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Barley is wonderful!

After reading the risotto and other ideas for what to do with a ton of dried mushrooms (we haven't made a dent), I purchased some rolled barley.

Toasted it in a dry pan until it smelled nutty (5-10 minutes?), then started adding in the filtered mushroom liquid, hot stock, smashed garlic, and the mushrooms. After about 15 minutes, I tired of adding liquid, stirring, repeating. So I added some cooked meat (bison one time, pork another, chicken another), another inch and a half of hot broth, covered it, and let it sit for 20 minutes.

It is so good.

We've had it a few times over the past week, and it's become my husband's favourite grain. Mine too. Freshly cooked, reheated, it doesn't matter. It is simply wonderful.

Thought I'd share.

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  1. That sounds SO good. I have a bag of pearl barley. Is there a difference is how you cook it? Could I use it for this?

    1. Are you using pot (whole grain) barley or pearl (bran removed) barley?

      3 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        I used whole grain barley. Using the method mentioned by my 82 year old friend, Al Mechanic.

        Not a fan of polished rice, this appeared to be the best method, and I am very thankful for it!

        1. re: Caralien

          So is that a thumbs down for pearl barley?

          1. re: c oliver

            It'd probably work - like white rice vs. brown rice, just reduce the cooking time.

      2. A winter standby that mom used to make and I just made last week is lamb, mushroom and pearl barley soup.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Ooooooohhhhhh. Dominus vobiscum :)

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              Though a former member of the National Latin Honor Society, I had to look that up. Too funny.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                My husband used to say this to the kids as if he was telling them something of great importance. (well, i guess he was, actually.)
                When they asked what it meant and he told them they'd all crack up and hurl insults at him for being a "big dork". Lots of laughs.
                We have a large family so every couple of years there'd be a young one coming up who hadn't heard/understood the joke the time before and was fresh meat. Your post brought back a funny memory for us!

                I just used barley for the first time in ages a couple of weeks ago in a beef, barley, and mushroom soup. I didn't do a great job, sadly, didn't cook the onion long enough at first so the soup has too much sharp onion taste. I'll try again, this thread will be a big help. Caralien, your recipe sounds great and I'm pretty sure I have all the ingredients here.

          1. I recently bought some pressed (rolled) barley from a Korean grocery, and made the 'custard' recipe on the back of the package. It called for cooking the barley in some water, then adding it to an egg, milk, and sugar mixture and baking in water bath. In effect, a custardy rice pudding, only with barley instead of rice. Pretty good.

            1. Recently added barley pearls to chicken vegetable soup. It seemed I added too much. Slowly, over several warmings, it grew thicker and thicker and almost became too thick. It was still very good!

              1. Barley wine, wicked good, kick ass, knock you down. Yum.

                1. I couldn't agree more! I have recently discovered the wonders of using whole barley instead of rice and the resulting risottos are not only delicious but much more nutritious as well. It's got a very distinctive nutty flavour, as mentioned before. I also used it to make stuffed eggplants, cooked in stock and mixed with lots of vegetables. Has anyone got any more recipes for it?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Paula76

                    I agree -- Barley is the best! underused and underappreciated, for sure. I have taken to making Barley Tabbouleh sort of thing with lots of chopped fresh parsley, diced grape tomatoes, diced cucumber and red pepper and just a bit of minced red onion if you like. Salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder, lemon juice and olive oil and voila!

                      1. re: Tapyram

                        I ditto that. I love that recipe. We all add a few extra stuff now and then, but absolutely a great use of barley. Love to make it for a dinner party where it is more of a buffet type. People love it, but sometimes I just don't tell them what it is. I think they are often afraid to try it, but once they eat it ... they love it.
                        I could eat it all the time. Thanks for reminding me of it... it has been a while since I made it.

                    1. And barley and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. I've been making quinoa lately but now I'm going to have to pick up a bag of barley.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: coll

                        Quinoa and lamb are a match made in Altiplano heaven too.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          Uh oh I just bought a bunch of lamb necks for $1.99, and I have an idea now what to do with them. The butcher recommended boiling them a little first, then pouring that liquid off and simmering in beer. I think I have an idea (wish I could draw a lightbulb).

                          1. re: coll

                            I see you live on Long Island. Try Mi Bolivia Restaurant in Sunnyside Queens on 45th & 44th. Lamb stews, chicharone, soups; cheap, not fancy in the least and SALTENAS! The real Bolivian drug. Highly addictive. I prefer the chicken ones.
                            Google Bolivian lamb & quinoa recipes or just Bolivia & lamb.

                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              I'm on the other end of the Island, but we happen to be going into Richmond Hills on Saturday. I bet our friends would be interested in going to this place, they want to go to the train yards anyway! Thanks for the info. I'm using my lamb to make the Moroccan lamb stew recipe I found here yesterday, and then I'll have something to compare it to.

                        2. re: coll

                          Barley, mushrooms and leeks is even better.

                        3. I love barley, I always add it to home made soup.

                          1. Barley and lentil soup:

                            simmer 1/2 cup barley in about 2c water
                            simmer 1/2 cup lentils (puy) in 2c water
                            soup base:
                            - half onion, diced
                            - 2 cloves garlic, smashed
                            - 1/2 c diced fennel
                            - 1 carrot diced
                            diced ham and chorizo to taste
                            sliced mushrooms (meaty king trumpet)
                            sautee these items, add some water (or stock depending on the saltiness of the ham)
                            pressure cook for about 5 minutes, or until the barley and lentils (in separate pots) are nearly tender.
                            Cool and open the PC.
                            Add the lentils and barley to soup base. Adjust seasoning (salt, pepper, etc), and water.
                            Pressure cook another 5 minutes.

                            I cooked the barley and lentils separately because my barley was old, and I didn't know how long it would take. As it was, the barley and lentils cooked in about the same time. So I probably could have gotten by with one pot.

                            1. Where do you buy rolled barley? Do they carry it at Whole foods or similar? I've only seen pearled barley in the regular grocery store.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                I bought 'pressed' barley at a Korean grocery.

                                Health food places sometimes carry rolled grains besides oats. I have bought tritical (a wheat/rye hybrid) this way, but have not looked for barley.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  Isn't a barley porridge a very common Korean meal?

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    The pressed barley package had a recipe for barley cooked with rice.

                                    There is also a popular drink made with malted barley and rice.

                                    I don't know about dishes that use barley without rice.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      I am always on the lookout for alternatives to rice and/or potatoes as a side dish and I LOVE barley but haven't done much with it besides soup. So I think some of these ideas sound lovely.

                              2. I came across Asian pressed barley a couple of years ago. I had never seen it before and since I follow a whole food, plant based lifestyle, I was curious. Well, it's become a food staple for me. I use it to make muesli and I find that a lot less is needed to fill me up in the morning. I soak about 1/2 of the pressed barley in a cup of water, add some raisins and that's it. The next day I enjoy it with some walnuts, fresh bananas, fresh apples, or whatever I have on hand, or nothing else but the raisins and some almond milk. Delicious! I also mix it in with my oatmeal, steel cut oats. I use it to make a special breakfast mix which includes a variety of whole grain flakes, amaramth, chia, etc. I've never tried it yet in soups, but I am going to experiment in making some patties, loafs and possibly some cookies. Will keep you posted.