Cigala con quinoa

A recipe by Ferran Adrià, taken from A Day at elBulli

Langoustine with quinoa

Serves 4

Langoustine tails

4 x 140 g (5 oz) langoustines

1. Remove the heads from the langoustines, and set these aside for preparing the essence.

2. Peel the tails up to the last ring of the shell.

3. Remove the intestinal tract and store the tails in the refrigerator.

Langoustine essence

langoustine heads (already prepared)

olive oil

1. Sauté the langoustine heads in a little olive oil in a frying pan (skillet).

2. Crush the heads one by one to obtain their jus.

3. Add a few drops of olive oil to the essence obtained, without emulsifying it.

This preparation should be made immediately before presentation and finishing.

Puffed quinoa

50 g (¼ cup) quinoa

250 g (1 cup) olive oil


1. Boil the quinoa for 25 minutes in plenty of water.

2. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain well.

3. Spread the cooked quinoa out over trays lined with parchment paper; ensure the grains are not overlapping.

4. Leave the quinoa in a warm place for 24 hours until it is completely dry.

5. Once dry, cook the quinoa in oil at 180ºC /350ºF until it puffs up.

6. Drain, soak up the excess oil on paper towel and season with salt while still hot.

Cooked quinoa

50 g (¼ cup) quinoa

200 g (¾ cup) water


1. Boil the quinoa in lightly salted water for 14 minutes.

2. Drain and lay out on a tray to cool quickly and halt the cooking process.

3. Refrigerate.

Metil solution

3 g Metil

100 g (½ cup) water

1. Blend the ingredients together at room temperature in a liquidizer until they form a smooth, even mixture.

2. Strain and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Quinoa-coated langoustine

4 langoustine tails, previously prepared

100 g (3½ oz) cooked quinoa, previously prepared

20 g (4 tsp) Metil solution, previously prepared

1. Mix the cooked quinoa with the Metil solution.

2. Coat the langoustine tails with this mixture so that each langoustine is completely covered with a fine layer of it, with only the tail shell remaining uncovered.

3. Lay out on parchment paper and put in the refrigerator.

Spring onion (scallion) rings

2 x 50 g (2 oz) spring onions (scallions)

ice cubes

1. Peel and cut the spring onions into 2 mm rings.

2. Choose 28 rings with a 1.5 cm (2⁄3 in) diameter and soak them in water filled with ice cubes for 2 hours.

3. Remove from the water and drain on a paper towel.

4. Refrigerate.

Diced tomato

1 x 100 g (3½ oz) ripe tomato

1. Blanch the tomato in boiling water, plunge it into iced water and then remove the skin.

2. Cut the tomato into quarters and remove the seeds.

3. Dice the tomato flesh into 0.5 cm (¼ in) cubes. Refrigerate.

Lime cubes and chopped zest

2 x 150 g (5 oz) limes

1. Slice off the top and bottom of the limes to reveal the segments.

2. Peel them in a spiral to expose the flesh and so that there are no traces of rind or pith, without altering the basic shape of the limes.

3. Remove the segments from their membranes with a sharp knife.

4. Cut the segments into 12 x 0.5 cm (¼ in) cubes.

5. Remove the zest and chop it into tiny 1 mm cubes.

6. Refrigerate each ingredient separately.

Chilli oil

1 g dried chilli

50 g (¼ cup) sunflower oil

1. Chop the chilli and leave to infuse in the oil for 2 hours at 70ºC /160ºF.

2. Strain and put into a squeezy bottle.

Quinoa shoots

60 g quinoa shoots

20 g (1 1⁄3 tbsp) water


1. Boil the quinoa shoots for 5 minutes in the measured water.

2. Season with salt and keep hot.


160 g (2⁄3 cup) kefir

16 fresh, small coriander (cilantro) leaves

extra virgin olive oil

olive oil


Kefir is a fermented milk product from the Caucasus region.


1. Lightly salt the quinoa-coated langoustine and fry both sides in olive oil.

2. On the right-hand side of the plate, arrange a vertical salad made up of 7 spring onion (scallion) rings, 7 tomato cubes, 3 lime cubes, 4 small coriander (cilantro) leaves and a little chopped lime zest. Finish with 4 drops of chilli oil, salt and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

3. Mix 60 g (2 oz) of cooked quinoa shoots with 30 g (1 oz) of puffed quinoa and heat under the salamander grill (broiler).

4. Divide the mixture among the 4 dishes. Place as a bouquet in the base of the dishes.

5. Cut the upper part of the tail off the quinoa-coated langoustine so that the top part of the tail is bare.

6. Place a langoustine tail vertically on the left side of the salad leaving a space of 4 cm (1¾ in) in which to arrange vertically a spoon of langoustine essence and oil.

7. The kefir comes in a separate jug so that the waiter can serve it in front of the diner.


Spoon, fork and fish knife.

How to eat:

Each ingredient alternately.


A Day at elBulli, Classic Edition is an exclusive look behind the scenes at elBulli, voted 'Best Restaurant in the World' and into the mind of Ferran Adrià, the most creative chef working today.

With two million requests for reservations every year, elBulli was notoriously difficult to get a table at. A Day at elBulli, Classic Edition opens the doors to everyone and reveals the inner workings of the kitchen and the gastronomic innovations that have helped create the spectacular food. Illustrated with over 1,000 colour photographs, the book includes recipes and innovative inserts explaining the creative methods and food philosophy, the reservations policy, the history of elBulli and the life of Ferran Adrià.