Hold the Cinnamon—Make Green Curry Oatmeal Instead

April 30, 2015

Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a. fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast—because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: Hold the cinnamon this morning and use curry in your oatmeal instead. Really.

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I have a class of food I call blank-slate foods. They’re the genial hosts of the food world, the foods that are so adaptable and easy-going, you can throw almost any ingredient at them and said ingredient will be at home. Foods in this class include pasta, toast, pizza, and rice.

Oatmeal is another one, and not because it’s bland—none of my blank-slate foods are bland if they are good quality. Oatmeal has a distinctive nutty, almost dusty taste—it somehow reminds me of a grandfather in a fuzzy cardigan or a well-loved old book. But it’s a taste that is a chameleon: It can go sweet or savory or somewhere in between. You can take your oatmeal with sugar, fruit, and nuts, or add cheese and bacon, or a fried egg. So, when I was looking for a breakfast food to add green curry paste to (because I spend my time thinking about such things), oatmeal came to mind pretty quickly.

More: Oatmeal that cheats on straight cinnamon with chai tea.

When you have a bite of green curry oatmeal, your mind will do a double take. It’s unexpected, but it works. The flavor of green curry is softened and swaddled by the flavor of the oats, like a fuzzy blanket. A generous sprinkling of toasted coconut and brown sugar really pulls it all together and sparks up the flavor.


Green Curry Oatmeal

Serves 1

1 teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon green curry paste (homemade or store-bought), plus more to taste 
2/3 cup water (or replace half the water with coconut milk, if desired)
1/3 cup rolled oats (you could use steel cut, but you'll have to adjust the cooking time)
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon toasted, shredded coconut
1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emily Vikre

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Antigoni Sander McCloud
    Antigoni Sander McCloud
  • Erin McGrane Curran
    Erin McGrane Curran
  • upinatum
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.


Antigoni S. May 8, 2015
I love gussying oatmeal up in unexpected ways! What a great idea! I also love to use oatmeal as a side dish en lieu of pasta or potatoes with lunch or dinner. Just like you say, it is a perfect blank-slate, open to more pairings than one would imagine!!
Erin M. April 30, 2015
Welcome back to MN!! Love your self description and will be following!
upinatum April 30, 2015
I could live on oatmeal. I crave it. I also crave Thai curry. This recipe looks like a winner.