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.
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.
20g goji berries
200g pearl barley
75g lamb or mutton
10g cooking wine
15g ginger juice
Salt and pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
Wash the goji berries
Cut the lamb or mutton into small cubes
Marinate the cubes with half of the cooking wine, ginger juice, salt and pepper and lastly cornstarch
Wash ahd drain the pearl barley
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pearl barley
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes
Add the rest of the wine, ginger juice and lamb cubes
Bring it back to a boil and lower to a simmer
Simmer till the lamb is tender
Add the goji berries and cook till they plump up
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.
50g shelled ginkgo nuts
25g pearl barley
10g dried beancurd strips (fu zhu)
50g rock sugar
75ml of water
Rinse the barley
Break the beancurd strips into smaller pieces and soak in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside
Bring water to a boil and add the ginkgo nuts, barley and beancurd strips
Cover the pot and boil for 15 minutes on high
Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour
Add the rock sugar and cook till dissolve
Beat the eggs
Remove the soup from the heat
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.
200g pearl barley
100g candied winter melon
150g rock sugar
2 litres water
Place the pearl barley, candied winter melon and water into a big pot and bring it to a boil
Lower heat and simmer everything on low heat for 45 minutes or until water turns milky
And the rock sugar, stir until it melts
Remove from heat and let it cook down before straining
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
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