Initially my reason for going savoury was to reduce sugar and increase the
amount of vegetables in my diet, and breakfast was the ideal opportunity to do
both these things at once. However, I've since discovered a hidden benefit in
that savoury porridge has a huge scope for variety and
experimentation compared to sweet. I still have sweet porridge from
time to time but I eat it for dessert instead of breakfast.
Thai Soybean Paste Porridge
This stuff is made from fermented soybeans, salt, flour, and sugar. It's a common ingredient in Thai stir fries and dipping sauces so you'll likely see a bottle of it at every street food kitchen. It looks pretty gross but it smells like freshly risen bread dough and my god it tastes amazing. It makes your porridge taste amazing and presumably anything else too. Despite it tasting so good I'm only awarding it a 4 because it's probably loaded with sugar and MSG which I'd prefer to avoid.
Chinese Mustard Porridge
Thankfully it turns out that Chinese mustard tastes nothing like yellow mustard, it actually just tastes like leafy greens similar to young cabbage leaves or kale. It's pretty good in porridge and earns itself a solid 3 out of 5.
Tomato & Thai Basil Porridge
Had high hopes for this one as I love the combination of tomato and basil, but while tomatoes are a great savoury porridge option, fresh basil just didn't seem right to my taste. However, I am using the Thai basil variety which has a slight anise flavour to it so I might try this again with a different kind.
Yard Long Bean Porridge
Disappointingly these things are only half a yard long but despite the false advertising on their size, they do work well in porridge (and I'm not even much of a fan of fresh beans). They're crunch, a little bit sweet, and quick to prepare. Also known as asparagus beans, these are a solid choice for savoury porridge.
Enoki Mushroom & Soy Sauce Porridge
I've had my eye on these skinny mushrooms for a while and today they made it into my porridge. The taste? Not as good as chestnut mushrooms. The texture? Once again, not as good. Long thin things don't work so well in porridge.
Wing Bean Porridge
Interesting shape these things have. Eaten raw they are crunchy and sweet but once inside the porridge they are less sweet and have more of a runner bean taste. The shape and texture was great so I'll probably do this one again soon.
Morning Glory Porridge
Also known as water spinach, this is a popular semi-aquatic Thai vegetable available all over the place in Thailand. The stems are nice and crunchy which is always good in porridge and the leaves have a nice mineral taste. A solid choice for savoury porridge so I'm sure I'll be having this again.
False Pak Choi
The stems of this stuff are crunchy like celery but with more of a fresh taste similar to parsley stalks, while the leaves have that dark green flavour you get with kale. Even though they're both very similar, I'd choose this over baby bok choy.
Baby Bok Choy Porridge
These were great because one is just enough for a bowl of porridge and they have a mixture of crunchy root and leafy greens with a good flavour to boot. I'd happily eat these regularly as long as they are readily available.
Chilli Broad Bean Porridge
Although these crunchy, salty, and tasty beans did go well with the porridge, I won't be buying these again because they are essentially a junk food and I'm not about to start eating such things at all, let alone for breakfast. It was an impulse purchase because they looked interesting.
Pickled Mustard Green Porridge
Picked this stuff up because I had never heard of mustard greens so obviously needed to try them on porridge. They have a subtle peppery flavour which actually went pretty well with the oats. Worth trying but nothing to write home about.
Mackerel and Sriracha Porridge
Mackerel might be my favourite fish so I was looking forward to trying it in porridge but I couldn't really taste it which is probably to be expected considering it's out of a tin. Sriracha works well though so I think it'll be making a reappearance some time soon.
Dijon Mustard Porridge
I admit that I'm not a huge fan of mustard so my rating for this one may be a bit biased, but despite that something just wasn't quite right about this. The combination of flavours here didn't seem to work together so I probably won't try this again unless I suddenly acquire a taste for mustard.
Green Olive Porridge
I'm so glad I tried olives in porridge again after the Halkidiki lemon juice incident because this was a really interesting combination. The olives brought out the creaminess of the oats while the oats brought out the fruitiness of the olives.
They weren't even good quality olives, just supermarket own brand pitted olives in brine with a drizzle of (good quality) olive oil and some black pepper.
I won't bother doing this one again because the cabbage-like taste you get from the swede is inferior to regular cabbage plus it has a boring texture and takes more time to prepare. It's not terrible but it's not worth making again.
Cheddar Cheese & Red Onion Porridge
This was a winner from the first bite, everything about this porridge is right. Ever had a cheese and potato pasty? Well it reminded me of that and it was fucking delicious. It's obvious when I think about it because eating cheese on oatcakes has been a thing for ages so it should be no surprise that this tastes so good.
