Rain & Barley

rain

It’s been such a wet week! And I’ve been wanting to eat barley lately for some reason. So this is the perfect time to have a warm barley porridge!

barley red bean porridge

In the morning, accompanying me with my video edit, was a bowl of warm red bean & barley porridge. I was given this recipe by my mom’s friend. Who, of course, was Chinese.

My mom always told me that barley is good to cool off your inner heat. I think “inner heat” is a very exclusively Asian concept, because whenever I say “inner heat” to non-Asians, they look at me funny. The notion of cooling and heat is related to the balance of yin and yang. I don’t really consume medicines, my parents always taught me to see food as medicine.  We don’t run straight to the doctor’s when we’ve got a tickle in the throat, we drink some tea instead, or maybe have some fruits or soup. These wisdoms have been planted since I was little, and I think they’re pretty useful.

So when I say barley cools your “inner heat”, it means it does not only soothe a sore throat, but all heat-related signs, raging irritability and pimples included. I read that it’s an old style British tonic too, once prescribed for the ill, so I guess it doesn’t matter which school of thought you subscribe to. You can change it up and add a squeeze of lemon for a zesty burst the English way, or add wintermelon for a traditional Chinese detoxifying treat. Or make both since it’s so freaking simple. So in other words, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what school of thought you’re subscribed to, barley = good.

I’ve also prepared a container of Barley Salad with Toasted Pine nuts for lunch at work.

barley salad

Ingredients
1/4 cup barley
2 tbs pine nuts
1/2 zucchini, deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup shallots
A few cherry tomatoes
1 tsp chopped parsley
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs basil olive oil

serves 1
1. Cook barley as instructed in the package. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan. Toast pine nuts on low heat. Shaking the pan every now and then to make sure the nuts don’t burn.

2. Cut zucchini in half, scrape out the seeds, and chop. Heat another pan (or you can re-use the pan) with a drizzle of peanut oil and stir fry the zucchini until it begins to brown. Let it cool.

3. Once barley is cooked, let it cool. Chop up the shallots and assemble!

I like shallots because it gives a milder taste than red onions. But red onions should work perfectly fine too!

I was so excited about eating it at work. To be honest, that was all I could think of in the morning. =p And I think you’ll lots of barley posts in a few days.

Bon appétit!

Nutrient Count:
Calories: 479
Total Fat: 23 g
Protein: 11 g
Carbs: 58 g
Fiber: 9 g

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