens that I saw it today, so I grabbed a box.

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Couscous is a traditional staple food for North Africans (Moroccans, Tunisians, etc). It is basically steamed semolina.

Also, couscous is great as a Lazy Man dish. This is how we cook two portions of couscous:

  1. Boil half a cup of water,
  2. When water is boiling, remove from heat and immediately add half a cup of couscous in. Let it sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Add a knob of butter (or a drizzle of olive oil) and seasoning (optional) and stir for a couple minutes to separate the grains.

Done. Much much easier than cooking rice…

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I might have messed it up a bit by not stirring enough, the grains did not separate quite well enough and I ended up with a pile of couscous mash

Now the couscous is basically something that functions like… rice. On itself it is pretty much bland, so we need some stuff to go with it. So I made a pork slices and romaine lettuce stir fry in nam yee sauce (fermented bean curd) and poured them on top of my couscous pile.

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And there you have it, my couscous with nam yee pork belly and vegetable stir fry.

I guess I can see why those health conscious people chooses this over rice or other carbs. For one, it is lighter and less starchy compared to rice, so it doesn’t bloat your stomach that much. This would probably be a deal breaker for Malaysians, the reason we are addicted to rice is because of that bloated feeling which we perceive as being full.

But I am no typical Malaysian. When it comes to food, I am quite open minded to be honest. This couscous, well… I’m not going to say I love it, but it is not something that I hate either. I think I would have no trouble having a few more couscous meals until I use up my stash of couscous. Maybe I’ll show you guys a different topping with couscous later… 😉


    • Well, pour boiling water over it and eat it! That’s the only way to deal with couscous, isn’t it? 😀

      • Meh, but you need to add toppings for flavor… my ex boyfriend’s dad made a great cous cous, unfortunately I didn’t pay attention 😀 I remember it sometimes had pomegranate (among many other things).

        • You can always call upon whatever your memory tells you and make things that you don’t remember up. Or you can learn from Youtube! 😉

    • I saw a lot of people blog about it, and a lot of cooking shows use it, so I wanted to try. 😛

    • Couscous is originally African food, but the one I bought is San Remo, Italian brand. Not the authentic African ones I guess..

  1. San Remo, so high class 😀 My mum likes buying their spaghetti. As for cous cous, like you, I don’t love it, don’t hate it either. If I could eat something else, I would.

    I am quite surprised to hear you say Malaysians are addicted to the bloating feeling that rice gives. I don’t know…I really dislike the bloated feeling yet I like rice.

    • High class? The name sounds high class, but this is probably the cheaper brands of pasta we get here.

      I’m not sure if I am describing it correct. You know rice is kind of starchy, that is what gives people that impression of “feeling full”, which I call “bloatedness”.

      • I suppose that is what staple foods do to you, make you feel full. Rice, noodles, potatoes, pasta, bread, yams…though I’d say among all these I find that yams make me feel full the fastest after eating a feel scoops.

        • Really? I never observed that with yam before. But then, most of my yam adventures revolve around yam flavored ice-cream, so what do I know? 😀 😀

  2. Ahh…a fusion dish…couscous with Chinese nam yue sauce! ;D Not many people like couscous as it’s very bland. As I know, you don’t have to stir couscous, you just need to fluff it up with a fork when done. Yours didn’t turn out well probably because your water-to-couscous ratio is not correct although usually it’s 1:1 But I read of people recommending 1 cup couscous to 2/3 cup water…maybe you can try that to see if there’s any difference. Yeah, couscous is a healthier option if you choose wholegrain, otherwise it’s just like pasta or rice (carbs).

    • Well, I was just following the instructions from the box (after letting the couscous sit for 3 minutes, put it back on low heat and stir). Maybe I won’t even bother when I do this again. I think your recommendation might be true for easier grain separation, although even at 1:1 ratio, my couscous felt a bit on the dry side. 😐

  3. my friend cooked this for me but I didn’t know it’s easier than cooking rice, haha.. well, to me cooking rice is not easy as I cannot grasp the right amount of water.. BTW, I never doubted your “open mindedness” on food, we see new things almost every food post you published!! haha~~ 🙂

  4. I always buy this brand of spaghetti (that’s the cheapest on the shelves).. But never seen couscous before.. Only spaghetti, angel hair, fettucine and macaroni, and other spiral ones or those with patterns.. But never couscous.. After this, I want to go hunt for a pack pulak.. Nigella’s way – add hot water (from the kettle) to the couscous, easier..

    • Hahaha, yeah, Nigella’s way works too. I guess it is the same. Boil water and add couscous in, or add boiling water to couscous. 😀

  5. I am game for African food anytime be it tribal or civilized cooking but your dish looked like European treat that needed more colourful ingredients like cherry tomatoes and mixed grains before baking it. Just my 2 cents.

    • I suppose my methods are the Europeanized method of cooking couscous. LOL your 2 cents sounds like more effort, I don’t think I will do it. I guess we’ll see… 😀

  6. Your couscous with nam yee pork belly and vegetable stir fry looks very tasty to me except that I will replace the belly with lean pork slices. Can’t wait to see what other toppings you will whip up next.

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