Buckwheat with Mushrooms and Onions | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Buckwheat with Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and onions add a savory note to a healthy, traditional grain.
Buckwheat with Mushrooms and Onions

Serves 6-8

15 min

45 min

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There are a whole bunch of classic Jewish foods that have long since taken root on the New York food scene. Bagels are the most obvious example, but others like matzah ball soup, chocolate babka and pastrami on rye have transformed from Jewish classics to Manhattan traditions. Other Jewish foods lie somewhere in a grey zone, familiar to many outside the faith but not quite at that iconic status. One of those is kasha, also known as buckwheat, a Jewish Ashkenazi staple. It was a common filling for foods like knishes and blintzes, and of course in the classic kasha varnishkes pasta dish, but with the 21st century's renewed focus on eating whole grains, it has returned to vogue.

Toasting the buckwheat before mixing it with sauteed mushrooms and onions elevates the simple peasant food into a tasty and pleasing side dish for any meal. The egg white in the recipe helps to keep the grains of the kasha separate and fluffy without clumping. This base recipe is of course infinitely adaptable to the vegetables or other toppings you'd like to include in your kasha. 

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

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1 1/2 cups uncooked buckwheat

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

8-10 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 1/2-2 cups water or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Stir the buckwheat and the egg white together until the grains are coated. In a nonstick pot, toast the buckwheat over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring regularly, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pot, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, 10-15 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once the buckwheat is toasted, add the 1 1/2 cups stock or water to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium until the is cooked through and all the liquid is absorbed. You may need to add more liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature.