stir-fried millet with ginger, broccolini + fried egg

You may have noticed a little theme happening around here lately… and it begins with the letter M. You’ll see next month why I’m on a bit of a millet tangent at the moment, but for now lets talk about this beautiful gluten-free grain. If we’re getting technical, it’s actually a seed, native to Western Africa. Nowadays this nutritious grain is grown and eaten by many cultures throughout Africa, India, Asia and increasingly in the Western world. (Australia grows some really great millet, FYI).

If you own my cookbook, you’ll see that millet is something we eat often. From using it as rice and couscous substitutes, to creamy sweet porridge’s and flour. After seeing an ayurvedic doctor during her first pregnancy, my mum began eating the millet and linseed porridge we liked to call bird-seed porridge (recipe is in my book). I never liked it all that much until I revisited it again, as an adult and now I eat it most mornings. Since changing our diets to gluten-free over 6 years ago, millet has been a staple in our diets. It’s one of those grains that seems to have slipped under the radar of the ‘superfood’ touters, which is kinda awesome as it means it’s still relatively cheap to buy! It’s a good source of protein, iron, B vitamins and zinc and has a mild nutty flavour which is easily boosted with simple ingredients. 

On a plane ride recently I watched an interesting little documentary about a remote village in India who, after years of growing and eating rice, were starting to grow and eat millet again, like they had years ago. It was interesting to hear the woman of the village talk about how much more energy they have since they returned to their traditional diet consisting largely of this nutrient-dense grain. With this in mind I thought I’d share a dish that is usually made with rice, but that is equally as good made with leftover millet! I’ve used lovely spring vegetables here, but if you are coming into fall in the Northern hemisphere you could easily use sliced mushrooms or even thinly sliced butternut squash instead.

Other millet recipes you might like:
– Spiced pumpkin + millet porridge (sweet breakfast porridge)

stir-fried millet with ginger, spring veg + fried egg
I’ve used lovely spring vegetables here, but if you are coming into fall in the Northern hemisphere you could easily use sliced mushrooms, broccoli or even thinly sliced butternut squash instead. For a vegan option, omit the fried egg + replace with some fried tempeh or tofu. I buy Kialla organic hulled millet.
Serves 3-4

3 cups cooked millet, preferably from the night before

2 tablespoons olive or virgin coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed and each sliced lengthwise in half
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and sliced in half on a diagonal
1 large handful of sugar-snap peas, sliced in half
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup or unrefined raw sugar
freshly ground black pepper

fried egg + hot sauce to serve, optional

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add oil, garlic + ginger and stir-fry for 15-20 seconds until fragrant. Add broccolini, asparagus and peas and stir fry 30 seconds. Add cold millet, breaking up any small clumps with your fingers as you do. Stir fry to evenly coat the vegetables. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and maple and give it all another big stir. Season with black pepper. Serve millet topped with a fried egg (or two), or with fried tempeh/tofu for a vegan version… and drizzle with hot sauce, if you like.

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  • jaime // the briny
    September 26, 2014 at 12:43 am

    beautiful recipe and photos! I've been putting fried eggs on everything lately; I love how they round out a meal. I just have one question for you–are you successful at eating all the teeny millets with those chopsticks? if so, I'm even more impressed. πŸ™‚

    • emma
      September 26, 2014 at 5:59 am

      Ha! I do believe a spoon came out for the last few grains of millet in the bowl… although I'm sure if I had to I could have eaten them with the chopsticks using the Asian-style scoop and slurp technique πŸ˜‰

  • June Baby
    September 26, 2014 at 1:14 am

    That looks wonderful! Love the use of millet in here, one of my favorite grains. Such a perfect seasonal dish. πŸ™‚

    • emma
      September 26, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Thanks love! xx

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
    September 26, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I've been trying a couple alternate grains, so far love kamut and do not care for amaranth. Love that millet can be used in salty or sweet applications. Millet kind of looks like cous cous in texture to me?

