Barley rice is now a popular ingredient in most kitchens. As people shift to eating whole grains, this is one of the options that they have. If you check today’s cocina latinoamericanas, you are likely to find a dish that contains barley rice.
It is important to mention that it is available in two different forms. Pearl barley is polished to remove some parts in the attempt to increase its shelf life. On the other hand, hulled barley is considered to be the whole grain and the healthiest of the two. It has all the parts intact apart from the hard layer, which is inedible. Commonly, both types can be prepared in various ways.
Cooking Barley by boiling in Water
It is the traditional way of preparing barley and has been in use since long ago. Usually, water is used, but some people will simmer it in stock for more flavor. The cuisine experts recommend 60 minutes for pearl barley while the hulled one will take between 1 to 2 hours. It is as simple as combining water and barley, bringing it to a boiling point and then simmering.
As this happens, check the water levels and add more when necessary. Simmering will evaporate the water and can lead to sticking or burning. Simmered barley can be served plain with stews and accompaniments. However, there are other interesting ways of preparing barley rice especially for those who are creative in the kitchen.
If you love baking, then this is an option that you have. You can either bake it from scratch to come out as fluffy rice or bake it with vegetables after it has already been simmered. Either way, you will need to put it into a glass baking dish or tray and add other ingredients in preparation for baking.
Prior to baking, ensure that your oven is preheated to 150 degrees Celsius. Cover the baking tray with a lid or foil to lock in all the flavors. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes before serving. If the barley has been simmered before, you can use garlic, onions, asparagus and mushrooms as the baking accompaniments. In this case, 30 minutes will be enough to give you a fluffy barley dish with all the flavors included.
Both hulled and pearl barley can make interesting soup dishes. It is a nutritious appetizer as well as a healthy dish for the sick. Barley soups usually include vegetables like celery, onions, mushrooms and many others to add both flavor and nutritional value. Surprisingly, the soup has become a favorite for many people.
To prepare the dish, you need to simmer barley until it is soft. Make it as fluffy as possible for the best results. Separately, fry the onions in butter and add the other vegetables as you stir them for a few minutes. Next, add water and bring it to boiling point. For the best results, you can use either meat or vegetable stock. Then, add barley rice and cook for 15 minutes.
Barley is an ingredient you need to consider as a healthy option. People who are trying to lose weight can also benefit from barley.