Stir-fried Lentils with Ginger and Soy

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Lentils are one of the few legumes that require no presoaking and that are quick cooking.

Depending on the variety, age, and dryness, they can cook until firm-tender in as little as twenty minutes.


  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 6 cups water
  • Ā½ onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice (Ā¼ inch thick) fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • Ā¼ cup diced red (bell) pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion, white part only
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion tops


    1. Combine the lentils, water, onion, bay leaf, and ginger slice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are firm but tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain. Discard the onion, bay leaf, and ginger.
    2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot enough to evaporate a drop of water upon contact. Add the oil, garlic, and chopped ginger and quickly stir-fry until garlic is tender but not browned, 1 minute. Add the red bell pepper and white part of scallion and stir-fry 1 minute.
    3. Add the drained lentils and soy sauce. Toss the lentils to coat with soy sauce and to distribute the vegetables evenly. Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with scallion tops.