Savory Japanese Oats

Savory Japanese Oats

“It’s a little too sweet. I’d like it better if it wasn’t so sweet.” “…Classic Grace.”

It’s a common dialogue between my friends and I. It’s also why I rarely order cocktails off a pre-made menu. Why I always opt to add my own sweetener to my yogurt. Order my coffee black. And prefer to make my own granola and salad dressings and desserts.

I don’t trust others to sweeten my food because it always turns out just “a little too sweet”! My friends would disagree with me on this. And I will agree to disagree, on most occasions.


I’m not one of those puzzling non-dessert people. In fact, my sweet tooth can get a little out of hand sometimes. (Cue the disappearance of 1/2 of a dark chocolate bar  after intentions of only eating one square). But I do prefer everything on the bitter side. That means dark chocolate vs. milk. Froyo vs. gelato (a frequent trigger of that quoted dialogue above). Espresso vs. lattes. Beer vs. cocktails. Etc.

I love sugar. Just not in dominating amounts. Which means you’ll rarely find me ordering oatmeal at a restaurant because you’ll rarely find a restaurant serving oatmeal without sugar being the commander of its seasoning. (A spoonful of sugar’s needed to make the oatmeal go down? Some friends would agree with that too.)

Savory Japanese Oats

Often, I don’t want my oatmeal sweetened at all. My new obsession is savory oats, and if you haven’t tested this out yet, I recommend giving it a try.

Going the savory route creates a breakfast that feels so fresh and energizing, it’s hard to turn back. I know soy sauce on oats, and scallions too, might sound strange, but trust me on this one. It’s unique in all the right ways.

Purple Sweet Potato

Unique, kind of like purple sweet potatoes. Are these not gorgeous?! They’re totally worth the splurge at the grocery store if you can afford it, and also find them. To me, that smile that will come after piercing their just-baked skin and seeing their vibrancy is worth it alone.

Purple Sweet Potato

Yes, I play with my food sometimes.

Japanese Savory Oats

Here, the sweet potato adds a little sweetness that pairs well with the heat of the Sriracha and bite of the onion. Sesame and toasted nori continues to infuse the delicate oats so that each bite has a profusion of complimenting flavors. You could easily fry up an egg (or soft boil) and throw it on top for another dimension. Regardless, you’ll end up with an incredible, no-sugar-need bowl of oats that no one will say is “too sweet” and that everyone will say is pretty fantastic. And energizing, too.

Savory Japanese Oats

Yield: 2 servings

A savory and nourishing take on oatmeal that will have you re-thinking the way you take your morning oats. Adjust soy sauce and Sriracha to your individual taste, and feel free to add a fried or soft boiled egg on top.


  • Pat of butter or oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 small sweet potato, baked and diced
  • 1 lg. spring onion, diced
  • 3-4 sprigs of parsley, stripped and chopped
  • 4 squares of wasabi seaweed snacks (could also use 1 toasted nori sheet), crushed
  • Soy sauce, to drizzle
  • Sesame oil, to drizzle
  • Sriracha, to drizzle
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until butter begins to brown. Add oats, and cook until edges begin to brown and a toasty aroma is exuded, stirring regularly. Then add 2 cups of water. Cover and bring heat to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook 10-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and oats are tender.
  2. When oats are finished cooking, divide among two bowls. Drizzle each with soy sauce. Add 1/2 sweet potato to each bowl, and drizzle the sweet potato with toasted sesame oil. Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top (spring onion, parsley, seaweed, Sriracha to taste, and sesame seeds). Serve.

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    Mary M. Martinez
    March 21, 2016 at 10:34 am

    MMM! This sounds so delicious and healthy too! I love Japan food and can’t wait to try out your recipes using your paste!

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