Buckwheat Kasha is a superfood that is seriously underrated in the US but I’m bringing it to life. This easy 30 minutes recipe combines buckwheat kasha with mushrooms and black olives for the ultimate vegan and gluten free dinner.
Have you ever heard of or cooked with buckwheat before? Growing up in a Russian family this was a staple in our household. I’ve been eating buckwheat since as long as I can remember and I’ve always loved it. I never even knew growing up that this might be a strange and exotic ingredient for the standard American household.
There were many different ways that my mom prepared and served and I never thought anything of it. It’s super healthy, naturally gluten-free and just as easy to make as rice. If you’ve never tried it before I highly recommend seeking it out at your local grocery store (or find it online) so you can give it a shot for yourself.
I love the taste and find it to be super hearty and earthy – it has a distinct flavor when served plain, unlike plain rice, quinoa or couscous. It pairs well with mushrooms specifically, and fried liver, but can also be added to salads, soups etc.
What is Buckwheat?
- Buckwheat is part of a group called pseudocereals – a type of grain that doesn’t grow on grasses (others include quinoa and amaranth)
- Buckwheat does not actually have any wheat, and it naturally gluten free
- Buckwheat is rich in antioxidants and high in minerals including: manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
- The health benefits of buckwheat include improved blood sugar control, and heart health benefits.
- You’ll want to look for the toasted buckwheat groats in stores so that it’s ready to boil.
What does buckwheat taste like?
- It has a very distinct taste that you would never mistake for another grain.
- It is hearty and earthy. It is soft in texture but the individual grains themselves are larger than those of quinoa or couscous so the consistency is different.
How to Cook Buckwheat kasha:
It’s actually very easy to cook! You just need the buckwheat kasha, water, salt, and butter (vegan or regular).
Similar to the way you would cook rice, you add 1 cup of buckwheat kasha to 2 cups of water, then also add 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Fluff it with a fork and your buckwheat is ready!
With that you now have a pot full of cooked buckwheat kasha.
You can serve this as a plain side dish or continue to make this into my buckwheat kasha with mushrooms and olives recipe.
There’s something about buckwheat and mushrooms – they are seriously a match made in heaven. The hearty meaty texture of pan fried mushrooms pairs fantastically well with the earthy buckwheat and in Russian culture this has always been a natural pairing.
And in this recipe to the pan fried mushrooms I’ve always added sliced black olives and tamari (soy sauce). I can’t take full credit for this recipe idea though. I was talking with my mom over the phone and she was sharing a recipe that her friend visiting from Russia had prepared for her – it was this exact dish that I have now recreated myself.
We were both puzzled by the addition of the tamari and the sliced black olives – not exactly your standard kasha additions, but she told me the combination of ingredients just worked, and I trusted her foodie judgement. I had to see for myself what this was all about, and I can honestly say the combination of buckwheat kasha, mushrooms, olives and tamari is the best.
This is currently my new favorite buckwheat recipe. The flavors balance each other out quite nicely – the earthy grain with meaty mushrooms, vinegary sour olives and the salty umami tamari. It just works.
Why this Recipe is the best:
- earthy and hearty buckwheat is complemented perfectly with meaty pan fried mushrooms, briny olives and salty soy sauce
- easy & healthy 5 ingredient recipe
- vegan and gluten free
- can be served both hot and cold
- makes for great leftovers and is perfect for meal prep
- Make sure you buy toasted buckwheat (this is what is always sold at the Russian food stores, but at regular supermarkets you may also find untoasted buckwheat which is lighter in color)
- Always add a tablespoon of vegan or regular butter when cooking the buckwheat – this gives it a nice a rich buttery taste.
- Keep an eye on the buckwheat kasha to prevent it from overcooking otherwise it will get mushy
- To experiment with flavors try using a variety of different mushrooms – button mushrooms, baby bella, portabella, etc.
- buckwheat groats
- vegan butter (or regular for non vegans)
- baby bella mushrooms
- tamari (or soy sauce for non gluten free)
- pitted black olives
How to make this recipe:
Start by combine the buckwheat kasha with water, vegan butter and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
While the buckwheat is cooking get started on the mushrooms. Thinly slice baby bella mushrooms and add then to a frying pan with oil. Pan fry until lightly browned on both sides. If you want them to brown perfectly make sure not to overcrowd the pan and pan fry them in batches. If there are too many mushrooms in the pan you will not get a nice sear on all of them. This is not highly important for this recipe, so I just added all of my mushrooms into the same pan at the same time. As you can see the mushrooms will still be slightly browned.
Thinly slice the olives, and chop the parsley.
Combine the cooked buckwheat with pan fried mushrooms, sliced olives and parsley.
Add tamari and mix. Once everything is mixed together you can serve this buckwheat salad both hot and cold. This keeps well in the fridge for days and makes for great leftovers or weekly meal prep.
This is hands down one of my new favorite buckwheat recipes so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! If you have other buckwheat recipes you love please share in the comments below!
Looking for other Russian inspired recipes? Be sure to check out my:
Super buckwheat kasha is a highly underrated ingredient which is brought to life in this hot buckwheat salad with mushrooms and olives. Healthy, gluten free and vegan.
- 1 cup buckwheat groats toasted
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 cup black olives sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
In a pot combine buckwheat with 2 cups of water, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
Heat pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add mushrooms and pan fry until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
In a large bowl combine buckwheat with mushrooms, olive, tamari and parsley Mix.