the taste space

Savoury Oatmeal with Goji Berries, Nori and Ponzu Sauce

Posted in Breakfasts, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on June 9, 2011


When you eat alone, you may eat things that are odd. Cereal for dinner? I did that one too many times while in university. So quick and easy!  Unless you are making steel cut oatmeal, regular or quick cooking oatmeal falls into the same category: quick and easy meal. Since exploring savoury oatmeal for breakfast, I didn’t think twice about whipping up a batch of oatmeal after coming home from Vancouver and then again for breakfast the next day. I was craving something warm and homey, after eating a lot of raw foods last week.

With Vancouver still on my mind (the sushi capital of Canada), I decided to spice up my ponzu-flavoured savoury oatmeal with strips of toasted nori and goji berries. Seemingly odd ingredients, but all hailing from somewhere in Asia, it worked really well together! The goji berries plumped up nicely and offered a hint of sweetness with some chewiness. The nori brought a comforting sushi-flavour to the dish, the citrus from the ponzu was light and refreshing and the quick-cooking oatmeal was slightly lumpy, but in a good reminds-me-of-rice kind of way.

I have been experimenting with more unusual ingredients lately: maca, delicious! Carob, yup. And now goji berries. Can I blame Tess’ new cookbook all about superfoods? Perhaps… but blame isn’t the right word, praise is more like it. :)  While I also believe that common fruits and vegetables are superfoods with all their vitamins and minerals, it is nice to spice things up with new ingredients. Taste is the most important, though, which is something I will never sacrifice (the health benefits of goji berries may be overstated).

But let me share a secret: these wacky “superfoods” don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Even seaweed (nori, etc) and dried mushrooms can be expensive at health food stores. However, people have been eating seaweed and goji berries for years. Head to where they are native to find cheap supplies – and no, I don’t mean China. Head to Chinatown or your favourite Asian grocery store (Sunny!). Here, goji berries may be labelled as red medlar, though, which is why they have gone under my radar until now. Goji berries are so much cheaper, only a buck or two, whereas I know Whole Foods charges a lot more.

While goji berries are a bit lackluster straight from the bag – they taste like a tart cherry in the guise of a dried raisin – they are much better once they are plumped up in the oatmeal. Because they aren’t cloyingly sweet like most dried fruit, this paired well with the savoury nori and ponzu sauce.


This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring berries.

Savoury Oatmeal with Goji Berries, Nori and Ponzu Sauce

2/3 cup water (try dashi for something even more flavourful!)
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1/6 cup goji berries
1 sheet of nori, toasted and torn into thin strips (I use the [unflavoured] roasted pre-shredded nori)
1 tbsp ponzu sauce

1. Bring water to a boil over high heat.

2. Once boiling, add in quick cooking oats and goji berries. Stir until your desired consistency. Since these are quick cooking, it will take around 3 minutes so hang around close to the stove.

3. Drizzle with ponzu sauce and top with toasted nori slivers. Consider mixing well. I like the wilted nori!

Serves 1.

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11 Responses

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  1. Joanne said, on June 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Experimenting with new ingredients is definitely at LEAST half the fun of cooking! I love how you went all Asian and savory with this oatmeal! It sounds like a gustatory experience that i’d love to try!

  2. Aarthi said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..

  3. Priya said, on June 10, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Omg, wat a wonderful bowl,goji,nori i never thought of adding them along with oatmeal..fantastic..

  4. Nancy said, on June 10, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    this sounds really interesting! I like breakfast porridge topped with gomasio and olive oil, which is quite savory as well. Love the use of ponzu here, too.

  5. Tammy McLeod said, on June 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Wow. I’m off to get some goji to try this. I love ponzu!

  6. Johanna GGG said, on June 13, 2011 at 7:21 AM

    wow I love this take on savoury oatmeal – I have nori sheets in my pantry that don’t get much use so maybe I need some savoury oatmeal with some a top – never heard of ponzu – I think your words of wisdom about buying where the natives buy is quite right – we are lucky in melbourne to have some great ethnic food stores

  7. Ashley said, on July 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    What an interesting oatmeal creation! About goji berries, one of my friends went out and bought some at a place like Whole Foods, came home and showed her mom, her mom told her they already had some in their house and were much cheaper (she’s Chinese). It’s ridiculous how much non Asian grocery stores charge for them!

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  9. […] and carrots, stirred in some nutritional yeast and miso and I was in heaven. I’ve done the savoury oats thing before, but I had forgotten how lovely it was. Plus, I never ate it for dinner, with the […]

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  11. […] here. So much so that I am sad I cleaned out the last of them… and trying very hard not to run back to Chinatown to buy some more. Must. Resist. Buying. New. […]


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