    • emma
      September 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

      Yep, millet is super versatile. I use it in place of rice and couscous and yes, you're right… the texture is similar to couscous. Maybe just a little more bite? xx

  • Tieghan
    September 26, 2014 at 3:41 am

    I love that egg. Such a great meal!

    • emma
      September 26, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Aren't fried eggs great on everything πŸ™‚

  • Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table
    September 26, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Hmm. I believe I made this comment on another millet post of yours, but I wonder if my friend actually worked in the very same village featured in the documentary you saw? It's actually a fairly small world with serendipitous connections, so it just might be!

    • emma
      September 26, 2014 at 5:57 am

      Yes I replied a similar thought to your comment on my last post! Chances are very high that it was the same village πŸ™‚

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 26, 2014 at 6:37 am

    So much colour and I'm loving the simplicity of this! Yum!

  • Rustic Tarts
    September 26, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I've been looking in my local supermarket for millet but so far haven't located it. Will have to put it on the list for a city trip I think, because those recipes look delish.

  • molly yeh
    September 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    ok, i'm convinced. adding millet to the shopping list right now.

  • Patricia Scarpin
    September 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I've been enjoying immensely the millet recipes, since I'm about to cook it for the first time this weekend. This looks so good! I love eggs in just about anything.

  • london bakes
    September 26, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I've only really used millet in baking before so I'm excited to try it in more savoury recipes. This sounds so tasty!

  • Allison
    September 27, 2014 at 2:29 am

    This looks delicious and healthy I never tried millet before until I got your cookbook! On the subject of cookbooks I just ordered Extra Virgin Kitchen from The Book Depository! (Ottelanghi's new book is FANTASTIC)

  • Kelsey M
    September 27, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Wow this looks delicious- I'll have to give it a try with the butternut squash and mushroom version you'd mentioned πŸ™‚

  • Julie Karla
    September 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This looks SOOO delicious! I love millet and definetly need to try this out. I've only used it for porridge, which is the best!

  • Anna
    September 27, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Hi there, I have your cookbook and tried to make the millet porridge and it wasn't working, but then realised I had unhulled millet from the indian shop, how do you cook with unhulled millet because we still have a bag of it or do you need to get it hulled?
    your recipes are delicious and becoming rather popular in our house so thank you.

    • emma
      October 14, 2014 at 3:47 am

      Hi Anna,
      Oh dear, I've done that myself! You need hulled. I'm not actually sure what anyone uses the unhulled millet for, in my experience you can soak it and cook it for days and it still won't soften!?! Maybe if you had a flour mill or thermomix you may be able to grind it into millet meal or flour which can then be used… however I've not had any luck doing that in my blender and would say you'd just be better off to go out and buy some hulled millet πŸ™‚

    • Anna
      October 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Haha at least I know im not the only one! Yes I tried soaking it for 2 days even still didn't really work hah! At least now we know to only buy it hulled. Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Anonymous
      October 14, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Apologies that this comment comes so belatedly, but I'm actually eating a homemade rye bread including some unhulled millet right now! You absolutely cannot cook it the way you'd use hulled millet, but those little seeds are really good for adding crunch and textural interest to dense breads (like homemade sourdough rye, for example). I find they work best in long-fermented breads where they do have a chance to soften up a bit, though they'll remain (pleasantly) crunchy. An option if you're stuck with a bag, maybe!

  • InTolerant Chef
    September 28, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Great recipe, millet is something I really do need to learn more about. X

  • Anonymous
    September 29, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Thanks Emma, I finally got the millet out of the pantry, grabbed your book and cooked a batch. It's delicious. Will now try some of it in your recipes. Btw, you rock!

    • emma
      October 14, 2014 at 3:47 am

      Yay! Thank you! Enjoy xx

  • sherrie | with food + love
    September 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I'm having such a moment with millet in my kitchen lately — this sounds incredible.

    xo sherrie