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  • Writer's pictureCoach Kat

Vietnamese Coconut Oatmeal with Ginger Syrup and Candied Lemon

Prep warning: This recipe calls for setting overnight so plan accordingly. Recipe recreated from Diep Tran's dish.

If you want to impress the family around the holidays, this is the breakfast (or brunch) to do it! Considering the sugar content and fat from the coconut cream, this is not a daily dish but you can easily find ways to alter the recipe for everyday.


6 cups oatmeal, 1 cup ginger palm sugar syrup



  • 3-inch knob of ginger, divided

  • 1 ½ tablespoons palm sugar

  • 2 cups coconut cream

  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

  • 2 cups steel-cut oats, rinsed (gluten-free is possible)


  • ½ cup palm sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon good vanilla extract


  • ¾ cup Meyer lemon peel, sliced or diced, soaked overnight in 1-quart water

  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice

  • 1 cup sugar

  • pinch cardamom

TOPPINGS (optional):

  • Toasted cashews (or a nut butter)

  • Toasted sesame seeds

  • Marmalade

  • Toasted coconut

  • Quince paste

  • Pomegranates



1. Add oats to a large pot of cold water. Stir to loosen the starch from the grains and let them soak for 10 minutes. Stir once more after 10 minutes, then drain into a colander. Using clean water, repeat the soaking and rinsing process once more. Set the colander of oats aside to drain while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.

2. Using the microplane, grate the ginger to make 2 tablespoons grated ginger. Add 1 tablespoon of the grated ginger to a mortar. Set aside the remaining grated ginger.

3. Add the palm sugar and 2 tablespoons coconut cream to the mortar. Using a pestle, muddle the ingredients to combine.

4. Transfer the palm sugar-ginger mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the drained oats, the remaining coconut cream, and 2 cups water to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

5. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Soak the oats overnight and they’ll be ready by breakfast time. The oatmeal keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.


1. Add the palm sugar, ½ cup water, and the remaining grated ginger to a saucepot.

2. Over medium heat, bring the pot to a boil, stirring occasionally to melt the palm sugar. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, then take the pot off the heat. Add vanilla. Stir to combine.

3. Set aside the syrup to cool. Once the syrup is cool, transfer it to a jar or bottle. Cover tightly and refrigerate until service.

CANDIED MEYER LEMON (Can also be done with an orange):

1. To a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, Meyer lemon juice, and 1 cup water.

2. Bring the sugar syrup to a boil. Drain the sliced/diced Meyer lemon peel and add them to the boiling syrup.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the peels for 30 minutes, until the syrup has reduced by half. Take the pot off the heat and add the cardamom. Let the candied Meyer lemon cool before storing it in an airtight container.


1. Pour the soaked oats into a pot. Over medium heat, cook the oats. For a toothsome oatmeal, cook the oats just until heated through, about 5 minutes. For more tender oatmeal, cook the oats longer, about 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind that oatmeal will thicken after cooking, so don’t cook it too long.

2. Ladle oatmeal into bowls and drizzle ginger palm sugar syrup onto the oatmeal. Top the oatmeal with a sprinkle of candied Meyer lemon and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Additional toppings: toasted cashews, toasted coconut, marmalade, nut butter, or quince paste.

NOTE: The soaked oats can be eaten cold out of the fridge. If you’d like a more tender oatmeal, cook the oats until tender and cool in the fridge until chilled.

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