Black Bean Kimchi Quinoa Salad

7 Dec

black bean kimchi quinoa salad

Okay, I know I just posted about quinoa bibimbap, and yet here I am posting another recipe using both quinoa and kimchi. But this recipe doesn’t follow traditional Korean flavors; instead, there’s great fusion going on here with the incorporation of black beans and zucchini. In fact, you could take this recipe even further from your usual Asian flavors by seasoning it with a more traditional salad dressing instead of the mix of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar I use here. The black beans and zucchini are a surprisingly good match for the fermented flavors of the kimchi, and the overall effect is a great meal option that’s healthy but not boring.

Black Bean Kimchi Quinoa Salad (adapted from Closet Cooking)
Yield: 4 – 6 servings


  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 zucchinis, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup kimchi, chopped*
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp kimchi juices*
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce**
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 – 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • sesame seeds

*Adjust the quantity based on your tastes and the strength of your kimchi. Use a vegan kimchi for a vegan version of this recipe.
**If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free soy sauce.


  1. In a medium pot, heat 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil over medium heat, then toast 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and let simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the quinoa from heat, stir in 1 – 2 zucchinis, julienned, then cover, and let sit until the zucchini has softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed) and 1/2 – 1 cup kimchi, chopped.
  5. Season with 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp kimchi juices, 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar. Taste, and adjust quantities as needed.
  6. Serve topped with 1 – 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced and sesame seeds. This salad is best served warm or at room temperature.

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2 Responses to “Black Bean Kimchi Quinoa Salad”

  1. Mark Broadworth December 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    How much is too much quinoa? It is versatile but has its own unique flavour (I find it to be a very strong flavour – appropriate to not all dishes). I don’t think it’ll ever replace rice.

    • Claire December 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      I think it depends on the person – I find rice a bit too plain for my taste, so I actually prefer quinoa! (And if you’re finding the flavor bitter, make sure you’re rinsing it very well before using as this can be caused by the saponins on the outside of the seeds.) But it’s definitely not an every day (or even necessarily every week) food for me. I think it’s a good pantry staple to have on hand though, so you can reach for it on those occasions when it is appropriate, especially since it’s so healthy (a complete protein, high in fiber and iron).

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