janet @ the taste space

Savoury Oatmeal with Vegan Ponzu Sauce

In Breakfasts, Favourites on December 4, 2012 at 5:45 AM

One of my biggest challenges was to ditch the sweet breakfast during my sweetener-free challenge. Until I realized I used to eat a savoury breakfast all the time.

Flash back two years ago and my favourite breakfast was oatmeal with ponzu sauce and flax seeds. I know it sounds like the oddest combination, but I loved it. Savoury oats for breakfast.

Yet somehow, I seemed to skip over posting my most repeated recipe in lieu of other savoury oatmeal concoctions: soy sauce and nutritional yeastgoji berries, nori and ponzu sauce and a savoury oatmeal that I would eat for dinner with vegetables, miso and nutritional yeast.

Flash forward two years and I still have a bottle of ponzu sauce. OK, OK, it is not that old (I think!). Anyways, I turned it over and was not that thrilled with the ingredient list:


Forget the sugar and preservatives, but it isn’t even vegan! Oopsies!

So I ventured to make my own homemade vegan ponzu sauce, without all the fluff… and the fish. My recipe is adapted from Taste of the East. The core is a base of tamari (sadly, Braggs couldn’t compete) along with juices from both lemon and lime. Yuzu is more traditional but even I can admit that I have never seen yuzu for sale. While I don’t think ponzu sauce tastes fishy, a dashi flavoured broth is created from arame and added to the ponzu. I skipped mirin, a common Japanese sweet rice wine, not only because I am challenging myself to go sweetener-free, but also because I thought it tasted fine without it. I tried it with less tamari, but found it lacking without it. Since I only use 1-2 tsp for my oatmeal, I find a little goes a long way.

While I typically eat steel-cut oats, I treated myself to some extra thick rolled oats. Pillow soft, it worked well with the ponzu sauce. More as a textural contrast, and also for its health benefits (omega 3s, lignans and fiber), I added flax seeds. I highly prefer yellow or golden flax seeds which are more mild tasting than brown flax. However, to unlock flax’s prowess, freshly grinding them is the way to go. Otherwise, they may not be absorbed at all. 😦

This is my submission to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Elena.

Savoury Oatmeal with Ponzu Sauce and Flax Seeds

1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
1 tbsp ponzu sauce (see below), or to taste
2 tbsp golden flax seeds, ground if possible

1. In a medium pot over medium heat, bring oats and water to a boil.

2. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until it reaches your desired consistency (5 minutes, or 10 minutes if you are using the extra thick rolled oats).

3. Drizzle with ponzu sauce and sprinkle flax seeds overtop prior to serving.

Serves 2.

Vegan Ponzu Sauce
Adapted from Taste of the East

2 tbsp arame, crumbled
1/4 cup just boiled water
3 tbsp low-sodium tamari
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp peeled and minced ginger
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch chile flakes

1. Boil your water and add to arame for 15 minutes or so in a small cup. In a small saucepan, combine the tamari, rice vinegar, ginger, lime juice, lemon juice and chile flakes. Heat sauce over low heat. Once ready, add the arame and its liquid to the saucepan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce can be prepared in advanced and refrigerated until needed.

Makes 1 cup.

  1. This really dots all the “I’s” and crosses all my “T’s” in a breakfast. I usually eat oatmeal but am tired of sweet oatmeal and suddenly I am able to choose a savoury version? Bring it on! Cheers for enlivening my future breakfasts and for giving me back a savoury choice for a change 🙂

  2. I can’t believe you made your own ponzu! Actually, I can. ;). Love this bowl. Rolled oats are my go-to. The chewier texture is delish!

  3. Thank you x a million for the homemade sauce recipe! I have such trouble finding healthy sauces like these:) Have a great week!

  4. What a cool idea. Love ponzu. Must try.

  5. I’m so glad you posted this, I had never thought of savoury oatmeal until I saw a recipe just recently and have been trying to think of a way to try it for dinner .. I’m excited to try out one of your recipes!

  6. It’s crazy the places you can find fish sauce! It’s everywhere! LOVE that you made your own ponzu…definitely bookmarking this for the future!

    • Thanks, Joanne. Yeah, it is scary how fish sneaks into so many Asian things. Rob has two Thai curry pastes that are off-limits because it has shrimp paste in it. I actually have allergies to shrimp, beyond it not being vegan. 😉

  7. Homemade ponzu! That’s amazing! In my late teens, I went through a months-long phase of plain cooked quinoa flakes with tabasco and nooch for breakfast. The flax might give more staying power than my version did!

  8. Wowza! Isn’t it so frustrating that you think something is simple and vegan and then you read the ingredients and realize they have all sorts of hidden stuff in there. ARG! This would be a great way to eat my Mila too!

  9. What a lovely meal! I’ll have to try this! So funny how you can completely forget about a favourite meal for so long- happens to me all the time!

  10. The round up is on line, thanks!

  11. […] bonito or make your own ponzu blend (Forks Over Knives has one on their site, and my friend Janet has one on hers) to easily veganize it. I love the bright, acidic and slightly sweet flavors, as well as all of the […]

  12. […] buy a few packages of mushrooms without any plans. This time, I wanted Asian flavours and made my vegan ponzu sauce as both a marinade for tempeh and then quickly stir-fried some snow peas and shimeji mushrooms. […]

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