Meatless Monday: Shiitake mushroom and pearl barley pilaf

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Meatless monday, Rice
Tags: , , , , ,


Wow is all I can say.  What a wondrous grain pearl barley is.  Barley is a nutritious, nutty grain which offers a tasty alternative to rice.  It is often used in stews and soups, but can be used in place of rice in a risotto.  It can also be used cold in salads.  You can find it where you would find soups in the supermarket, lentils or split peas etc.  To prepare it for use the barley has to be soaked overnight or for at least 6 hours.  The ratio for this is one part barley, two part water.  Drain.  If you haven’t used asian mushrooms before you are really missing out.  Next time they are on special grab a packet and throw them through scrambled eggs with some herbs or try this recipe!  If you find you like the different flavour and are interested in trying something else, try the Asian inspired steak and veg

Shiitake mushroom and pearl barley pilaf

The recipe is presented without resizing, providing 4 servings

Preparation time:20 minutes + overnight soaking Total cooking time: 45 minutes

-= Ingredients =-

1 1/2 cups Pearl barley 330g
3 Each Shitake mushrooms Dried
2 1/2 Cups Vegetable or chicken stock 625ml
1/2 Cup Dry sherry 125ml
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 Large Onion Finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic Crushed
2 tablespoons Ginger Grated fresh
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns Crushed
500 grams Asian mushrooms mixed Oyster, enoki, shimeji
500 grams Choy sum Cut into short lengths
3 teaspoons Kecap manis
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

-= Instructions =-
Soak the barley in enough cold water to cover for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Drain.
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in enough boiling water to cover for 15 minutes. Strain reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Discard the tough stalks and slice the caps.
Heat the stock and sherry in a pan and maintain at a low simmer.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and peppercorns and cook for 1 minute. Slice the Asian mushrooms, reserving the enoki for later. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened. Add the barley, shiitake mushrooms, the reserved soaking liquid and the hot stock. Stir well to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to lower and simmer, covered for 35 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates.
Steam the choy sum until just wilted. Add to the barley mixture with the enoki mushrooms. Stir in the kecap manis and sesame oil.

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