First, the cereal. Preferably Rice Krispies. Then a slow, steady stream of milk, oppressively submerged in all kinds of “krackle and pop.” Finally, a dollop of Aunt Jemima’s syrup. Health in a bowl, of course.
This was my go-to breakfast as a kid. I loved cereal. On occasion, my mom would treat me to an egg sandwich – a fried egg and two strips of bacon between crustless Chinese toast. But it always fell short of filling me with the deep satisfaction I got from a bowl of sweet syrupy cereal. God, how did I live past age twelve?
My nutrition-less breakfasts had the ultimate makeover when Po-Po introduced me to her elixir of youth - black sesame oatmeal - which she’s eaten every day for the last thirty years. While traditional oatmeal toppings include dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and maple syrup, Po-Po’s version contains egg, ground black sesame, milk, and honey.
However unconventional, the ground black sesame won me over. Oatmeal is the perfect canvas for sesame’s nutty, roasty flavor. Sesame is rich in vitamin E, which healthy skin craves. Importantly, it delays aging and regulates pooping. Isn’t that the balance we all strive to achieve?
I wasn’t always a fan. At first glance, the oatmeal with its grayish hue looks like Medieval prison gruel. But Po-Po successfully convinced me to give it a shot, by telling me it’s her secret to keeping white hair at bay. While that that isn’t completely true (she dyes her hair in the shower), I’ve learned to adopt it as part of my morning routine – or ritual, rather.
Black Sesame Oatmeal 芝麻麦片
Because why not? In my book, it’s black sesame everything.
Makes 1 serving
½ cup oatmeal
1 cup water
1.5 tablespoons black sesame
1 egg, beaten
1 – 2 tablespoons honey
Bring water to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oatmeal. Stir until oatmeal is cooked. Add black sesame. Stir until combined. Beat in egg. Add honey.