Baked Barley with Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 9:41 am
The secret to this relatively simple looking recipe is the caramelized onions. You need to cook them on a very low flame so they become soft - almost melting away in texture. You don't want them to brown or get crispy.

ETA - Obviously this is the kind of recipe that is relatively easy to double if you need more servings.

Baked Barley with Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Source: Cooking Light

Slow baking allows the barley to absorb the woodsy flavor of the mushrooms and the sweetness of the caramelized onion.

Serves 6


* 2 tablespoons butter
* 4 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 3 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 9 ounces)
* 3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 8 ounces)
* 1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
* 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
* 4 cups vegetable broth
* Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

How to Make It

Step 1
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cover and cook 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 3
Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour broth over barley mixture; cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until barley is tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Last edited by Amarante on Wed, Jun 12 2019, 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 11:35 am
Oh thank you! We love barley but never really had any interesting recipes for it. Cant wait to try this.
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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 11:50 am
Thank you. I love barley but I've only ever had it in a soup or Cholent.
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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 11:58 am
I love barley as well - this is one of my favorite recipes because I can make it ahead - it heats up beautifully and even is better the second day.

I like it best with boneless chicken thighs but bone-in works well. It's easier to get the fat removed from the boneless thighs. Chicken breasts also work well but only if you are serving immediately because chicken breast tends to get a little stringy/dry when reheated whereas the thigh heats up better.

This is also extremely easy to double.

Smothered Chicken and Barley

Source: Cooking Light

1 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp dried mint flakes
1/8 tsp garlic powder
6 (4-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned (or boneless chicken breasts)
½ tsp vegetable oil
Cooking spray
1 ½ c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
3 ½ c. low-salt chicken broth
1 ¼ c. uncooked pearl barley
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
6 Tbsp chopped green onion


Supernutritious barley takes the place of rice in this
chicken-and-rice update. This simple casserole contains almost 10
grams of fiber, which is more than one-third of the recommended daily

1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, and rub chicken
with half of spice mixture.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray
over medium-high heatsp Add chicken; cook 1 minutes on each side
or until chicken is browned. Remove the chicken from the

3. Recoat skillet with cooking spray; add chopped onion, bell pepper,
and soy sauce. Cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until
vegetables are lightly browned. Add broth, barley, tomatoes, and
remaining spice mixture, and stir well. Add chicken to skillet,
nestling into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce
heat, and simmer 55 minutes or until chicken is done. Let stand
15 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 6 servings
(serving size: 1 chicken thigh, 1 cup barley mixture, and 1
tablespoon green onions).
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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 12:02 pm
Will the barley/mushroom/onion come out well if I use oil or margarine to make it pareve?

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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 12:04 pm
I haven't made this one as it's sitting in my to do pile. I need to get the whole grain barley as I only have the standard pearled barley in my pantry.

This is essentially a "chicken in a pot" with Asian flavors and barley instead of noodles or rice.

Miso-Ginger Braised Chicken with Bok Choy and Barley

Serve this one-pot complete meal in shallow bowls, ladling the rich broth over the tender chicken, vegetables, and grains. We call for whole-grain hulled—sometimes labeled hull-less—barley here. Pearled barley is not ideal for this dish; while tasty, it is not a whole grain, and it would overcook as the chicken simmers. If you can’t find hulled barley, you can use wheat berries, spelt, whole-grain (not pearled) farro, or rye berries. Toasting the grains first delivers deep, malty flavor; it’s worth the extra few minutes to get that extra depth.

* 1 cup uncooked whole-grain hulled barley
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) whole chicken, trimmed of excess fat
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
* 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
* 8 green onions, cut into 1-in. pieces, light- and dark-green parts divided
* 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
* 10 medium garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
* 3 tablespoons white miso
* 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 3 heads baby bok choy (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

How to Make It

Step 1
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add barley to dry pan; cook 8 minutes or until deeply browned. Remove from pan.
Step 3

Add oil to pan; swirl. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan, breast side down; cook 6 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over; cook 4 minutes. Remove from pan.
Step 4

Add light-green onion parts, ginger, and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stock, miso, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve miso and loosen browned bits. Add barley and chicken to pan. Cover and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

Step 5
Arrange bok choy halves around chicken; cover and bake at 375°F for 15 more minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle dark-green onion parts and cilantro over chicken mixture.
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Post  Wed, Jun 12 2019, 12:06 pm
grace413 wrote:
Will the barley/mushroom/onion come out well if I use oil or margarine to make it pareve?


No reason - I would use one of the margarines that replicate the taste of butter though rather than olive oil but if you try it with olive oil, let us know.

The real important thing is to caramelize the onions properly because you want them to cook on a very low heat so that they melt rather than crisp - you don't want to sauté them. And you need to stand at the stove stirring because you don't want them to stick to the pan. A good heavy pan really is critical so you don't get uneven spots.

I made Ina Garten's Onion Dip with caramelized onion and it was heaven. Absolutely no comparison with onion dip you make with dried onion soup. Very Happy
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