Steamed Millet

Millet, a gluten-free grain, is an underutilized grain worth getting to know. Like rice, its variations are endless. Check out the list below for some ideas, such as the effortless polenta.

Make extra and plan to creatively use one pot of millet as the basis for several meals in a row. I say “in a row” because grain is best and most vital when used within 24 hours of cooking. Since refrigeration ruins the flavor of cooked grains and makes the texture gummy, I loosely cover a cooked grain with a cloth or bamboo mat and leave it on the counter and ready for the next meal.

Millet is considered especially medicinal for the digestive system according to traditional Chinese Medicine.

1 cup millet
2 ¼ cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, butter or ghee
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Rinse millet and drain in a strainer. Place in a saucepan, add water, oil and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all water has been allergy absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff millet with a fork and serve. Makes approximately 4 cups.


When the millet is finished cooking, turn off the heat, crack an egg onto the top, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and chopped scallions, cover the pot and the egg will “steam-poach” in 5 minutes.
Spoon hot millet into a shallow pan, smooth the top and allow to cool. Slice into wedges and bake or fry as polenta.
As a side dish, serve freshly cooked millet with a condiment, chutney or sauce.
Stir-fry millet with veggies and a protein of choice, such as cashews, chicken or shrimp.
Shape millet into a croquette with chopped herbs and, if necessary, an egg to bind it and pan fry or bake. Or form into a casserole, top with tomato sauce and bake.
Heat leftover millet with milk, sweeten with honey and flavor with cinnamon for a comforting hot breakfast cereal.

May you be well nourished,

Rebecca Wood

9 Responses to Steamed Millet

  1. Thanks, for the article, it’ll probably help me to resolve my problem with millet! I’m trying to overcome my phobia towards millet, since everytime I look at it I think of it as of birdseeds – tiny hard seeds that can never get soft, something only birds can pick (I know it sounds weird).
    But I’ve been reading a lot about grains lately, and everyone says millet is one of the top healthiest ones. Your article that says millet can be steamed – and steamed thing are always soft. Is it softer than just boiled millet?

    • As you’ll see in this recipe, the millet is boiled and then it “steams” in the pot after cooking. To make a soft grain, increase the volume of cooking liquid.

  2. Rebecca:

    What is the temperature of the oven if I want to bake Millet as Polenta? also if I want to bake as croquette or caserole? This is my first time eating millet.
    Thank you.

    • Yes, soaking the seed of any plant (and this includes: grains, beans, nuts and seeds) reduces their anti-nutritional properties, activates enzymes and makes the food more digestible and flavorful. Be sure to strain out the soaking water and give the millet or other seed a rinse; then (in the case of grains) add a reduced amount of water to compensate for water absorption and cook as normal.

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