Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Fried Barley with Cilantro and Carrots

4 WWPP Posted by 7 years ago 11 Comments

OK, confession time. I have never bought barley before. I never even gave it a second look. I mean what do you do with it? Side dish? Stuffing? I’m sure it would work but the only way I’ve ever eaten it was in beef barley soup. Even then I wasn’t that impressed. But I figured I’d give it a try. I’m tired of brown rice. It’s time to mix it up a bit.

So when I saw this box of Quaker Quick Barley at the grocery store I thought I’d give it a try. I picked it up with some fresh cilantro, something I also rarely buy. I know fresh herbs are the way to go but I rarely buy them. I’ve have grown my own but not yet this season. I’m trying though!

Anyway, I decided on a side dish and I made something like my Super Quick Fried Rice. Surprisingly BOTH husband and child liked, no, LOVED the result. The husband said he liked it better then rice and the little guy didn’t even know what it was. I believe his exact quote was, “YAY! I love that rice.” I just let him go with his bad self and he ate dinner with no complaints. :)

I have to admit the cilantro made all the difference. The flavor was amazing in this!

Here’s what I did. Fried Barley with Cilantro and Carrots

  • 1 cup (144) uncooked quick barley (I used this from Quaker )
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 2 carrots diced small
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • About an inch of ginger root
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Cook the barley according to the package with 2 cups of water.

In a large skillet heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until the onion starts to soften and get slightly transparent.

Add in the cooked barley. Add the soy sauce and grate the ginger root on top (I keep mine in the freezer and grate it frozen. It’s a sinch. Click here to see a video where I talk about it)

Add in the cilantro. Stir to merge all the flavors and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

I served mine as a side dish but you could easily turn this into a meal by adding a protein and/or more veggies. Here’s the nutritional info splitting it into 4 side dish servings.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
4 About 3/4 of a cup
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
165 1g 5g old: 3 new: 4
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
4g 0g 34g 5g

See other recipes using: barley, carrots, cilantro, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce

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There are 11 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.

    Krista S.

    May 4, 2010

    Oh wow! I love barley, but have never even thought to use it this way.


    May 4, 2010

    What a great version of fried rice! This looks awesome, I'll have to try it, thanks!


    May 4, 2010

    I LOVE the idea of using barley for "fried rice". Great recipe Roni - I wanna try it now :D


    May 5, 2010

    This is a great idea - I have only ever used barley in soup too. DH loves it then and I think he'd really like this dish...I just need to get him over his dislike of cilantro (I love it though!).

    Jenn Barley | The KickStart Coach

    May 5, 2010

    Hi Roni -- I love Barley -- plus it is my last name :) I have a question for you --- do you use a software program for the Nutrition Information or do you just use old school math to figure it out? If it is software -- I would love to know the name of the program or website. Jenn


    May 5, 2010

    Hey Jenn! I use a combination of websites,,, and sometimes I measure everything on my handy dandy electronic scale and tally up the totals.


    May 5, 2010

    I've been thinking of buying some barley because I read that you can make risotto with it. This would be another recipe to try!


    May 5, 2010

    i will have to try this! i love cooking barley in chicken stock, and then mixing it with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, and caramelized onions. it makes a really tasty, healthy side dish.


    May 9, 2010

    Hello Roni, Hubby and I tried this tonight. I was a little worried, because he NEVER likes anything new or good for you! I followed your directions exactly, except I added just a bit more low sodium soy sauce on my individual plate. This was quite unique! You are right...the cilantro is key here! What a melding of flavors! I can see I can easily get addicted to this, and to my surprise, hubby loved it as well. Since it is just the two of us, we have leftovers for another meal, and I may just take your suggestion and turn it into a meal by adding some left over chicken and additional veggie. Thank you so much for all your great ideas. I've been wanting to start eating healthier, and now I can't wait to peruse your many recipe ideas. Thanks again.


    May 22, 2010

    Sounds lovely, but never cook sesame oil over high heat.


    May 23, 2010

    Thanks for the advice. :)