Recently I’ve started cooking with some different grains available at the local market. A few weeks ago, I bought 洋薏米 to give it a try.
I’ve looked at some charts such as a chart from the Whole Grain Council about types of barley and had a hard time identifying whether the type of grain called 洋薏米 that we get at the local market was hulled, hulless, or pearl barley, but I e-mailed a Hong Kong chef who seems fluent in English and Chinese, and she said that it is pearl barley. (If anyone knows differently, please let me know!)
According to the Whole Grains Council, “Although [pearl barley] is technically a refined grain, it’s much healthier than other refined grains because (a) some of the bran may still be present and (b) the fiber in barley is distributed throughout the kernel, and not just in the outer bran layer.”
This recipe is simple as it gets, but I love it because it uses… once again… the rice cooker! I love just hitting a button and coming back an hour later for breakfast!
1 cup pearl barley/ 洋薏米
3 cups water
optional toppings: raw buckwheat (a new favorite here!), hemp seeds, Craisins, honey, etc.
Directions and Notes
1. Pour the barley into a rice cooker and rinse them, pouring off as much excess water as possible.
2. Add the 3 cups of water and set the rice cooker to “cook.”
3. When the rice cooker finishes cooking (on ours, the “cook” latch flips over to “warm”), scoop out your barley, add toppings if desired, and enjoy!
I think ours usually take 45 minutes to an hour to cook like this… I’ll have to time that next time.