Nutritional Yeast Porridge
Until this morning I'd only ever used nutritional yeast as an ingredient when cooking so this was the first time I tasted it as the main flavour in food, and I was impressed. It has a subtle savoury flavour which works well with the oats which seemed to get better the more I ate. Certainly will doing this one again.
Felt kinda strange making this one because I'm not a huge lover of Marmite, however I can report that it was pretty damn good! The flavours work well together and once mixed your porridge turns a nice caramel colour. I didn't add any salt or pepper to mine as the Marmite has enough seasoning by itself.
Kidney Bean Porridge
For this one I used dried kidney beans which I'd soaked overnight and cooked that morning and predictably it was quite bland. Beans in porridge is a good idea but if you try this you'll probably want to add some kind of sauce of seasoning.
Halkidiki Olive With Garlic And Lemon Porridge
These olives came pre packaged from a supermarket and although they tasted pretty well balanced when eaten straight from the packet, in the porridge the lemon flavor overpowered everything else. It's my fault for pouring in the juice which had collected at the bottom of the tub.
Carrot & Coriander Porridge
Fresh coriander makes stir fries and salads taste amazing so why not try it in porridge? Unfortunately this one didn't work as well as I was expecting because there is too much of a contrast between the oat flavour and the coriander. It's not bad but there are plenty of better ways to eat your fresh coriander.
Chestnut Mushroom Porridge
No frying pan or garlic butter to be seen this morning as today we are going with raw chestnut mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper. I actually enjoyed these more than the garlic butter ones because they have a better texture as well as adding great flavour. Plus they're faster to prepare with is always a bonus.
The colour of this porridge is crazy, it's so bright and vibrant it feels as though you're eating highly processed kids junk food cereal instead of a perfectly healthy breakfast. It's very sweet too, so sweet that I'm not sure if it counts as a savoury porridge? However, I enjoyed it and can recommend it.
Espresso & Almond Porridge
Could this be the top breakfast hack of all time? Could combining your coffee and porridge collectively save mankind enough time each morning to solve world hunger and cure cancer? Probably not because it only tastes like coffee for the first few bites so you'll still want a regular coffee afterwards.
Tuna & Sweetcorn Porridge
A classic sandwich filler combo gets its highly anticipated debut appearance on savoury porridge, and it's good! I used about a third of a tin of tuna in brine which was more than enough to give good flavour, and the sweetcorn is just the standard frozen supermarket type. I got the feeling that it was the salty tuna rather than the corn making it taste good but either way this was a winner.
Caramelised Onion Porridge
Making caramelised onions is an easy job but it takes ages, and if you go to the trouble of making some I can't recommend you put them in your porridge. They don't taste bad but all the flavour of them vanishes into the oats so it becomes a waste of good onions.
Peri Peri Pepper Porridge
Who can resist a tasty slice of alliteration for breakfast? That was my main reason for trying this recipe and it's as good a reason as any. The pepper was fried in olive oil and peri-peri seasoning while the oats were being nuked. The taste was pretty good but this was mostly down to the peri-peri as the pepper didn't lend much flavour.
Potato & Celery Porridge
These two humble vegetables combine to make one of my favourite ever soups so I was keen to see how they tasted as a porridge. I was surprised to find that the assertive after-taste of the raw celery was mellowed out by the flavour of the oats.
Combine the interesting taste with the great value, convenience, and superior crunch of raw celery means that this one is way better than I expected it to be.
This turned out how I hoped the cucumber porridge would turn out: nice chunky bites of courgette with the skin giving them some crunch and good colour to boot. I'm not even a huge fan of courgette but despite that I'll be doing this one again. It was served raw with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Grilled Broccoli Porridge
Grilling or lightly charring your broccoli is the best way to get a load of flavour out of it, but for some reason all that lovely flavor vanished once it mixed with the porridge. It was as though the taste of the oats and the taste of the broccoli cancelled each other out. Disappointing.
Pea & Mint Porridge
The problem with eating mint flavoured food for breakfast is that it feels like you're eating a bowl of toothpaste. If only I'd discovered that before this morning then I might have enjoyed this one a bit more?
Peas are hugely convenient, cost effective, and taste pretty good in porridge so I can recommend this one as long as you leave out the mint.
The porridge recipe nobody asked for, nobody wanted, and nobody should bother to make because it tastes as bland as you expect it does. It also has nothing in the way of calories or fibre so adds nothing to your breakfast other than a bit of texture.
Spicy Sweet Potato Porridge
As I sat eating this I realised I was technically eating curry for breakfast as the sweet potatoes were roasted with Garam Masala. I then realised that I was eating roast potatoes for breakfast making two culinary firsts in one morning.
