When I first heard of savory oatmeal, it sounded quite peculiar to me. I am glad that I gave it a try because it was actually very tasty. It was not surprising that I ended up really liking it because I also love congee which is a savory Asian rice porridge. What is also great about savory oatmeal is it is heart-healthy. Oatmeal is known to lower cholesterol. This recipe uses whole grains so we are hitting all the healthy high notes here!
As for me, instead of eating this for breakfast, I have been having it for lunch. It is now my new WFH (Working From Home) lunch favorite. It is so fast and easy to cook which makes it convenient to make while WFH in between emails and meetings. A bowl of this savory Asian oatmeal is so comforting and perfect for the cold winter days.
Most likely, you already have the ingredients in your pantry. This recipe is also very versatile that you can add your favorite vegetable or protein. Just imagine a hot creamy oatmeal topped with sauteed mushrooms, fresh spinach, fried crispy garlic, seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil drizzled with chili oil (for heat, only if you want). With all of these, the textures are amazing!
I did not include measurements in my recipe because this dish can be cooked by feel. It really depends on how much soy sauce, sesame oil, fried garlic, fried egg etc you want in your oatmeal. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for number of servings you need. Make it for your lonesome to enjoy or make a big pot for the entire family!
SAVORY ASIAN OATMEAL
- Whole grain quick-cooking rolled or steel cut oats (not the instant kind in packets)
- Broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
- 1 tablespoon oil or more for frying
- Garlic, sliced
- Mushroom, sliced
- A bunch of fresh spinach or frozen spinach
- Egg(s) for frying
- Soy sauce to taste
- Sesame oil to taste
- Chives or green onion, chopped
- Pepper to taste (optional)
- Chili oil (optional)
- Combine broth and oatmeal in a pot. Follow cooking instructions on the oatmeal container based on the desired number of servings. Cook until oatmeal is creamy yet still firm.
- Place a bunch of washed fresh spinach (or frozen spinach) on top of the oatmeal during the last minute or two of cooking before turning off the heat. The steam will continue to wilt the spinach leaves.
- Put oil in small frying pan.
- Fry garlic pieces in oil until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
- Fry the sliced mushrooms using the same oil the garlic was fried in until brown and tender.
- Fry egg until egg yolk is custardy and set.
- Ladle oatmeal in a bowl once it is cooked.
- Drizzle with low-sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce and sesame oil according to your taste.
- Top with mushrooms, fried garlic and chives or green onions.
- Top with fried egg.
- Add pepper according to taste.
- Drizzle with chili oil (optional).
- Mix the toppings with the oatmeal until the flavors are combined.
- It is important to use whole grain rolled or steelcut oats. Please do not use instant oatmeal in packets. I tried it the first time and the porridge was too mushy and watery. Instant oatmeal does not provide the nice firm bite that you will want in your porridge.
- Instead of water as recommended by oatmeal manufacturer, use broth.
- Fry the garlic pieces in low heat. Do not turn your back! Those garlic pieces will turn into charred black pieces within a matter of seconds! (Just believe! LOL!)
- The fried garlic is a must to bring this porridge to the next level! Add the oil the garlic was fried in for more savory garlicky flavor.
- You may put soft-boiled eggs instead of fried egg. However, I love the texture of crispy fried egg with creamy yolk that it adds to the porridge.
- Please let me know what else you add to make this savory oatmeal more yummy.