July 13, 2015 · Written by Foodtolive Team

How to Cook Pearl Barley: Basic Vegan Recipes

Pearl barley is such a nutritious type of grain that every vegetarian and vegan should consume it on a regular basis. In fact, everyone will benefit from including this food in their diet. The fact that there are a great number of delicious recipes based on it makes this particular seed even more valuable in your kitchen. Learning how to cook pearl barley will be easy as there is plenty of information available on this subject. Here are the three simplest methods you can use with various tools.




Boiling pearl barley is the perfect cooking method for beginners. It’s simple and doesn’t require any expensive appliances. As long as you have a pot and a stove, you will be able to make a delicious meal out of this particular whole grain. As boiling is the most popular cooking method, you will be able to find dozens of pearl barley recipes based on it.

  1. Soak the grains in cold water for a few hours.
  2. Mix the pre-soaked barley with cold water in a pot.
    The ratio is 3 cups of water for every cup of DRY grain.
  3. Bring the pot with barley and water (uncovered) to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to low.
  5. Leave the pot simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Add salt.
    You should never add salt before the grain is cooked as it will prevent proper absorption of water.
  7. The barley is cooked when about 20% of the grains burst open.


A food steamer is a perfect tool for cooking grains and legumes. To make pearl barley in it, you will only need to soak it for a few hours. Then, put it into the steamer, add the appropriate amount of water (should be mentioned in your food steamer manual) and set the timer for 60 minutes. After the time is up, leave the steamer closed for about 10 more minutes for the contents to cool off a bit. Your meal is done.



Pressure cooking

If you have a pressure cooker, you will have absolutely no problems with learning how to cook pearl barley to perfection. The biggest advantage of this particular appliance is the fact that it will make your food much faster than any other tool. The barley will taste better if you presoak the grains, but you can load them dry too. If you go for the latter option, you will need to rinse the barley in cool water and double the cooking time. Study the instructions that come with the appliance to determine the exact amount of time you’ll need to set. To make your meal more delicious, you can use vegetable broth instead of water.

Pearl barley recipes are varied, so everyone will definitely find something to suit his or her tastes. This grain goes well with a great variety of foods and allows much room for experimenting in the kitchen.