The sweet potato flavour works well in porridge but I could have done without the curry aftertaste. My original plan for this recipe was to use turmeric which I think would have turned out better.
Tomato & Oregano Porridge
Very good, certainly one of my favourite porridge recipes so far. It's so simple that I'm not sure why I didn't try it sooner? Ultra quick to prepare too, just shop up a fresh tomato and throw on some dried oregano with a glug of olive oil and you're done. I'll be eating this again soon for sure.
Five Spiced Bean Sprout Porridge
This was an interesting one to try but probably won't be doing it again because the shape of the sprouts isn't ideal as they hang over your spoon like chopped spaghetti plus they don't have much flavour in them.
Speaking of flavour though, the five spice and soy sauce which I added while frying the sprouts worked pretty well with oats so these ingredients will be explored further.
Rocket & Radish Porridge
Never bought radish in my life until the other day when I noticed them on discount at Tesco and realised that "Rocket & Radish" is a great combination of words and that I should try eating it for breakfast.
Despite the hastily planned recipe, this was really fucking good!. It's surprising how much flavour you get from just a few radish and a small handful of rocket and how well it goes with the taste of the oats. Plus it's crunchy and colourful so a win all round.
Saute Potato & Spinach Porridge
I've had half a bag of cheap supermarket frozen spinach in the freezer for ages which I rarely eat because I'm not a huge spinach fan, but this porridge might possibly change my mind because it was pretty good.
The potato was a red skin variety which had been cooked a couple of days before which I lightly fried in olive oil. I don't think this step was necessary though so next time I won't bother.
Garlic Butter Mushroom Porridge
This works for sure but there is plenty of room for improvement. The taste of mushrooms and oats go pretty well together and as for the garlic butter, what's not to like about that?
I just think it needs something else because although it was good, it wasn't as good as mushroom omelette or mushrooms on toast. Pretty sure that I'll be having mushrooms in porridge again some day once I've thought of something else to put in there with them.
Never really appreciated the taste of avocado until recently, but my tastes must have changed over the years because these days I'm all aboard the avocado hype train. I like it on toast, partly to maintain my millennial stereotype but mainly because everything tastes good on toast.
But does it taste good on porridge? ...No not really. It's not bad but it's just a waste of a good avocado if you ask me. Get that shit on some toast where it belongs.
Miso Porridge with Spring Greens
This was one of the first combinations which really felt right. Half a teaspoon of miso is all you need to give plenty of umami flavour and the spring greens have all the benefits of Savoy cabbage without that white core which I'm not so fond of.
Stick a fried egg on top for extra flavour. The taste of the miso goes so well with the egg and combined with texture of the oats it kinda feels like I'm eating a giant bowl of scrambled eggs. I happily ate this one for weeks before venturing on with my quest.
Pesto Porridge & Spring Greens
I had such high hopes for Pesto porridge but ultimately I found it disappointing. Pesto seems like such an great choice because it's well priced, easy to store, and comes in a jar so you can just spoon it out into your bowl before you nuke it. Plus I love pesto and welcome any opportunity to eat more of it.
Pretty sure the main reason for my disappointment was that I used the shitty supermarket pesto that comes in a glass jar instead of the good stuff that you get from the chilled section. Glass jar pesto usually disappoints me but for some reason I thought it would be different when used in porridge, guess I was wrong.
Red Cabbage Porridge with Fried Egg
Love the colour and taste of red cabbage so I thought this would be great and the addition of a fried egg was inspired by some guy in Thailand serving up an impressive looking bowl of rice congee.
Tasted pretty good but when the red cabbage combined with the yellow egg yolk it turned the chunks of egg white green which I didn't like. Eggs should only be green if you happen to be Dr. Seuss.
Savoy Cabbage & Carrot Porridge
Thing I love about the Savoy is the lovely deep green colour and the interesting texture of the outer leaves. At first I was gently frying the cabbage in olive oil then adding it to cooked porridge with raw diced carrot but I later found out that it tastes more or less the same if you just slice some up and let it cook in the water with the oats which saves washing a pan.
Diced carrot works well too as it has great color and I do like a bit of a crunch in my porridge. Plus carrots are crazy good value for money and don't require much faffing about to prepare.
Roasted Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Porridge
I was already eating this combination with my scrambled eggs so it seemed like a good place to start on the savoury porridge quest, but it wasn't as good as I hoped. The sweetness and acidity of the tomato just didn't seem to work with the flavour of the oats.
As for the cucumber, it was OK but didn't have the same crunch as you get when eaten with scrambled eggs. Diced cucumber works surprisingly well with eggs but not so great with porridge. You live and learn.