3 Pearl Barley Recipes

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These pearl barley recipes contain barley that has been processed to remove the hull and bran.

Pearl barley is actually barley that has been processed to remove the hull and bran. The Chinese name is 小麦仁 (xiao mai ren). It is commonly mistaken with coix seeds or Job's tears 薏米 (yi mi)


Even with the hull and bran removed, it is still packed with goodness. Vitamins, proteins, minerals and dietary fiber. It is good for the kidneys, spleen and blood.

Recipes

Here are 3 recipes: one is savoury with lamb, one is a sweet dessert and the last one is a refreshing drink.

1. Lamb soup with pearl barley

This combination of pearl barley, lamb and goji berries is suitable for the elderly and those feeling general lethargy. It is also good for ladies with irregular menstruation.

Ingredients

  • 20g goji berries
  • 200g pearl barley
  • 75g lamb or mutton
  • 10g cooking wine
  • 15g ginger juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Directions

  1. Wash the goji berries
  2. Cut the lamb or mutton into small cubes
  3. Marinate the cubes with half of the cooking wine, ginger juice, salt and pepper and lastly cornstarch
  4. Wash ahd drain the pearl barley
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pearl barley
  6. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes
  7. Add the rest of the wine, ginger juice and lamb cubes
  8. Bring it back to a boil and lower to a simmer
  9. Simmer till the lamb is tender
  10. Add the goji berries and cook till they plump up
  11. Add some salt and pepper to taste before serving

2. Pearl Barley Soup with Ginkgo Nuts

Ginkgo nut is a popular ingredient in Chinese sweet soups. It is associated with Ginkgo biloba which usually refers to the leaves of the same tree. It is also commonly spelled as gingko nut. It is also paired with barley in sweet desserts.

This pearl barley soup contains dried tofu sheets 腐竹 (fu zhu) and ginkgo nuts 白果 (bai guo) is a classic Chinese sweet dessert.

This dessert was featured in the October 2007 issue of Mother & Baby. It stated that this is an ideal sweet dessert for ladies in their 3rd trimester.

Ginkgo nut is a popular ingredient in Chinese sweet soups. It is associated with Ginkgo biloba which usually refers to the leaves of the same tree. It is also commonly spelled as gingko nut.

Recipe is meant to serve 3.

Ingredients

  • 50g shelled ginkgo nuts
  • 25g pearl barley
  • 10g dried beancurd strips (fu zhu)
  • 50g rock sugar
  • 75ml of water
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. Rinse the barley
  2. Break the beancurd strips into smaller pieces and soak in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside
  3. Bring water to a boil and add the ginkgo nuts, barley and beancurd strips
  4. Cover the pot and boil for 15 minutes on high
  5. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour
  6. Add the rock sugar and cook till dissolve
  7. Beat the eggs
  8. Remove the soup from the heat
  9. Stream the beaten eggs into the soup before serving.

3. Homemade barley drink

My paternal grandmother used to brew homemade barley water for all us kids especially during the hot humid months.

Big drink manufacturers like Yeo's and Marigold also make this drink but mass manufactured barley water lacks a certain refreshing that only the homemade stuff has.


This drink has a reputation as a child-friendly cooling refreshing drink. It cools the body and prevent it from getting too heated.

Adding a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the drink or adding a slice of lemon before serving makes all the difference.

Ingredients

  • 200g pearl barley
  • 100g candied winter melon
  • 150g rock sugar
  • 2 litres water

Directions

  1. Place the pearl barley, candied winter melon and water into a big pot and bring it to a boil
  2. Lower heat and simmer everything on low heat for 45 minutes or until water turns milky
  3. And the rock sugar, stir until it melts
  4. Remove from heat and let it cook down before straining
  5. You can save some of the cooked pearl barley and add them back to the drink before serving. Do not leave the barley in the water as it will expand and soak up the liquid
  6. Serve warm or chilled

Happy Souping, Phoebe




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