If you are looking for healthy rice recipes for weight loss or diabetics, this pearl barley fried rice is your friend. Egg Fried barley is a wholesome dish made of vegetables, fried eggs and barley that is rich in fibre. Comes quickly in less than 30 minutes if you have cooked barley ready in the fridge!
Barley fried rice is my newfound love.
My version of this healthy fried rice may not taste as good as your Chinese takeout but, I promise this is the world’s best-fried rice recipe for those of you trying to lose weight. Pan-fried barley with vegetables and eggs can totally compensate for your regular egg fried rice but with more added health benefits.
Fried rice that is often served in restaurants and takeaways is sure to die for but they are usually high in fat and sodium contents. Also, they use fewer vegetables and more white rice leaving your stomach empty very soon after consuming it. So skip the take out and make this real healthiest version – barley egg fried rice for a change!
Benefits of Barley
- Barley is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, hence helps reduces hunger and keeps you full for longer when compared to other refined grains. It has much more fibre than brown rice but if you are looking for a gluten-free option, brown rice is the go.
- Barley gives you a nice dose of vitamins and minerals, for example, rich in B6 which helps in our brain functioning well.
- Glycemic Index of Whole Grain Barley: 20-22 = which is very low for a grain. Glycemic Index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels.
- GI for Pearl Barley: 22-29 raw, which is still low, 35 or more cooked, which is medium, making barley a great option for both weight loss and diabetics.
- Barley is cheap and incredibly easy to add to your diet. For instance, you can use it as a side dish instead of couscous or white pasta. Barley is also a great alternative to white rice dishes such as pilaf or risotto or fried rice.
How to cook Barley ?
Barley(both hulled or pearl variety) takes a longer time to cook when compared to other refined grains. An electric pressure cooker such as an instant pot is the fastest method to cook barley without the need of soaking and stirring standing by the stove. You can also use a regular stovetop pressure cooker to cook barley.
Peral barley is what I used in this recipe which is a little bit processed while hulled barley is the most wholesome variety. check out my recipe for instant pot barley to find detailed instructions to cook both varieties of barley.
In a rush and don’t have cooked barley or rice to make fried rice? Check out my emergency dump and baked fried rice recipe
Ingredients to make Barley Fried Rice
- Cooked barley as per the instructions in my Instant pot barley recipe. I used cooked pearl barley.
- Eggs – Optional protein, you can also use tofu, paneer or other protein of your choice.
- Vegetables – I added finely chopped carrots and beans, sweet corn, feel free to add broccoli, cabbage,leeks,green peas etc. Spring onion is a must for fried rice recipes in my view.
- Garlic – mandate for any fried rice recipes.
- Soy sauce – I used a low sodium version, you can also use vinegar but I didnt have any.
- Ground black pepper or white pepper. the only spice to the fried rice. use chilli flakes for extra spice.
- Oil – Sesame oil is the best but you can also use vebetable oil or sunflower oil.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make Barley Fried Rice?
Making Scrambled Eggs
Step 1 – Heat a teaspoon of oil in a wok and crack open two eggs. allow cooking for a couple of minutes until the eggs are lightly set.
Step 2 -Stir them gently using a wooden spatula and scramble lightly. Make sure the eggs are not cooked for a long time as they will be fried with barley again.
Making Egg Fried Barley
Step 3 -In the same pan, heat another teaspoon of oil and add the finely chopped vegetables and allow to cook for 5 minutes. the veggies are not to be cooked thoroughly and to remain crunchy.
Step 4 – Add salt, ground pepper, soy sauce. Increase the flame to high and stir for 30 seconds.
Step 5 – Add cooked barley, eggs and mix well. allow them to get fried for a couple of minutes on high flame. Adjust any salt.
Step 6 – Add chopped spring onions and coriander for additional flavour. Serve hot.
If you want a gluten-free version, check out my healthy fried rice made of brown rice.
Eggs can be replaced by stir-fried paneer or tofu to make it vegan.
Pearl Barley can be replaced by hulled barley, quinoa, brown rice, cauliflower rice also.
Adding more vegetables like cabbage, broccoli makes this barley fried rice even more nutritious.
Serving Egg Fried Barley
Barley fried rice can be served as it is as it contains both carbs and protein. for added nutrition, you can serve it with stir-fried mushrooms, stir-fried tofu or vegetables, healthy paneer popcorn. And why not pair it with healthy spicy masala fries?
Storing Egg fried Barley
It stays good in the fridge for 3 days, simply reheat using a microwave oven or pan-fry again for a couple of minutes.
Freeze in a zip lock bag and store for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly, reheat and serve piping hot.
Spicy – add chilli pepper flakes while cooking to imbibe heat into the dish.
Kid-friendly – add crushed potato chips (ketchup chips!)
Expert Tips & FAQ
Barley grains should not have any extra moisture. If you are left with extra liquid when cooking barley, make sure to drain the grains completely before adding to the veggies.
Barley grains are usually less slimy and thick, however, if needed, please refrigerate for 10 minutes if you think the grains are cooked too soft.
Absolutely. It is high in both soluble and insoluble fibres which makes us feel full for longer thereby reducing hunger and the need to consume excess calories.
Pearl barley is the processed grains of the whole barley by removing its skin but the fibre is distributed throughout the kernel. hence I consider pearl barley is still healthier than many other refined grains.
Other Rice dishes
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Egg Fried Barley | Barley Egg Fried Rice
- ½ cup pearl barley uncooked,see notes for cooking instructions
- 2 eggs
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 4 beans finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 spring onion chopped
- 3 tablespoon coriander finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon oil for cooking eggs plus vegetables
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt or as per taste
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a wok and crack open two eggs. allow cooking for a couple of minutes until the eggs are lightly set. Stir them gently using a wooden spatula and scramble them lightly. Make sure the eggs are not cooked for a long time as they will be fried with barley again.
- check out the post instant pot barley specified in the post.
Making barley fried rice
- In the same pan you fried eggs, heat another teaspoon of oil and add the finely chopped vegetables and allow to cook for 5 minutes. the veggies are not to be cooked to remain slightly crunchy.
- Add salt, pepper, soy sauce. Increase the flame to high and sautee for 30 seconds.
- Add cooked barley, eggs and mix well. allow them to get fried for a couple of minutes on high flame. Adjust any salt.
- Add chopped spring onions and coriander for additional flavour. Serve hot.