The magical barley rice combination has helped me change my diet for the better. I discovered this recipe during my travels around Japan and I can't stop raving about it. Barley and rice together are fantastic, and they are the perfect texture, ideal to be topped up with any protein.
I used to not be a huge rice eater. Even though I perfected the recipe for whole grain rice, I still had reservations, simply because I prefer the starchiness of potatoes. Having said that, rice is a lot healthier, so I do recommend you have it as part of a healthy and diverse vegan diet.
So, what exactly is this combination of barley and rice? The truth is, putting barley and rice together is probably the best combo yet. The textures marry each other so beautifully, and the tastes are wonderful. You have to give it a try, and you'll love it so much. We're now addicted and can't imagine eating rice any other way.
What is barley rice?
Barley rice is a combination of barley and rice put together. You normally cook them separately and then mix them at the end. They take the same amount of time to cook, so you won't be inconvenienced. The result is a gorgeous combo, rich in fibers, proteins and vitamins.
Barley is a cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It is one of the first cultivated grains, so as humans we had barley as part of our diet for a long time. It dates back to as early as 10,000 years ago. Barley has a lot of fibre which is essential for a healthy vegan diet. But, gluten intolerants should stir away from barley as this grain contains gluten.
Brown rice is packed with folate and vitamin E and it has its fair share of fibre. It's also rich in proteins, B complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium and iron.
Overall, mixing barley and rice results in a meal that's not just delicious, but also fantastic for you and guaranteed to put your hunger at bay. It also keeps in the fridge for up to 5-7 days so you can make a healthy amount at the beginning of the week, and continue to eat it every day, with fresh vegetable toppings.
Ingredients for Barley Rice
You will need a couple of ingredients such as rice and barley, of course, but you have a few options to play with here.
Rice - you can use any type of rice you prefer, including white rice. Brown rice and barley are the healthiest option. You can also try wild rice if you prefer, it's going to taste so good.
Barley - use dried pearl barley from any bag. You can also use hulled barley, but the cooking time is usually going to double.
Boiling water - You'll have to cook your whole grains, and the easiest way to do so is to low simmer them in boiling water. Just add salt. If you want to add more flavour to your grains, you can also simmer them in chicken broth or vegetable broth.
Don't love cooking your rice on the hob? Consider investing in a rice cooker.
How to make barley rice
Making barley rice takes just 20-25 minutes. This is a quick and easy barley recipe.
Bring some water to a boil (around 1.5 litres). Add the barley to a saucepan and cover with boiling water, or vegetable stock as mentioned above. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You know the barley is ready when it's fairly soft and swollen. Drain and set aside.
While the barley is simmering, you can start preparing your rice. I have a recipe here explaining how to cook the perfect wholegrain rice. You will need a deep pan. Add a little olive oil and a cup of rice. Add spices: salt, vegetable stock, paprika, thyme and coriander. Mix with a wooden spoon to ensure the rice is covered in oil and spices. Add two cups of water over the rice, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 20-25 until all the water is absorbed. The rice should be tender and delicious.
Add the drained barley over the rice and mix well. Serve in a deep bowl with the toppings of your choice. Add dried fruit, fresh or cooked veggies or lemon tofu.
We like to add vegan beef stew, mushrooms, chickpeas and more. You can be super creative.
You can use normal rice or brown rice and barley together. We also tried it with wild rice, and it tastes fantastic.
Is barley rice healthy?
Yes, barley rice is super healthy. In this recipe, we're using two wholegrains full of fibers, vitamins and minerals. It's delicious too!
Can barley be used like rice?
Barley can be used as a replacement for rice, yes. However, note that barley, unlike rice, contains gluten.
How do you eat barley rice?
Is barley healthier than rice?
Overall, barley has a better nutritional profile but when combined, they make a great meal full of fibres, proteins, B complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iron and folate.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.