How to Cook Pearl Barley by Absorption


A good source of fiber, pearl barley makes a good alternative to pasta or rice. This filling grain is tasty on its own, but it also makes a hearty addition to soups, salads and other dishes. You can cook pearl barley like you would pasta, in a large pot of boiling water, or with the absorption method, like you would rice. Try using chicken or vegetable broth in place of water for a flavor-packed side dish. Because pearl barley has the outer hull and bran removed, it cooks relatively quickly, in about 30 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Broth (optional)
  • Measure 2 1/2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dried pearl barley into a saucepan. You can use broth or water. If you're using water, season it with salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

  • Add the barley to the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot.

  • Allow the barley to simmer until it is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes. Let the barley stand for five minutes before serving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each 1 cup of dried pearl barley makes around 3 1/2 cups of cooked barley.

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