This pilaf uses pearl barley instead of rice and is given an asian twist with Kecap Manis and Chinese 5 spice seasoning – two great asian store cupboard essentials.
200g pearl barley (soaked in cold water for 6 hours)
250g mixed wild mushrooms (eg. shiitake, oyster, chanterelle)
450ml vegetable stock
60ml dry sherry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp chinese 5 spice
200g pak choy, cut into short lengths
1-2 tbsp kecap manis, to taste
- Rinse the soaked pearl barley well and drain.
- Wipe all the mushrooms clean and slice thinly.
- Heat the stock and sherry in a small saucepan, cover and keep at a low simmer.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic, ginger, and chinese 5 spice and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Increase the heat and sauté the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden (but avoid them liquifying).
- Stir in the pearl barley and hot stock, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer, for 35 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Lastly, add in the kecap manis and stirring in the pak choy until it starts to wilt down. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.
Kecap Manis is a sweet dark brown soy sauce used in Indonesian cooking. While the Chinese 5 spice is a blend of five classic asian spices (star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and ginger).