Saturday, November 2, 2013

Intermediate Microwave Technique and More Savory Oatmeal Variations

Yup, I'm still groovin' on savory oatmeals, every day. Here's what I've been into most recently: lightly salted oatmeal with spinach, a dash of white pepper, and topped with a drizzle of sesame oil, fried shallots (using prepared fried shallots you can find at southeast Asian grocery stores), and a quick soft-cooked egg. A pinch of curry powder is optional and also good. Check out my recipe below.

My process with oatmeal and the egg is done with time efficiency in mind since it's my breakfast before work every day. The oatmeal takes advantage of my "pro-est oatmeal tip", and I cook the egg using an intermediate microwave technique which I'm finally going to blog about now! I didn't before because, well, it doesn't necessarily look the prettiest, and I'm guessing many of you will be leery of using the microwave for eggs. But the results are good, quick, easy, and easier to clean up by far than cooking an egg separately on the stove.*

Basically, setting the power level of your microwave at some level below its default maximum level, you can safely cook food as delicate as an egg. Yes, that's what that "Power Level" button is for! Generally, you'll be able to set the level in increments of 10%. So power level 1 is 10% of the max level, 2 is 20%, etc. If you have a 1000W microwave, power level 1 gives you 100W, and so on. The thing is, microwaves differ in terms of their wattage, so you'll have to look on the inside walls of your microwave to see what its wattage is (something like 800W, 1000W, 1.60 kW, or whatever it happens to be). And of course, at a lower power level, you need to set a longer time.

*I did try cooking the egg in with the oatmeal for a while, which is even simpler as far as equipment involved, but I didn't like the results.

[Update: plastic wrap is unnecessary. Don't bother! Unless you're still testing the timing and are worried about an exploding egg.]

Savory Oatmeal with Spinach and Fried Shallots
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup (50 grams) rolled (old fashioned) oats
~4/5 cup (200 grams) water

~1/3 cup plain soymilk
~1/4 tsp salt, adjust to taste
large handful of spinach

dash of white pepper
(optional: pinch of curry powder)

sesame oil
fried shallots
  1. Add oats and water to a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium-low heat. Let it cook until some of the water has cooked away and the oatmeal is starting to “bubble” (little pockets of air will be escaping, but you won’t see bubbles since the water level will be below the oatmeal level).
  2. Add soymilk and salt, stir to mix into the oatmeal, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add spinach, white pepper (and optional curry powder), stir in and cook until thickened to your preference (cook longer for thicker oatmeal).
  4. Pour oatmeal into a bowl, drizzle with sesame oil, add soft-cooked egg, garnish with fried shallots, and enjoy.

Microwave Soft-Cooked Egg

1 egg
~1/3 cup water

1.    Add water to a ramekin or small microwave safe bowl and crack egg into the bowl. Lightly salt if desired.
2.    Microwave for around 3 minutes at about 400-500W power level.**
3.    Drain water, and you have your cooked egg.

** You’ll have to figure out how to set the power level on your microwave and experiment a bit to get a sense of what power level and timing gets you what level of doneness for the egg. The 1-10 setting should correspond with 10-100 percent of the maximum W of the microwave (hence, power level 4 on a 1000 W microwave would be 400 W). This is, of course, also affected by the amount and temperature of water added and the temperature of the egg when it’s put in to microwave. If you need a specific doneness, then you’ll want to nail down all these parameters.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.
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