Wednesday, January 25, 2012

80--- Barley Pad Thai

I heart pad thai. It's so good and so fresh!  Here is a version made with barley in place of noodles.

Barley is high in beta-glucan, a dietary fiber that may help lower your cholesterol levels.  This grain is also very filling- great for those trying to reduce their calorie intake! One serving of barley (1/4 cup dry) contains only 80 calories but will keep you full for hours.

Barley Pad Thai
Serves 4

3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley
2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp green curry paste
1 1/4 cups lite coconut milk
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp thai chile sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced and steamed
1 cup snap peas, trimmed and steamed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and saute until fragrant.  Add barley and 3/4 cup broth.  Continue to heat until broth is absorbed.  Stir in dried mushrooms, then continue to add broth 3/4 cup at a time, each time bringing it to a boil and allowing all to be absorbed prior to adding more.

While barley is cooking, whisk together lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, ground ginger, thai chile sauce, salt, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, curry paste, brown sugar and peanut butter.  Set aside.

When all barley is fully cooked and broth is fully absorbed, stir sauce into mixture.  Add steamed peas and carrots, then fold in green onions and cilantro.  Allow mixture to heat through for 4-5 minutes, then serve!

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cup serving: 310 calories, 10 g fat, 10 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber


  1. I love that you used barely instead of a rice noodle! Great alternative!

  2. i made this for lunch yesterday and it was so good. Thank you for introducing me to barley. It's so yummy and it did keep me feeling full until dinner (even sustained me through a run).

    I was wondering if you have a sugar-free, fat-free cookie that you like. I really want to learn to bake more healthfully. Thanks!

  3. Hi Danelle! I love that you love barley! I say a fat free sugar free cookie sounds dreadful. I do not use artificial sweeteners.... ever. But you can typically reduce the amount of sugar in any cookie recipe by almost half-- and you can replace the oil or butter with mashed bananas, pumpkin puree or applesauce (even parts).

  4. I love Thai food and love barley. I would not have thought to combine them. Thank you. Am bookmarking this!

  5. This is a fabulous recipe! Even my kids liked it. It is satisfying and delicious. The complex flavors blend well and Barley Pad Thai will make a regular appearance at our dinner table! The only change I made was to add a cup of frozen edamame-veggie mix at the end--it needed to be used, know what I mean? Thanks for a tasty, healthy recipe!

  6. Thanks for your comment Nancy! I am glad that you liked it!