Easy Ways to Cook Barley
The world of food is so complex and extensive. There are so many unique ingredients
available, which can be made into unique but delicious dishes. One of those unique food
ingredients is barley, a puffy grain that is commonly used in stews and soups.
Types of Barley
Before knowing how to cook barley, you must first understand the types that you usually find
in supermarkets. There’s the pearl barley, which is the processed type. The other one is the
barley groats, which is considered as more nutritious because it is not yet stripped off the
outer bran. Although less nutritious, the pearl barley is commonly used in many recipes
because it is softer and faster to cook.
Other types of barley include flaked barley, barley grits, black barley, pressed barley, quik-
cooking barley, and pot barley. They differ in some ways but they can be cooked or be
substituted for the others as well.
Depending on the type of barley you are using, you may have to alter the steps on how to
cook barley. But the basic is all about boiling your grains in plain salted water or broth. How
long you need to boil it depend on your pre-cooking preparations and the variety of grains you
are cooking. Here are some tips:
Tip #1: Make sure to wash your barley well. Put it in a strainer and rinse it through running
water. That will make it easier for you to discard the debris.
Tip #2: Soak the barley overnight before cooking it. That will reduce the cooking time
Tip #3: For every cup of barley, boil 2 to 3 cups of water. After putting the grains in boiling
water, stir it, close the lid, and lower the heat. Simmer it for 10 to 45 minutes depending on
the type of barley you are using and whether or not you pre-soaked it.
Tip #4: Season barley with cinnamon, thyme, marjoram, and garlic. They go well with the
grains to make a hearty soup.
Tip #5: Another way of cooking barley is mixing it with some vegetables like carrots, turnips,
mushroom, leek, and celery. Sauté the vegetables, along with some onion, salt, pepper, sour
cream, and soup stock in butter and presto, you will have a Polish Style Soup.
Tip #6: Interestingly, you can also make barley into a salad. All you need to do is to boil pearl
barley, then rinse it in cold water. When it has cooled completely, mix it with chickpeas,
green onions, jalapeño pepper, parsley, northern beans, and pink beans. In another bowl, mix
together the seasoning including red wine vinegar, garlic, ground black pepper, salt, cumin,
and canola oil. Then, toss the barley mixture.