Millet, along with farro, quinoa and wheatberries, has become the new trendy grain. Even Bon Appetit is featuring millet in a gluten-free pancake recipe. Truth be told, it took me years and years to eat millet again. It was THE FOOD that I ate daily during my 2 + years in the Peace Corps. It's not that I didn't like the flavor, it's just that eating the same food over and over again got old. Of course, my adoptive family in the village of Illakitan in Niger didn't have the luxury of "options".
This blog post hits the tail end of Peace Corps week 2014. I'll take this opportunity to say that my life's path was shaped by my service and by the amazing people I met and shared meals with.
Millet Scallion Pancakes
Adapted from Bon Appetit, serves 8
- ¾ cup millet, uncooked
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced, divided, plus more for serving
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cook millet in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15–20 minutes; drain, shaking off as much water as possible. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, Sriracha, and ¼ of scallions in a small bowl; set sauce aside.
Whisk eggs, sour cream, milk, cornstarch, sesame oil, and 1½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Fold in millet and ¾ of scallions.
Working in 3 batches, heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add heaping spoonfuls of millet batter to skillet, press to ¼” thickness, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side; transfer pancakes to a paper towel–lined plate.
Sprinkle pancakes with more scallions and serve with reserved sauce. Pancakes can be kept warm in a low oven (170 F) for approximately 30 minutes before serving.
The first time I made these pancakes we enjoyed them as an appetizer, and they are great as a stand-alone. The second time, we had them as a side with stir-fried pork tenderloin, and they were just as good. They make a fantastic bed for Asian flavors.