5-Ingredient Savory Oatmeal (Chinese-Style)

5 from 9 votes
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This savory oatmeal is simmered with chicken stock until creamy, topped with runny eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and chili oil, and finished up with crispy fried shallots. The dish is so easy to put together and the combo creates a bold taste with a beautiful texture. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Savory oatmeal in a bowl

Savory oatmeal is one of those things you may never have tried before. But when you finally do, you’ll wonder where it has been all your life. This is not your run-of-the-mill oatmeal with a pinch of salt. You can see from its vibrant bursts of color that this is just about the most decadent and exquisite yet down-to-earth breakfasts you can get. And it only uses five ingredients.

Oats, like rice, can be cooked in chicken stock. They absorb flavor marvelously. The thick, chunky nuttiness of the oatmeal goes so well with the spicy, fragrant seasonings and hot, silky egg yolk.

Savory oatmeal with runny eggs and fried shallots

Cookings notes

1. Homemade chili oil

Chili oil is optional here, but I think it’s a fantastic way to take your oatmeal game to the next level. In fact, this oatmeal is great any time of day – it even satisfies those late night snack cravings. Drizzling a little homemade chili oil over a bowl of oats provides the wholesomeness of breakfast and the excitement of dinner in one. If you’re not so hot on spice, sesame oil gives oats a smokiness that takes them over the edge.

2. Fried shallots

Additionally, a little sprinkling of fried shallots is an absolute must for me. Egg and onion are staple flavors of Asian cuisine. And crispy shallots really add something extra to this dish. A popular condiment in Asia, fried shallots are lightly crisp, savory, and just the right amount of sweet.

You can buy a huge jar of fried shallots at an Asian market or on Amazon. We always have a jar in the pantry because they literally make everything taste better.

But if you don’t want to go to the trouble of hunting down fried shallots, French’s fried onions will do the trick and you can find them in a regular grocery store.

3. Runny eggs

You can cook the eggs whichever way you like. Poached, fried, or boiled. They all work great.

If you want to make perfectly poached eggs, here are some tricks.

  • Use very fresh eggs. Only remove them from the fridge when you’re ready to cook.
  • Boil just enough water to cover the egg, 2” (5 cm) or a bit more, until simmering.
  • Add vinegar to the water, which helps the egg coagulate faster. Do not add salt, which will break up the eggwhite.
  • Crack the egg into a small bowl. So you can lower the egg into the pot and add it gently into the water.
  • Stir the water with a spatula in a circular motion to create a swirl right before adding the egg. It helps the eggwhite to coagulate evenly around the yolk.
  • Once the eggs are cooked to your preferred texture, use a slotted spoon to fish them out, and remove the thin bits of eggwhite to make the final product perfect.

How to make poached eggs

It takes some patience and work to make poached eggs, but they make your oatmeal bowl look very fancy. Again, feel free to use soft boiled eggs or fried eggs if you want to save some time.

Savory oatmeal topped with egg close-up

Afterthoughts

Having lived in the US for almost 5 years, I’ve started to cook more and more American food at home. But sometimes, I love to add some Asian elements to create a comforting taste that reminds me of home. Taking a US breakfast staple and putting an Asian spin on it, I’m very pleased with how this savory oatmeal turned out.

What is your favorite breakfast food? Leave a comment to let me know!

More delicious breakfast recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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5-Ingredient Savory Oatmeal (Chinese-Style) | This oatmeal is simmered with chicken stock until creamy, topped with runny eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and chili oil, and finished up with crispy fried shallots. This breakfast dish is so easy to put together and the combo creates a bold taste with a beautiful texture. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

5-Ingredient Savory Oatmeal (Chinese-Style)

5 from 9 votes
This savory oatmeal is simmered with chicken stock until creamy, topped with runny eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and chili oil, and finished up with crispy fried shallots. The dish is so easy to put together and the combo creates a bold taste with a beautiful texture. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos to replace soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese Fusion
Keyword: comfort food
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine the rolled oats and chicken stock in a small pot. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat or until it reaches your preferred texture. Transfer to serving bowls.
  • Poach the eggs in a large pot of water. Alternatively, you can pan fry them or use soft-boiled eggs.
  • Top the eggs on the oatmeal. Drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with green onion. For an extra boost of taste and texture, add chili oil (or sesame oil for a non-spicy dish), and sprinkle with fried shallots (or fried onion).

