The Japanese have long enjoyed rice with barley. The combination is a common accompaniment in bento boxes (shown, right) and makes a delicious side dish or base for a one-bowl meal.
⅓ cup short-grain brown rice, rinsed
⅓ cup hulled barley, rinsed
¾ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. dark sesame oil
1 15-oz. can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs. mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tsp. umeboshi vinegar
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (white and light green parts)

  1. Combine rice, barley, and 3 cups water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and add ¼ tsp. salt. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until water reaches level of grains. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 5 minutes more, or until grains are dry. (Do not disturb steam holes that have formed.) Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat ginger and sesame oil in medium skillet over medium heat until ginger begins to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Add beans, mirin, vinegar, and remaining ½ tsp. salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes, or until liquid evaporates.
  3. Stir beans into cooked rice and barley. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Calories: 296
Protein: 11 g
Total Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 52 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 686 mg
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 3 g