Savoury Barley with Kale and Mushrooms

Savoury Barley e1612510860887

Written by: Ceri, ZENXIN Masterchef

Other than white rice, there is a wide range of healthy grains well worth exploring for added nutrition, flavour and playful textures during mealtimes. 

Barley is one such.

Like oats, this grain has a high volume of soluble beta-glucan and insoluble fibre, making it beneficial in reducing cholesterol, improving the blood lipid profile and stabilizing blood sugar in diabetes type-2. The fibre in barley gives a longer feeling of fullness, helping with weight loss and feeds the gut microbiome.

As a whole grain, barley is rich in the B-group vitamins thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, niacin B3, pantothenic acid B5, pyridoxine B6, folate B9, vitamin E, antioxidant phytochemicals and minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium useful in cell repair. 

In this recipe, the variety of mushrooms add to the valuable digestive fibre and B-vitamins as well as to the overall depth of umami flavour.

Kale is one nutrient dense food which is an antioxidant powerhouse. It is an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins C and K as well as quercetin and kaempferol. 

Being a member of the cabbage family, kale contains isothiocyanates which help reduce risk of cancer. Combined with savoury chickpea stock and a little fermented black bean sauce, this makes a delicious vegan dish to add to your healthy lifestyle. 


  • 1 cup Simply Natural Organic pearl barley
  • 3-4 leaves of ZENXIN Organic curly kale
  • 3 cloves ZENXIN Organic Spanish morado garlic
  • 20g Simply Natural Organic Spanish cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ZENXIN Organic Eryngii mushrooms (King Oyster mushrooms)
  • 4 large ZENXIN Organic Chestnut mushrooms
  • 4 fresh ZENXIN Organic shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp organic chickpea stock
  • 1 tbsp Simply Natural fermented black bean sauce (Light)


  1. Rinse the barley and soak overnight well covered with filtered water.
  2. Wash and de-rib the kale. Tear the leaves into bite size pieces.
  3. Drain the barley and put to steam with the fresh kale for 35 mins.
  4. Peel the garlic and chop into slices.
  5. With a damp tissue, clean the mushrooms and slice them.
  6. Pour the olive oil into a ceramic pan and begin to fry garlic and mushrooms.
  7. When they are sufficiently browned, add the chickpea stock and black bean sauce.
  8. Add in the barley and kale. Mix well and serve immediately.

the ingredients

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