When I was younger, I happened to be one of those stereotypical children who picked at their food, never finished their plates, and on hindsight, were highly likely a headache to moms. Being the youngest of six siblings, much of my [younger] life’s decisions arose from watching and studying my surroundings, and as much as that sounds great in theory, it doesn’t necessary yield positive results on all accounts. The good news is I still owe credit to Popeye (the sailor man, not the fastfood joint) for inculcating my love for eat-them-and-you’ll-grow-huge-biceps spinach, and my mom for inculcating the habit of making my bed every morning simply through a Malay folksong (lepas mandi ku tolong ibu // membersihkan tempat tidurku; ‘after my bath I will help my mom // to make and clean my bed). The bad news is till this day I still mirror my elder sister and meticulously pick out the beansprouts from my mee goreng and mee soto (though I have reasons to believe the vege-loving sister has since grown out of it), and I always either scoop out the yolk from my hard-boiled egg or just eat my way around a runny sunny-side up, all thanks to… errr well, that’s just thanks to my own idiosyncrasy I guess.
Growing up, I’ve learnt to diversify my palate and attempt to either revisit food items (dishes or ingredients) I had, at one point or another, decided to be vehemently against. And whilst I’ve come to terms that I still can’t take any cheese, whole milk nor mayonnaise without the nauseating after-effects, I’ve discovered over the recent years that the “milky, vomit-inducing, porridge-looking thingy” ;– yes, that’s an actual quote from someone I know;– otherwise commonly referred to as oatmeal, is actually far from horrid (when made without milk, of course), and in fact, became a personal favourite breakfast of mine, particularly served sprinkled with cinnamon and adorned with roasted banana slices or fresh green apple wedges. And all thanks to the person who piqued my curiosity with the aforementioned oatmeal description, I’ve gone beyond the nondescript morning bowl to discover one of my biggest breakfast obsession yet.
I guess oatmeal is in part very much like other grains; you either love it or hate it. But if the idea of a plate of warm oatmeal pancakes doesn’t make you want to excitedly jump out of bed early in the morning, I sure hope the homemade strawberry sauce awaiting to slide off the warm slices will entice you enough to do so. Try not to be discouraged by the overnight oat preparation; — these pancakes come together in a breeze, and the overnight work really only ensures you’ve got one foot in, and don’t back out of the wonderful breakfast treat you deserve the next morning. Moist, hearty and flavourful, these oatmeal pancakes may not be as light and fluffy as its traditional counterparts, but with the gentle chewiness of the softened oats complementing the tangy melting strawberry chunks of the slightly sweetened sauce, this breakfast packs a punch like no other.
Oatmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce
(makes about 6 pancakes)
For pancakes: (adapted from here)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
55g unsalted butter, melted but not hot
For strawberry sauce:
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄8 cup water
1 cup diced strawberries
- Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, make the strawberry sauce: In a small saucepan, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar with water, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the diced strawberries, and simmer on low heat for about 15 mins, or until the strawberries have softened and reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Leave aside to cool.
- Remove the bowl of buttermilk and oats from the fridge. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Add the eggs and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.
- Warm a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and grease it with oil or butter. Scoop the batter, about a scant ¼ cup at a time, onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side has browned. Serve warm, with strawberry sauce.