Wild Mushroom Pilaf Print

Wild Mushroom Pilaf

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.

Serves 4


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


  1. Rinse the soaked pearl barley well and drain.
  2. Wipe all the mushrooms clean and slice thinly.
  3. Heat the stock and sherry in a small saucepan, cover and keep at a low simmer.
  4. 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.
  5. Increase the heat and sauté the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden (but avoid them liquifying).
  6. Stir in the pearl barley and hot stock, cover and bring to the boil.  Simmer, for 35 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  7. 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).

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