Sunday, November 3, 2013

Japanese oatmeal with sesame & miso

This riff on miso porridge is one I have been mulling over for a while now and have been working up the courage to try. I knew the hubs would melt over the idea of a savory oatmeal seasoned with miso, as we're always having the savory/sweet breakfast food debate on the weekends. He prefers savory, my ideal is slightly sweet. Our compromise is usually pancakes with fried eggs on the side. But salty miso oatmeal, when my favorite version is a cinnamon-spiced mixture sweetened with a little honey or brown sugar (and preferably some roasted pumpkin thrown in), was going to be all him.
plain yogurt, toasted walnuts, sliced radishes = perfect miso oatmeal stir-ins
However. This recipe blew my socks off. The flavor is stunning, satisfying.  The cool radishes and toasty walnuts, stirred in with a little creamy yogurt on top of the salty oats, are the most delicious combination. The hubs wants to experiment with a poached egg on top, too, though we haven't yet ventured that far (he has done so now, and it is delicious!).

sesame oil toasted oats with miso make a satisfying, flavorful oatmeal
We've also discovered that thinly chopped celery and baby bok choy are very tasty additions. Chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, or dill) and toasted sesame seeds would also be great add-ins. If you don't have sesame oil on hand to toast the oats in the first step, use olive oil or butter instead. But make sure you toast them, it adds a rich, deep flavor to the finished bowl.
miso oatmeal topped with sliced celery and baby bok choy, with yogurt and toasted walnuts
It's going to take many more batches of Japanese oatmeal (as we've started calling it) until I grow tired of it and turn back to the sweeter variety. Trust me, you need to try this at least once. And somehow this seems the perfect breakfast for either the cooler fall whether you Northern hemisphere folks are experiencing, or our hotter, summery days down here in the southern half of the world. Happy November, all. 

Japanese Oatmeal
2 servings
inspired by 101 Cookbooks

3 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/4 cups oats (make sure they're gluten-free if your cooking g-f)
2 cups water
2-3 teaspoons miso (I used shiro/white miso)

A selection of toppings to serve:
2-3 tablespoons plain/greek yogurt
1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

1 thinly sliced large radish
1 5-inch piece of celery, thinly sliced
1 bunch baby bok choy, thinly sliced

Place a medium-sized pot on the stove and bring to medium-low heat. Add the sesame oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the oats, and cook, stirring occasionally to coat in the sesame oil, for about 6-7 minutes, until they have taken on a slight, light golden color and toasted scent. Add the water to the oats and bring to a slow simmer. Cook the oats, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed, about 6-7 minutes.

Place the miso in a separate small bowl, and add a few spoonfuls of the cooked oats to the miso. Stir to combine. Add this oat-miso mixture back to the cooked oats, and stir gently to evenly combine. Taste and add up to another teaspoon of miso if necessary. Remove oats from heat.

Serve immediately with a small dollop of yogurt, the chopped, toasted walnuts, and whatever other toppings you desire (thinly sliced radishes, celery, baby bok choy, etc). 

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