The Secret to Fluffy Couscous | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

The Secret to Fluffy Couscous

Fluffy Couscous

I make couscous all the time, whenever I want a break from rice or pasta, or when I just need something that cooks super quick with minimal attention. I know there is a proper way that it is prepared in its native lands, involving multiple steamings in a basket over boiling water, followed by breaking up with your fingers and steaming some more. I’m sure this is fantastic but I’ve always contented myself with the quick “package directions” version where you simply add the couscous to boiling water, turn off the heat, cover, wait 5 minutes and fluff. It isn’t bad but it isn’t all that fluffy or delicious either.

Joyce Goldstein’s wonderful book Saffron Shores (about the foods of the Jewish diaspora in the southern Mediterranean) just showed me a much better way. Hardly any more work than the quickie version. The trick is that you pour the boiling water over the couscous in a low flat casserole so that the weight of the grains and water doesn’t keep it from expanding. I was blown away at how much fluffier and tastier the results are. I’ll never do it in the pot again.

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