But back to savory oatmeal. I had never thought about eating savory oatmeal, the concept just never crossed my mind. But there's nothing inherent with oatmeal that makes it a sweet dish, it's neutral. In my fanaticism for oatmeal, I check out any recipe I can find for oatmeal/porridge and I follow a few blogs (Oatgasm, Oatmeal Artist, etc.) that are solely about oatmeal. Yep, I'm totally obsessed. And in my explorations, I found mention of savory oatmeal. Hmm... interesting idea. And this Serious Eats post by Mark Bittman about savory oatmeal with scallions and soy sauce caused a big kefluffle. Some people were absolutely disgusted, while others reminisced about the savory oatmeal dishes of their childhood. And others, like me, were intrigued and willing to give it a shot.
Cooking It Up
For a few months I've thought about the concept and looked up recipes for inspiration, but yesterday I finally mustered up the courage to try it. I had several batches of pre-made plain oatmeal in the fridge, so if it was disgusting I had a fallback plan to throw out the gross experiment and try again with a sweet oatmeal or something from the pantry. I didn't want to try this on a weekday morning for breakfast since it would take longer to make, so I whipped it up at home over my regular lunch hour at home.
My plan was to go with Asian flavors since we've got a lot of Asian ingredients (seasonings, sauces, etc.) and few other fresh ingredients. I sauteed some sliced mushrooms, added some spinach, garlic and onion powder. While that was cooking, I added soy sauce to the pre-cooked oatmeal until it tasted like the right amount and heated it up in the microwave. I used a flat bowl (we call them pasta bowls) because I was going to add a soft-cooked egg on top.
|Mixing in soy sauce|
|I swear there's an egg under all that!|
VerdictI liked it well enough, but my first attempt wasn't thrilling. I had to add several more drizzles of soy sauce on top because I hadn't seasoned it much. I was busy browsing Pinterest while eating so I wasn't paying too much attention, but I should have added some spicy Korean bean paste, miso, or sriracha for an additional layer of flavor. I'd like to take another shot at savory oatmeal but try making it completely from scratch so I can season the oatmeal when it's cooking and adding more flavorful toppings.
I do have to say that it was really filling. I had only a little something else with lunch (don't remember what, but it wasn't much) and I was satisfied for the entire afternoon.
So I dare you to try savory oatmeal and let me know how it goes. Here are some inspiring links from my bookmarks.
- Martha Stewart savory oatmeal with a soft-cooked egg
- St Louis Post-Dispach The secret side of savory oatmeal
- Tea & Cookies Curried oatmeal with caramelized onions
- Penny De Los Santos sexed up savory oatmeal
- Serious Eats Mark Bittman's savory oatmeal with scallions and soy sauce