Monday, August 25, 2008

Barley Rice/ Mugimeshi

One of my favorite brown rice recipes is "mugimeshi", a traditional Japanese dish made by steaming barley and brown rice together in one pot. If you appreciate the satisfying flavor and texture of whole unprocessed grains, you will return to mugimeshi again and again. Use the same cooking technique as for brown rice; steam two parts water to one part grain. (For nutrition information, see "Brown Rice Basics" post.)

1 cup short grain brown rice
1/2 cup barley
3 cups fresh water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon olive oil

Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer, place flame tamer under pot, and continue cooking on a low flame for one hour. Grain should be tender but not mushy. Turn off heat and allow mugimeshi to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with vegetables as you would other cooked whole grains. Or, for a traditional and elegantly simple presentation, serve in small bowls topped with nori slices and toasted ground sesame seeds. (A recipe for making your own toasted and ground sesame seeds called "gomasio" will follow).