While brown sugar and cinnamon are all well and good, sometimes your oatmeal begs for something a little different. It asks to be removed of its sugary stereotypes in order to play the savory card.
Luckily oats really are a blank canvas, so they do that exceptionally well, as this salty, umami-rich miso breakfast bowl proves.
The Case for Savory Oatmeal
If you've never tried savory oatmeal before, this is your chance. Sure, there's nothing wrong with the usual sweet toppings, but oats are so customizable that it's doing them a disservice if you strictly limit them to what's expected.
Here, steel-cut oats are simmered in miso-infused chicken broth instead of water, so that rich umami flavor soaks into each groat. Finish each bowl with a fried egg (cooked to your liking, but may I suggest a runny yolk?) to boost its staying power, and a sprinkling of sliced scallions for crunch and color.
Miso Breakfast Oatmeal
Serves 4 to 6
(32 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
red or white miso paste
4 to 6
large eggs, fried
scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Bring the broth to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan.
Place the miso paste in a small bowl. After the broth has boiled, pour 1 cup hot broth into the bowl and whisk until smooth and completely combined.
Meanwhile, add the oats to the saucepan and bring it back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low so that the oats are at a gentle simmer. Add the miso broth and whisk until it is completely incorporated. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the oats are very tender and the oatmeal is as creamy as you like it, 20 to 30 minutes. Do not let the broth boil after the miso has been added.
Serve immediately in bowls topped with a fried egg and scallions.
Storage: The oats, without the egg and scallions, can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The oats will thicken in the fridge; stir a little water or chicken broth into them when reheating to loosen, and garnish just before serving.