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Is savoury oatmeal disgusting, and what rum goes best in vegan rum and raisin ice cream?

After always discovering food trends about three years after they've passed, so I was delighted to find out that savoury porridge (that's oatmeal to you if you're on the other side of the Atlantic) is still Officially A Thing.

I'd been mulling for a while if savoury oatmeal (that's savoury porridge to you if you're on this side of the Atlantic) would be amazing or disgusting. After a quick bit of Googling, it seems that a lot of people think it's worth sticking down their necks. I decided to join them.

I thought I'd Japanese it up, because I love Japanese food, really. Instead of making it with soy milk like my breakfast porridge, I used konbu dashi and a bit of soy sauce. Once it was cooked through, I stirred in some asparagus, spring onions, as well as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and topped with sesame oil.

The verdict? Yeah, pretty good. It's not something I'd want to eat for breakfast, but I could go a bowl at lunch every now and again. Bonus points for being something I could cook in the microwave at work.

Mind you, it loses some of those bonus points for reminding me a bit of my first, last and only bowl of congee to date. I had my first taste of congee, another type of savoury porridge but made with rice, it reminded me a bit of what I guess eating snot would be like. (Nope, in case you were wondering, I've never tried it, but thanks to congee I was force to use my imagination on the subject.) Anyway, savoury porridge reminded me of that.

Is that just psychological? I eat porridge almost every morning, but it doesn't have that snotty texture. Is it the made with water vs made with milk thing? Someone call a porridge scientist, the not knowing is just eating me up.

Talking of eating it all up, this was more like it. Where you're from, fish tacos might be normal fodder, but I decided to break my duck on a vegan version.

There's some VBites fish style fingers in there, with some carrot, maybe some avocado and some leaves, I guess.

And, for bonus points, some Mexican style summer greens. I'll be honest, I'm not sure what summer greens are, but I guess they're just spring greens that overstayed their welcome - not that I'm complaining, it's nice to have some UK-grown irony greens. (US types, are spring/summer greens a bit like an Old World collard greens?) Anyway, I tried to Mexican them up with a bit of cumin and oregano, and probably a load of hot sauce.

More UK grown wonderment in the form of rhubarb! I love rhubarb's tart flavour and eye-stinging pink colour. It sings health and taste and as it's dangerously cheap at the moment, I'm stuffing my face and you can't stop me. 

Roasted rhubarb covered with custard - what could be better than that? I mean, lots of things - world peace, a lottery win, Trojan ska - but what could be better than that and still fit in a little tiny ramekin?

I did wonder if I could turn into into a rhubarb and crème brûlée by shoving a snowdrift of sugar on top and leaving it under the grill. Reckon that would work? I chickened out of doing it because I thought I'd a 50% chance of getting rhubarb crème brûlée and 50% chance of getting sugary rhubarb and custard covered in shards of broken pottery.

I decided I was too attached to my soft palette to risk it, so I went for the safe option and enjoyed the rhubarb and custard. It was lovely hot and lovely cold the next day too. Excellent work, rhubarb.
Another flavour I always think of as being very English is rum and raisin. Whenever I was a kid and we'd go on day trips to the beach, we'd always get an ice cream. My dad would always get rum and raisin, which me and my brother would pronounce as disgusting and have vanilla or chocolate instead.
A few decades later, I kind of think my dad had a point. Rum and raisin is one of the best ice cream flavours you can get. Chocolate, sorry, I've moved on. Vanilla, you're dead to me. The sad thing is that rum and raisin doesn't seem to be a thing any more in omni world, let alone in vegandom.
Which leaves you with only one option, right? Vegan soft serve! Note to self: there are very few things that can't be solved with vegan soft serve. So: rum and raisin. First, soak your raisins in rum for half an hour or so. Chuck one frozen banana in the blender with a splash of milk. When all is suitably blended, stir in your rummy raisins. Stir, put it all into a dish and pour over more rum.
And because I love you guys, I've tested this out extensively and I can report that the rum you need for this is Stroh. You're welcome.

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  1. Savory oatmeal = snot. Ha ha! Such a great analogy! I think I'll stick to adding cocoa powder and call it a day. ;)

    Rum and raisin soft serve sounds pretty amazing! Perfect for summer weather.

  2. I actually like savory oatmeal but I use steel cut oats so for me it's more like risotto. Sweet or savory, I make the porridge part the same way, just the toppings are different. And the Japanese flavors are a great idea! As a long time eater of congee which I know as jook, I've not encountered the snotty texture but I've only ever eaten homemade jook. :-)

  3. I want to put more stuff under my grill than I am ever brave enough to do but rhubarb and custard sounds just right for our wintery weather. As for summer greens, I am never sure what spring greens are so I would just lump them all in the mystery bucket. I have tried savoury porridge and it was alright but I am worrying that my porridge eating days are behind me as I find it hard to face only a few years after I finally learnt to like the stuff! It reminds me more of glue than snot but perhaps that is because I saw some show (probably a kids one) where they tried to use porridge for glue!

  4. I've never tried savory oatmeal because it freaks me out! I'm sure it's totally psychological. Is the texture that different from eating loaded mashed potatoes? I mean really? I have to say that your flavor profile was spot on though. If I were to try savory oatmeal I think I'd want it to be made like yours! Double the seeds :)

  5. I've done some extensive testing of savoury oatmeal, and I can say for certain that the best combo is peanut butter, tamari, rice vinegar, chillies, and a ton of fresh grated ginger and fresh coriander. Add some steamed broccoli and you have perfection!

  6. I'm sort of intruiged by savoury oatmeal but a bit scared too, yours looks and sounds nice though. Rum and raisin ice cream is one of my faves though so I'm totally up for giving that a try!

  7. I've tried the savoury oatmeal from Oh She Glows, which is basically oats, stock and lentils topped with hummus/sun dried tomatoes/avocado/olives. I didn't think I'd be able to stomach it for breakfast, but it was really good!


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