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Ssamjang Glazed Cauliflower & Fonio Pilaf

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min Rest Time: 5 min Total Time: 45 mins
Servings 4
Best Season Suitable throughout the year

What is Fonio?

To the Dogon People of Mali, fonio is known as, "the Seed of the Universe," the grain at the root of all existence.

In fonio-growing regions of West Africa today, fonio is served to guests as a sign of honor. It even has a nickname, ñamu buur, “food for royalty.”

Before the agricultural colonization of Africa, fonio had a long and celebrated history on the continent. Fonio has been grown for over 5,000 years, making the oldest cultivated grain in Africa. It has even been found entombed in Ancient Egyptian pyramids, so valued that people believed it should be brought with them to the afterlife.

In West Africa, fonio is good luck charm, and moms are known to put some fonio in children’s bags on the first day of school.

Fonio has been a treasured source of nutrition across West Africa for generations.

In West Africa, fonio is prized by pregnant women + nursing mothers, and often fed as a first solid food to babies. It’s light yet satiating, and chock-full of important micronutrients.

Fonio is a source of complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly and sustain the body with energy throughout the day. It is low-glycemic, making fonio a great alternative to white rice, pasta, or couscous for those watching their blood sugar levels (including people living with diabetes). Fonio is gluten-free, ideal for people with celiac and gluten intolerances. It is also a low calorie-density food. One cup of cooked fonio contains ~140 calories. (One cup cooked brown rice has 210 calories; pasta: 220 calories, quinoa: 222 calories.)

Fonio is a good source of fiber, iron, B-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium as well as antioxidant flavonoids. And fonio is particularly high in two amino acids— methionine and cysteine— which promote hair, skin, and nail growth, and are deficient in all other grains.

Academic research on the nutritional profile of fonio is still in its early days, but we understand that its nutritional composition varies based on variety, soil, and growing conditions.

Fonio has a similar amino acid composition to that of an egg: considered to be the perfect protein.

Source: Yolele

Yolele has been kind enough to let me work with their amazing line of products. Cant wait to create with all the Fonio they sent.

For this one we created a Ssamjang glazed Cauliflower to pair with their chili lime Fonio Pilaf. Garnished with endive and alfalfa sprouts. This one is really tasty and nutritious. Make sure to check out Yolele



  • Yolele Chili Lime Fonio Pilaf ounces 16
  • Ssamjang tablespoons 3
  • Kale cups 1/2
  • Tomatoes cups 1/2
  • Mirin Drizzle
  • Maple Syrup tablespoons 3
  • Vinegar tablespoons 3
  • Cauliflower cups 2
  • Endive cups 1/2 (To garnish and for extra crunch)
  • Alfalfa sprouts cups 1/2 (Garnish)
  • Sesame oil tablespoons 2
  • Coconut Aminos tablespoons 2 (Healthier option for soy sauce)
  1. Prep Fonio

    Fonio is your new favorite grain. Very nutritious as discussed in the description. Be accurate in following the ratio here. In a pot with a fitted lid, coat ½ cup Yolélé fonio well with 1 tablespoon oil. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, stir, cover, and turn heat to low for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let sit covered, 4 minutes.

    I added vegan butter and fluffed it a little bit more. It is good on it's own, especially the chili lime flavor. 

  2. Make Glazed Cauliflower

    Prepare glaze, Combine Ssamjang, Maple syrup, vinegar, coconut aminos and  sesame oil, set aside.

    Cut up cauliflower to florets. Blanch them. If submerging in ice cold water is too tedious for you, you can skip it. You can straight up saute it with lid on. It will steam and help in the cooking process. When cauliflowers are fully cooked pour over your glaze and let the liquids reduce to a syrupy consistency.


  3. Assemble & Present

    Lay Glazed Cauliflower on top of Yolele Fonio.

    Garnish with endive and Alfalfa sprouts. Finish with some Sesame Oil and enjoy.


Keywords: Fonio, cauliflower, glazed
Paolo Peralta