Crab Fried Quinoa with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I used to hate Thai food. Well, I thought I hated Thai food. I used to have this thing where I was sure I hated anything I’d never tried that wasn’t a type of cheese or brownie.

One day when I was just starting to branch out in my eating habits, I got coerced into going to a Thai restaurant. Someone once told me that Thai food was healthy, and at that point in my life, that was all it took to make me believe it. I just just barely begun my weight loss journey, and I just assumed everyone knew more than me. Plus they don’t use cheese, so clearly it’s healthy, right?

I tried Chicken Pad Thai and never looked back. It was love at first bite, and I’ve been totally hooked on Thai food ever since! In fact, one of my best friendships is pretty much based off of a mutual love for Thai food. And Seinfeld. Have I ever talked about my love for Seinfeld???? It’s an intense burning love bordering on obsession. I’ve seen every episode at least 10 times, and I own the entire series on DVD. I can recognize a Seinfeld quote at any time, and if I find out you share my love, I immediately consider you my best friend.

Things I love: Seinfeld, Thai food, puppies, peanut butter, cilantro, glitter, polka dots, running skirts, the color green. Now you know the way to my heart. Now if only they made polka-dotted glitter puppies that like to watch Seinfeld while eating Thai food, peanut butter, and cilantro while wearing green running skirts, my life would be made. Okay, that was weird. Let’s talk about the food.

Ohhhhhh my gosh, THE FOOD. The quinoa works as a perfect rice substitute, but you could also use brown rice. I can’t cook rice. I mess it up every.single.time. It’s so annoying. No matter what I do, it turns out crunchy. It’s like I’m missing the rice gene or something. Luckily, I CAN cook quinoa, and it’s so easy. Rice–who needs it???

Not me. Not this dish. So there.

I got the fancy dish and chopsticks in Hawaii, and I knew I needed to make something awesome to put in/eat with them. My last day at CGST, I ate quinoa with peanut sauce on top, and I was basically in heaven. My mind started racing almost immediately “WHAT CAN I MAKE??? MUST HAVE MORE QUINOA AND PEANUT SAUCE!!!!” Oh peanut sauce. I just want to put this stuff on every meal I ever eat for the rest of my life.

This dish was surprisingly easy, and as soon as I took my first bite, I started wondering where it had been all of my life. I’m not always the best about leftovers. If I’m not 100% IN LOVE with the dish, leftovers often sit around in my fridge while I make salads for lunch and try new recipes for dinner. This lasted about 48 hours. Do you ever get sad when your food is gone? Please tell me that’s not weird….

Crab Fried Quinoa with Spicy Peanut Sauce

yield 6 servings

For the Crab Fried Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbs canola oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 lb crab meat (I used imitation–it’s super inexpensive and still delicious)
  • extra cilantro for topping (optional)

For the Spicy Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
  • 3 tbs unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbs reduced sodium soy sauce (use gluten-free if applicable)
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbs red chili paste
  • handful fresh cilantro,finely chopped


  1. Cook quinoa to package instructions.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the sauce by warming peanut butter and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl for 10-15 seconds. Whisk in all remaining sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large wok pan over medium heat, sautee garlic and onion in canola oil until golden and fragrant–about 5 minutes. Add eggs stirring constantly to scramble. When eggs have reached scrambled egg consistency, add remaining vegetables, soy sauce and ginger. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add cooked quinoa and crab meat. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, tossing constantly to combine.
  5. Serve topped with spicy peanut sauce and cilantro.


  1. Mary says

    I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY THIS..except, I hate imitation crab meat, so I’ll try using the can instead. This looks AMAZING.

    • Ari says

      Yeah, maybe I’m just weird that I love imitation crab? I could eat it by itself, haha. I’m sure the stuff from the can will work well!

  2. Sami says

    Hi this was absolutely amazing!! Thanks for posting! I was wondering if you know the nutritional information for this. I am sure I can figure it out but someone asked me and I wasn’t sure. Thanks again!!


  1. […] 56. Crab Fried Quinoa with Spicy Peanut Sauce – The fried in the title refers to stir-frying, and not deep frying. With the combination of quinoa and crab meat you’re getting plenty of quality protein. They used imitation crab meat, which is just white fish. With the sauce and all of the other spices and flavors you won’t notice it’s fake. But crab purists may still want to opt for the real thing. The spiciness of the peanut sauce really makes this dish stand out. […]

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