What's for Breakfast?

Green Onion Chex Cereal is terrible, but this recipe for savory miso oatmeal, topped with green onions, is excellent

Oatmeal month continues. See also: overnight oats, baked pumpkin pie oatmeal, and oatmeal brûlée.

During the pandemic, my stepdaughter ordered some green onion Chex cereal from Korea. I'm not a huge cereal fan, but I do like Chex mix — an almost perfect salty, nutty snack — so I figured I'd give it a try. I didn't pour a bowl of it with milk (thank god); I just nibbled a couple from the box. I think I was expecting something akin to the "sour cream and onion" potato chip, and while there was indeed a strong onion flavor, it was also (like so much Korean food) very, very sweet. Kids, the green onion Chex cereal is revolting.

Image credits: Serious Eats, where Jamelle Bouie writes some truly excellent cereal reviews...

One probably isn't supposed to introduce a recipe with an anecdote about gross food, particularly if, as with the oatmeal recipe below, one wants to convince readers to try a savory version of something that — in the US at least — is often thought of as a sweet dish. I reckon the trick here, unlike that god-awful Chex cereal, is to lean into the green onion topping but not add brown sugar or maple syrup, eh?

Savory Miso Oatmeal with Poached Egg

Serves 3

This recipe was adapted from Heartbeet Kitchen. For a good instructional video on how to poach an egg, check out Alton Brown on YouTube.


For the oatmeal:

  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon miso
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped *
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Toppings: chili oil, sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, flaky salt, freshly ground pepper

For the poached eggs:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp vinegar, optional
Image credits: iStock, which amazingly has a stock image of savory oatmeal with an egg and spinach!...


For the poached eggs:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

Stir the vinegar into the water and create a vortex. Crack an egg into a small dish or ramekin and add to the water; repeat for all the eggs, leaving enough space between them in the pot so the whites don’t intertwine. Cook for about 3 minutes (or desired done-ness). Remove with a slotted spool. Dry on a paper towel.

For the oatmeal:

Bring oats, water (or stock), salt, and ginger to a simmer over medium heat. Stir often and cook for 8 minutes, until oats are softened and thickened. Remove from heat, whisk in miso and sesame oil. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped kale and soy sauce, cooking over medium heat until kale is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside. * You could also use baby spinach here, which can be stirred directly into the hot oatmeal to wilt, along with the soy sauce.

Divide into three bowls, topped with a poached egg, sautéed kale, chili oil, green onions, and sesame seeds. ⠀