Miso Oat Porridge Recipe

A simple bowl of toasted rolled oats finished with a bit of miso, then topped with a load of minced chives, walnuts, baby radishes, and a thread of cream. Also, a few snapshots from Los Angeles.

Miso Oat Porridge

I made this for breakfast, prior to a drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles last week, and kept thinking, if I owned a restaurant, it would serve brunch, and this would be the first thing on the menu. It's a simple bowl of toasted rolled oats finished with a bit of miso, then topped with a load of minced chives, walnuts, baby radishes, and a thread of cream. LA was a lot of fun - not too hot, plenty of sunshine, a beautiful sunset wedding. Our hotel was near the central library in downtown, which had an incredible cookbook section to browse. I'm already looking forward to going back. A few snapshots & finds...

Miso Oat Porridge Recipe
Miso Oat Porridge Recipe
Miso Oat Porridge Recipe
Miso Oat Porridge Recipe
Miso Oat Porridge Recipe

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Miso Oat Porridge

Play around with the miso you use here. I used a light white miso. That said, some misos are stronger and saltier than others, simply add miso until the oats are to your liking. The miso acts as the seasoning, no additional salt is needed.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups / 5 oz / 140 g rolled oats
3 cups / 700 ml water
1 tablespoon miso, or to taste

toppings: lots of toasted walnuts, minced chives, shaved radishes, cream or creme fraiche

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the oats, and patiently cook until the oats get well-toasted and fragrant. Stir in the water, and simmer until absorbed. Remove from heat. Place the miso in a separate bowl, and scoop a few big spoonfuls of the oats. Stir well, and then gently, but thoroughly fold this miso back into main pot of oats. Taste, and adjust with more miso, until it is to your liking.

Serve topped with lots(!) of minced chives, radishes, walnuts, and a good drizzle of cream. Make sure it's properly seasoned/salted and all the flavors will come together.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 2 minutes - Cook time: 7 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I have been making miso flavored oatmeal for more than 40 years! Dr. Ozawa, one of the founders of the macrobiotic movement, suggested such an addition to oatmeal in an essay I read. He was quoted by his wife in a cookbook that she wrote. The way it was described in the essay was first you toast the oatmeal in a little sesame oil until it gets slightly golden. You also toast the miso on a fork over a flame so it gets slightly charred. You make a Japanese styles soup stock out of katsuo boshi flakes, bonito flakes. Combine all three and cook gently for about 15 minutes. I generally make it quite soupy and not at all like the traditional American thick pasty oatmeal. I change up the miso, using either red miso or the very dark misos in different proportions. It is incredibly delicious! Just don't overdo the amount of miso. One or 2 teaspoons should do it for a single serving.


Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. I think this is part of your gift--to make me want to try things I never would have matched together. I have a bit of miso remaining, and didn't know what to do with it. AND I just made hot oats and bulgar this morning. SO, tomorrow it's miso and oats etc. I am salivating actually. Thanx.


Lovely savories, there! And those shoes are just perfect.


Savoury oats! When I was a little girl of 4 or 5, my grandfather from England came for a visit. He ate old fashioned rolled oats every morning, cooked simply in water and topped with sea salt (he called it "Scottish-style porridge.") I remember eating mine with milk and brown sugar, and wondering how he could possibly eat salty oats?! That same visit, he taught me how to make capital "A's" on our green chalk board (I haven't thought about that in years and years!)


Drizzle with a bit of your favorite extra virgin olive oil instead of creme.


Sounds so good! Will have to try. Love these photos too-cute shoes!

xo Jen, hope all is well. And hope to see you soon!


Heidi, I thought I had misread this at first, because I couldn't wrap my head around the combo, and then I thought, well why not! Now I can't stop thinking about it. What a cool idea. Love your shoes BTW:)

Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Such a simple combination of ingredients (not to mention healthy) but I would have never thought to put them together. Might see if I can trick my son into eating this :)

Megan T

Loooooove Bottega Louie's !! We had our rehearsal dinner there!


Wow, such an interesting twist on porridge. I haven't had much oatmeal/porridge in my life, but now I feel like I might be missing out on something.


Two of my most favorite ingredients -- miso and oatmeal! So simple, so beautiful. Can't wait to give this one a try. -Emily K.

Emily K. @ Leaf Parade

This entire post is pure magic. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and the recipe is very curious. I can't wait to get my hands on some miso and give it a try! xoxo Sophie


The recipe is inspiring - but I gotta say what I really want to know about are the SHOES! That color! And what is Bottega Louie??? That packaging is fantastic! The marble floor and the gold lettering - love, love, love that picture.

HS: Thanks Heather, BL must been seen to be believed - there's a profile on Remodelista I think. And the flats are Porselli - super comfortable.


This is wonderful -- in the tradition of Middle-Eastern halim, Balinese bubur, congee... which opens a lot of ideas for different toppings.


An inspired recipe and beautiful photography. Very classy Heidi.

Monica McGuiness

I've had these steel-cut oats (http://food52.com/recipes/3123-steel-cut-oats-with-ricotta-pistachios-raisins)for the past two mornings, and am loving the savory combo of pistachios, ricotta and oats. I can't wait to try the miso version!


Oh yum! 2 of my fav foods..ur SO creative Heidi..great pics, as usual, thanks for the inspirations :)

carol spencer

Just wondering--does adding miso add iron to the oats?


Mmm. I just made my first batch of miso soup (not sure what took me so long). A dear friend invited me into her kitchen for some lessons on authentic Japanese sushi, and she whipped up a batch of the soup at the same time. Delicious and so fast. I love the library in Santa Monica. They have a great used book store attached, too, which you will have to check out one of the days. Happy cooking!


The Standard? I nearly killed myself there tripping on the platform bed--but the tub was amazing and I loved the location.

Hah - indeed, and the scene on the rooftop was fascinating. :)


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