Leek & Barley Fried Rice

Happy May! If you’ve subscribed to my email newsletters, you should have received the May edition this morning. I hope you enjoyed the content and recipes I included in this one! I can’t believe it’s already May though – the year is seriously flying!

It’s Monday so I am back with another Thug Kitchen 101 recipe. But I just wanted to say, recipe after recipe from this book, I get more impressed with the creativity and quality of the dishes. I can’t even name a couple of my favourites because everything just gets better and better.

Today, I made Leek & Barley Fried Rice. The creativity can definitely be seen in this recipe. Who would think to make a fried rice using barley instead of traditional rice? I never would have done this before, but I am so happy I did now.

I’ve typically only used barley in soups, but using it in a stirfry/Chinese application is such a smart idea! Barley has such a great chewy but firm texture and it has a little bit of nuttiness which I love. It’s also quite nutritional – lots of fibre and protein – so you should definitely try to incorporate it into your diet.

Aside from the barley, there is a variety of greens in this fried rice: leek, spinach, green peas and green onions. I’ve never cooked with leeks before but they have such a nice mild onion flavour. And of course, I love the brightness from the peas and green onions.

The seasoning here is pretty simple. It was just Chinese 5 spice and tamari (soy sauce). Those add some salty and umami flavour but it’s really the vegetables and barley that shine through. This is such a fresh and healthy side dish.

I love how quick this was to make too. As long as you cook the barley in the morning (you want it to be cold), the rest comes together in about 15 minutes. Add any protein like edamame, tofu or chicken and this becomes a full dinner. This was so good and leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

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