Stir-fried steel cut oats with vegetables! Its a fast, easy, gluten-free and vegan meal. Soak the oats ahead and the recipe comes together in minutes.
As you may have noticed, I am fond of creating grain-free recipes here at powerhungry. But I still enjoy cooking and eating a variety of whole grains, especially in unprocessed form.
I am particularly beholden to oats. Perhaps it is an ancestral pull (lots of Irish and Scottish roots in my family tree), or perhaps its simply because they are so delicious, satisfying, and versatile.
Savory, Stir-Fried Steel Cut Oats
I realized it has been a long time since I shared a steel cut oats recipe, which is surprising, since I eat them so often! One of my favorite ways to prepare them is also one of the easiest: stir-fried. Specifically, soak the oats, drain, and then stir-fry for 5 to 7 minutes. The taste and texture is similar to brown rice, but with (1) a nutty flavor, and (2) no stickiness.
I guarantee that this easy Asian stir-fried oats recipe will convert you from rice to oats!
Soak the Oats Ahead of Time
The oats are very fast and easy to make, but they do require some advance planning to soak the oats. It literally takes one minute of prep: place 1 cup of dry steel cut oats in a medium bowl and cover with water (there should be about 1 inch of water above the oats).
Drain the oats 4 to 12 hours later. I recommend a fine mesh sieve over a colander, as the some oats can escape through the holes of the latter (let no oats go to waste! :)).
The oats will more than double in volume (about 2 and 1/4 cups total). Further, you can store the drained oats in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for about 48 hours before using.
When you’re ready to cook the oats, you’ll need roughly 3+ cups of chopped vegetables. I used 6 ounces of mushrooms (quartered or halved, depending on size), 1 cup of peeled diced carrots, 1/2 of a large red bell pepper, and 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar snap pieces (halved crosswise).
For aromatics, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, and 2 green onions, sliced. The white parts of the green onions are cooked with the ginger and garlic and the green parts are stirred in at the end.
Cook the Vegetables
Heat 2 teaspoons of toasted (the dark fragrant variety) sesame oil (OR water or vegetable broth) in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
Add any of the vegetables that are very hard (e.g., carrots. Broccoli is another example of a hard vegetable); cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and the white parts of the green onions; cook and stir 1 minute longer.
Add the remaining teaspoon (5 mL) oil (OR water or broth) to pan along with the remaining vegetables. Give them a quick stir (to coat them with the oil) and cook for 1 minute.
Now, add the drained oats, 2/3 cup water, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste) to the skillet.
Soy-Free Soy Sauce Alternatives
If you do not wish to use soy, you can use one of several alternatives.
The first option is coconut aminos (a coconut based soy sauce alternative; brands include Coconut Secret and Thrive Market).
Coconut Amnos can be difficult to find in regular grocery stores (except in the health food section). Instead, look for them online, or in natural food stores.
The second option is soy-free “soy sauce” made from seaweed (brand: Ocean’s Halo).
I happened to stumble upon this in Wal-Mart, of all places. It is pretty amazing! It also seems more readily available, at least in my small Texas town vicinity, and is reasonably priced, too (roughly $3.50 for a 10-ounce bottle).
I digress! Back to the oats.
Cook and stir the oats and vegetables for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the water is absorbed, the vegetables are crisp-tender, and the oats are plump. The oats should have a consistency similar to cooked brown rice.
Be sure to scrape up the bottom of the pan (a metal spatula works best) as you cook and stir, in order to get all of the “fried” goodness at the bottom of the pan.
Just before serving, stir in the green parts of the green onions. I like to add some sriracha, too, but it’s up to you.
Leftovers are scrumptious, but rare. Perhaps make a double batch! 🙂