Thursday, July 14, 2011

Asian Sesame Millet Stir-Fry

Last weekend, you could have caught me chasing around the light in our backyard as the sun was setting; my camera around my neck and this dish in my hands.  I didn't intend to post this recipe, but as I started making this for dinner, was really happy with how it was turning out.  A quick taste and I knew I had a winner.  I quickly plated it and ran outside with my camera to capture this one.  I think you'll be happy I included it here.  The sauce really won me over.  Garlic, fresh ginger, sesame seed oil, honey, and soy sauce are at work.  It's paired with slightly tender but still crisp fresh vegetables.  I came home from my CSA pickup and put my vegetables to good use.  It reminds me of a takeout dish I often crave, but this version is even better.  There's no driving involved, it's easier on my wallet, and a whole lot healthier.

I've used a bed of millet here to rest the vegetables and sauce.  Millet is a whole grain with a mild nutty flavor.  It has a creamy consistency, almost like that of mashed potato, yet fluffy like rice.  It's the primary grain in much of Asia and has crept into my pantry once I learned of it's nutritional profile.  It's just starting to gain some popularity.  High in protein and fiber, it's an ideal energy source.  It cooks up in the same amount of time as rice, but it's a nice change in flavor and texture.  I've topped this dish with sesame seeds.  It's bright, colorful, and sure to please.  I bet my neighbors are all still wondering what I've been up to in my yard.  Maybe I'll have to share this dish and explain.     

~Asian Sesame Millet Stir-Fry Recipe~

1 cup millet
3 cups water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 summer squash, sliced
1 small red pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 lb snap peas (approx. 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1" piece of fresh ginger, diced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp cornstarch disolved in 1/2 cup water
1 tsp sesame seeds

Rinse and drain millet.  Add millet to saucepan with water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  While millet is cooking, prep all your vegetables.  Chop the squash, red pepper, and carrot.  Remove stem ends of snap peas and string down the middle.   Remove the skin of the ginger with the back of a spoon and dice, along with the garlic.

You'll need two small bowls.  In the first bowl, whisk combine soy sauce, honey, and sesame seed oil.  In a separate small bowl, whisk and dissolve cornstarch in water.  Keep these handy by the stove.

Heat olive oil in wok or large pan over medium heat.  Add in squash, red pepper, carrot, and snap peas.  Cook for about 5 minutes before adding the ginger and garlic.  Cook for another minute or two. You want the vegetables to remain tender but crisp.  Add sauce mixture to the pan, combining it with the vegetables.  Pour cornstarch and water mixture over top.  Cook for about 2 minutes more, until the sauce starts develop a slightly syrupy/thick consistency.  

After millet is finished cooking, remove the lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Now, you can fluff the millet with a fork and add to a serving dish.  Add vegetables to the top of the millet and pour the sauce down over the top.  Top with sesame seeds.  Serves 6.


Anonymous said...

Oh my, asian flavor combinations of honey, soy, ginger and sesame are always so delicious! I really want to try this out now. And I love how you used millet instead of just rice or brown rice-- I would have never thought of it before, but it looks fantastic. Thanks for deciding to share this!

kyleen said...

That looks like such a delicious dinner and a lot less greasy than take-out. What does millet taste like; does it taste like quinoa?

Stephanie Skoog said...

Millet has a mild flavor-almost nutty. It will take on the flavors of what you are cooking it with. In this dish, you taste the flavors of the sauce first. The millet has a soft consistency against the crispy vegetables.

Epicurea said...

gorgeous photos and vegetables and love the idea of millet in asian-themed food!

Stephanie Skoog said...

Thanks so much!