How to Cook Barley?

There are many things to learn in the world of food and cooking. Perhaps you’ve landed here because one of the things you’re looking for is to learn how to cook barley.

Here, not only will you learn about how to cook barley but other facts about barley itself. Let’s start with an introduction followed by the different types of barley.

From the family of whole grains, barley is mostly used in soups or stews. This puffy whole grain is used to thicken sauces but at the same time can be used for side dishes or salads. There are generally two types of barley that you’ll see in supermarkets. First is the hulled barley which is the most nutritious. This is also known as the barley groats and is the least processed of all. Thus, it is the most nutritious, being rich in fiber. It is usually seen in health stores. The second is the more polished, pearl barley.

The outer bran of this type of barley is scrubbed off unlike the first one. Thus, it is not themost nutritious being stripped off the nutritious bran layer. However, the pearl is the more popular of the two because it’s softer and cooks quicker. In general, some people would like to pre-soak their barley overnight so it gets faster to cook. Let’s take a look at the other types of barley.

  1. Another popular barley variety is the flaked barley. It’s also known as barley flakes or rolled barley. These are sliced barley kernels that are rolled into flakes just like rolled oats. They are usually used for hot cereals as a substitute to rolled oats. It takes about 30 minutes to cook this type of barley.
  2. The next type of barley is the barley grits. This barley is toasted and has been cracked into smaller pieces for faster cooking. However, this kind of barley is rare. You may substitute buckwheat or hominy grits for this one.
  3. The black barley is another variety. It’s just like the pearl barley except that it is black on the outside.
  4. The Hato Mugi barley, also known as Job’s tears or pressed barley are large types that can be found in Asian markets. They’re like pearl barley too except that it is bigger in size.
  5. Another form of barley is the pot barley also known as Scotch barley. It is another form similar to the pearl except that it keeps the endosperm intact making it a more nutritious than the latter. This type of barley takes about an hour to cook.
  6. The sprouting barley is not used for cooking. It is unrefined and is used to make barley sprouts.
  7. Lastly, there’s the quick-cooking barley which takes only around 10 minutes to cook. This type of barley you’ll see in supermarkets is already pre-steamed. You can serve it hot or cold. Thus it is often used for salads.

Now let’s get to cooking barley. You’ll need a pot with a tight lid and just water or broth. That’s all. Here are the steps on how to cook barley.

  1. First rinse barley with a strainer. Remove any debris as you strain it.
  2. Soak the barley overnight in water. Use about two cups for each cup of barley.
  3. When you are ready to boil your barley, choose from either broth or water.
  4. For every 1 cup of barley, use 2 ½ to 3 cups of liquid.
  5. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  6. After boiling, add barley and stir well.
  7. Next, cover the pot and reduce to low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes. If you didn’t pre-soak your barley, you’ll have to cook it for about 35 to 40 minutes.

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