On those rare days when nothing sounds delicious, I turn to make this comforting Chinese Millet Porridge. It’s simple to cook and gentle on the tastebuds making it the perfect breakfast when everything else might just sound too sweet, too oily, or too heavy.
Although most mornings I wake up with a ravenous appetite for an exciting breakfast, the reality is there are days when I just wake up hungry, but without much of a craving. As blasphemous as it may sound, on those days, I probably wouldn’t touch a waffle or pancake even if my dear husband had it all prepared and set out on the table.
When I get into one of those moods, most recipes will sound too sweet or too oily or too heavy, but I still want to eat, so what’s a person to do??
My answer to this nothing-sounds-good problem is this Chinese Millet Porridge recipe! Nondescript mornings still need a proper start, and I manage this through a simple, versatile and healthy porridge.
It is served warm (not hot and not cold) so it’s a breakfast that satisfies any weather and season. You can dress it up to be either savory or sweet because the base flavors are so flexible. And even if I’m not motivated expend too much energy in the kitchen, this Chinese Millet Porridge is easy enough to make that I don’t hesitate to throw it on the stove.
Chinese Millet Porridge can be made either as a runny or thick porridge. I like mine runny enough that it pours off a spoon, but thick enough that you can see the millet poking out the surface.
You can pair your millet porridge with a smattering of side dishes, but I chose smoked tofu and soy sauce scrambled eggs because they are quick to prepare, high in fiber and protein, and vegetarian friendly. If you want to add some meat or more flavor, try serving it up with some dumplings on the side or Chinese pickled vegetables. I always add in sweet potatoes to the millet porridge though, because they add a bit of color and texture to an otherwise bland (but oh so comforting) dish.
In any case, even if I wake up without any cravings, once this Chinese Millet Porridge is on the stove, I absolutely cannot wait to dig into a big bowl of it.
Chinese Millet Porridge (Vegan, GF)
- 1/2 cup yellow millet (95 grams) - rinsed
- 4 cups water (950 milliliters) (see notes)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed into 1-inch (2-cm) pieces
- smoked tofu
- scrambled eggs with soy sauce
- pickled vegetables
- dumplings or potstickers
In a small saucepan, add the millet and the water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will seem very watery at first, but it will start to thicken at the end.
After 20 minutes, stir in the cubed sweet potatoes and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are softened and the porridge starts to thicken.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. The porridge will continue to thicken as it cools.
Serve with desired toppings.
The amount of water can be adjusted to your preference. If you prefer a more watery porridge, add up to 2 additional cups of water.