Notes

  1. The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 4 servings generated by this recipe without the chili oil and fried shallot toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 233kcal, Carbohydrates: 29.6g, Protein: 12.2g, Fat: 7.6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 164mg, Sodium: 1279mg, Potassium: 247mg, Fiber: 4.3g, Sugar: 1.7g, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 3mg
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5-Ingredient Savory Oatmeal (Chinese-Style) | This oatmeal is simmered with chicken stock until creamy, topped with runny eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and chili oil, and finished up with crispy fried shallots. This breakfast dish is so easy to put together and the combo creates a bold taste with a beautiful texture. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Carlos says:

    I’ve made savory oats out of necessity.
    One time I found a bag of oatmeal in an asian market that had a picture overeasy egg on it as a serving suggest – near complete meal.

  2. Lilo says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Thnx for sharing!

  3. dm says:

    5 stars
    We made this for breakfast and it was fantastic. Added dried onions to the oatmeal while cooking. Added Vietnamese chili sauce on top. Wow. Great meal!

  4. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    This is probably my new favourite breakfast, thank you!!

    • bree says:

      Can i meal prep this? If yes, how long can I keep it?

      • Maggie says:

        I think you can. I would use boiled eggs instead of poached just so they stay longer in the fridge. You can even use soy eggs: https://omnivorescookbook.com/chinese-soy-sauce-eggs/ They are easy to make and stay well in the fridge for days and delicious
        I wouldn’t assemble it with the liquid ingredients and will add them when you’re ready to eat them. You can easily store the seasoning in meal prep sauce container.

  5. Hayley says:

    I made a close variety to this and it knocked my socks off! So damn good! I did 1/2 T of gochujang paste instead of chili oil. I used some fried garlic from the Asian store I had on hand and fried my egg. I also added some sautéed kale and mushrooms. It was awesome

  6. Sally Emerich says:

    5 stars
    My oatmeal has always been on the savory side, but this is wonderful. A real rib sticker.

  7. Sally E says:

    5 stars
    My oatmeal has always been on the savory side, but this is wonderful. A real rib sticker.

  8. Michael says:

    5 stars
    Honestly, hands down the most delicious and easy thing I’ve cooked in recent memory. I didn’t have chili oil so instead I took the vegetable oil I fried my shallots in and poured it over some chili paste while still hot and it got the job done (the extra aroma from the shallot oil was killer). Thanks for this amazing recipe! Already shared it with friends and family.

  9. Nya says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I’d never really had much oatmeal before in my life (let alone savory oatmeal), and I was soooo pleasantly surprised! I didn’t have chili oil, but some sesame oil and a bit of spicy fried garlic (from a local ramen shop) did the trick. I was also too lazy to poach an egg, but there was something about watching the yolk seep out of a soft boiled egg that just made my morning. My husband and I loved it!

    One mistake I made was letting it simmer at too low a temperature, I think. It wound up taking much longer than 10 minutes and turned out a bit more liquid-y than I wanted my oatmeal (it was a bit more like congee, actually). Next time I’ll try for a bit higher to make it thicker 🙂 Thanks for the recipe, Maggie!

  10. Liz says:

    5 stars
    Wow I never thought savoury oatmeal would actually taste so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  11. Pamela says:

    I’m going to try your version! I’ve been making a savory oatmeal for more than 30 years but I have been using a Japanese dashi broth and miso. Chicken stock and soft cooked eggs with chili oil sounds out of this world wonderful!

  12. Jodie says:

    5 stars
    So delicious!
    I’ve had savoury porridge before and this is hands down the best I’ve ever tried, it exceeded all expectations.
    I added ginger and garlic to the porridge and topped with mushrooms, bok choi and mangetout. I also switched the egg for peanut butter to make this recipe vegan and it was a bomb combo.
    I’ll be making this instead of ramen as it’s way healthier and just as quick and tasty! Thanks so much for the recipe 🙂

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