Malaysian Mushiness

When I was in Malaysia this past November and December, my group had the luxury of staying at a hotel for our first couple of days in-country. The hotel served a fantastic breakfast buffet stocked with a huge variety of foods from local to western dishes, artisan breads, fresh fruit, exotic juices, and more. One of the offerings that I particularly enjoyed was this:

(Yes, that's a class of amazing-tasting fresh kiwi juice in the background. Yum!) It was cool, delicious, refreshing, and felt healthy, if that makes sense. The only problem is, I don't know what it was! It was like a less chunky oatmeal gazpacho, made with a sweet milk. I added in the pieces of dried fruit, but the rest of what you see is as this concoction was served at the buffet. A number of the women on my team fell in love with this, but no one could tack a name on it.

Back in the United States, I wanted to try recreating that dish from my Malaysian hotel breakfasts. I knew that oatmeal was not smooth enough, and I felt dubious about Cream of Wheat. Then I met oat bran for the first time last week and knew that I had found the best candidate. I mixed a serving of oat bran with some skim milk, cinnamon and nutmeg, and Stevia, microwaved it, then let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning I added some julienned granny smith apple and mandarin oranges. Here's what I ended up with:

(Yes, that's a peanut butter-stuffed Medjool date on the side. Yum!) It looks very similar to the Malaysian bowl, doesn't it? I think so. And while I can't really remember if my version tastes exactly like the Malaysian original, it comes close enough. Even if it missed the mark, this mixture was very tasty by its own right, so I'm counting the experiment as a success!

Some changes I might consider for the future are to julienne the apple the night before and let it soak in the fridge, and to prepare a little less apple -- it kind of overwhelmed the oat bran. I also want to try simply letting the oat bran and milk soak without microwaving it at night first. The mixture was fairly solid and very unappetizing looking in the morning, but a few good stirs did it a lot of good. Coconut milk might also be a fun future add-in.

Malaysian Morning Mush
1/3 cup oat bran
2/3 cup skim milk, plus more for splashing

1/2 packet Stevia powder (or sweetener of your choice)
dash of cinnamon
slightly smaller dash of nutmeg

1/4 Granny smith apple, julienned
1/4 cup mandarin orange slices

In a bowl, combine the oat bran, mlik, sweetener, and spices. Mix, then microwave for 1 minute. Remove, stir in the julienned apple, then refrigerate, preferably overnight. In the morning, splash the mixture with milk until it achieves the liquidity of your preference. Stir in the mandarin oranges and enjoy!

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