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 yeast, goji berries, nori and ponzu sauce and a savoury oatmeal that I would eat for dinner with vegetables, miso and nutritional yeast.
NATURALLY BREWED SOY SAUCE (WATER, WHEAT, SOYBEANS, SALT), WATER, SUGAR, VINEGAR, SALT, BONITO EXTRACT (FISH), LACTIC ACID, LEMON JUICE, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, NATURAL LEMON AND ORANGE FLAVORS WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS, SUCCINIC ACID, DISODIUM INOSINATE, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, SODIUM BENZOATE: LESS THAN 1/10 OF 1% AS A PRESERVATIVE.
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. :(
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.
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.