You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Toasted Sesame Savory Porridge

with shiitake mushrooms and kale

Story by The Cupboard December 13th, 2016

Savory porridge is one of my favorite breakfasts. I first discovered this flavor/texture combination at Bartavelle in Berkeley. They have an incredible savory 5 grain porridge topped with sesame oil and a soft egg. My mind was blown. It was salty, flavorful, and rich with sesame aroma. Highly recommend! This recipe certainly was sparked from this initial meal, but I've added in a few ingredients to take the flavor deeper, specifically with the miso and nutritional yeast, and adding in vegetables (because who doesn't feel good after eating vegetables for breakfast?!).

This recipe is not only delicious, but super nutritious. Miso is fermented and therefore great for the digestive tract and promotes stomach acid secretion (key in optimal digestion). Nutritional yeast is a great source of B vitamins, protein, folate, and zinc. Shiitake mushrooms are high in iron, vitamin D, B vitamins, and promote optimal immune and cardiovascular function. Kale of course is a powerhouse, from its' calcium and magnesium content to its antioxidant properties. Nori is a fantastic source of iodine, minerals, protein, and supports optimal function of the thyroid.

Fun fact I learned from a cousin of mine (and later researched): if you place your mushrooms in the sun, they continue to absorb vitamin D, which then you benefit from through eating them! Yum and yay!

*A note on the recipe: I've gotten some feedback that after mixing in the miso paste, the porridge will be a bit more watery than intended. I've removed the water from the miso paste recipe portion and think this will help in getting better results. Also, make sure your porridge doesn't have excess water content, which means cooking it a bit longer or leaving the lid off during the last 10 min or so to let excess water to evaporate. Hope this helps! Please let me know if you made it, how it came out for you!

Personal not-so-guilty tip: I'm usually pretty hungry when I wake up and waiting the 2 hours before I can eat something can prove to be a challenge. My solution? I set my alarm, get the grains cooking, then go back to sleep - I know, brilliant. Because there's nothing better then when you wake up and realize you can sleep just a little longer - and then waking up again to an almost ready breakfast.

On to the recipe...



Yields 4 servings | Cooking time is 90 - 120 minutes | Hands on time is 20 minutes

3/4 cup Steel cut oats

1/4 cup Whole oat groats*

1/4 cup Brown rice or another grain such as rye or wheat berries*

1 cup chicken bone broth, or vegetable broth

2 cups water, 1/2 cup more if needed

6 medium shiitake mushrooms, or about 2 1/2 cup sliced

2 medium shallot, or about 1 cup sliced

8 kale leaves, or about 3 cup sliced

1/2 tbsp oil (chicken fat from broth, ghee, coconut oil)

4 tbsp nutritional yeast

4 tbsp miso paste, I've used red, but any will do

2 tsp + 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, split

Pinch of salt and black pepper


Soft boiled egg

Sprouts, I've used pea shoots

AO Nori flakes

Gamasio or toasted sesame seeds

Extra nutritional yeast

Toasted sesame oil

Toasted seeds/nuts



  1. Soak the whole oats, brown rice/other grain over night. In the morning strain and rinse.
  2. Cook the grains: In a double broiler add in the grains and steel cut oats with the bone broth and water. Bring to a boil then reduce, cover, and cook for 90 minutes (or up to 2 hours). The water in the lower sauce pan should be at a constant soft boil, so I tend to have the flame midway between low and medium. Every so often stir, adding water if necessary and continuing to cook. I like my porridge on the creamy side so I'll cook it closer to 2 hours. Porridge should be thick and a bit sticky. If porridge is watery, take the lid off and let it cook longer so excess water can evaporate. See note above*
  3. Flavor paste: In a bowl combine the miso, nutritional eat, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp water. Set to the side.
  4. Boil egg: Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Add in however many eggs you'd like and set the timer for 7 minutes (the yolk will be a little undercooked). Strain and add the eggs to a bowl filled with cold water and set to the side.
  5. Sauté: When the porridge is almost done, thinly slice the mushrooms and shallots; Tear or roughly chop the kale. Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or skillet pan. Add 1/2 tbsp of oil, wait a moment before adding the shallots, sauté for a few minutes until translucent, then add a pinch of sea salt. Add the mushrooms and the sesame oil. Stir once and let the mushrooms cook undisturbed. After 3-4 minutes stir again. Fold in the kale and let cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  6. Toppings: Peel the eggs and gather the other toppings.
  7. Stir and serve: When the porridge is done, stir in the miso-yeast paste. Taste and make any adjustments. Divide into 4 bowls and top with whatever pleases you. I love mine topped with all of them! Bring on the flavor!
Footnote: Nutrition info from WHFoods,, and Dr. Axe
San Francisco, CA