Millet Porridge

Ah, the simple pleasures of life. There is nothing more comforting, to me, than a bowl of plain millet porridge (小米粥), served with Chinese condiments such as pickled “cai xin” or mustard greens, braised peanuts, fermented tofu & meat floss. This type of simple homely food is my ideal type of meal.

See Also:

This recipe covers two methods of making millet porridge – the traditional stove top method as well as the rice cooker method.

Millet Porridge Recipe

Millet Porridge Recipe

I love to add wolfberries (Taiwanese style) and/or flavour it with fried shallots and shallot oil. If you don’t have any side dishes, just serve the porridge plain with Chinese condiments and you have a meal ready.

Related Recipes:

Millet (小米)

This is a close-up of millet (小米). To me, they look like couscous or bird seeds. This tiny “grain” is actually a seed. Millet is gluten-free, largely considered as a complex carb (great for weight-watchers) and packed with vitamins & minerals. It is easily digestible, so the porridge is perfect food for toddlers, elderly and those recovering from flu.

Millet (小米)
In Singapore, I saw the the 1kg vacuum-sealed pack (see above) at Sheng Siong supermarkets, Mahota Market and NTUC Finest.

Millet Porridge Recipe (Stove-Top)
Method 1 (stove-top). The cooking method is similar to cooking porridge. Add rinsed millet and water in a big pot. Bring to boil and lower heat to a simmer. In the early stages of cooking, you will see some foam gathering on the surface so if that bothers you, use a skimmer to discard the foam. Stir regularly, scraping the bottom of the pot with a silicon or wooden spatula or ladle as pictured above, so that the millet will not stick to the bottom of the pot. It is recommended to keep the pot uncovered during cooking, as the water boils over easily. The porridge is cooked in about 20 to 30 minutes. You can cook longer if you want a more gooey, more congee-like consistency.

Millet Porridge Recipe (Rice Cooker)
Method 2 (rice cooker). Omg, the rice cooker is such a BIG convenience. You need a multi-function rice cooker with the “Porridge” feature. Add washed millet and water to the rice cooker. Set to “Porridge” and cook. When the porridge is done, stir it with a ladle. The rice cooker method is a huge time-saver as you don’t have to watch the stove at all. Even if I want to make flavoured millet porridge, I use the rice cooker to make plain millet porridge first, then transfer it to a pot on the stove to cook with various ingredients and seasonings.

Millet Porridge Recipe

This recipe covers two methods of making millet porridge: simmering over the stove-top and using a multi-function rice cooker. This recipe multiples well if you wish to make more porridge at a go.


  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) millet (小米)
  • 1 litre water (stove-top) or 750 ml water (rice cooker) top up with more water whenever needed

Garnishing Suggestions (Optional)

Serving Suggestions

  • braised peanuts
  • pickled “cai xin” or mustard greens
  • fermented tofu cubes, pork floss


Wash millet in a few changes of water until the water runs quite clear. Drain the water.

Stove-Top Method

Add washed millet and 1 litre water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, until the millet grains are tender but still intact. Skim the foam with a mesh strainer in the early stages of cooking (optional). Stir the bottom of the pot regularly. Cook longer if you want a thicker & more congee-like consistency. Top up with more water whenever needed during simmering.

Rice Cooker Method

You need a multi-function rice cooker with the “Porridge” function.

Add washed millet and water to rice cooker and set to “Porridge” mode to cook. During the early stages of cooking, skim the surface foam with a mesh strainer if desired. When the millet porridge is ready, stir the contents with a ladle and top up with hot water if the porridge is too dry. “Keep Warm” until ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions

  • Sweet millet porridge – Add sugar to each bowl of porridge, to taste.
  • Savoury millet porridge – Add wolfberries to the pot of cooked millet porridge while it is still hot. Serve with Chinese condiments such as pickled lettuce (“cai xin”), fermented tofu and braised peanuts. Garnish with chopped spring onions and/or fried shallots & shallot oil.