Asian Barley Salad

serves – 4

Fibre is a super star in my books.

Fibre helps support your immune system, especially soluble fibre. The two soluble fibre stars in this recipe are barley and peas.

This is one of my all-time favourites for a spring or summer dinner. Plan ahead and cook the barley the night before. Then in the heat of the day all you have to do is chop a couple of onions, toss in some peas and peanuts or almonds and top with a great salad dressing.

I serve this in large Asian-style soup bowls, and we eat it with chopsticks usually in the backyard while I stare at my garden, one of my summer hobbies. 

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and lactose free.


The night before or early in the serving day:

1 cup (250 mL) pot barley

3 cups (750 mL) cold water


Serving day:

2 green onions, finely sliced including the white end

1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen peas, thawed

1 cup (250 mL) red skinned peanuts or raw almonds



2 tbsp (30 ml) natural peanut butter or almond – it has to be natural, no added sugar – see below

2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar, I prefer natural

2 tbsp (30 mL) lower sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tsp (10 mL) wasabi paste – found in the Asian section of your grocery store or where they sell sushi, optional


  1. The night before or the morning of serving day: Place barley in a mesh colander and rinse under cold water.
  2. Put barley into a medium saucepan. Add water, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 30-40 minutes or until cooked. Stir once or twice to evenly distribute any remaining liquid, remove from heat, fluff with a fork to separate the grains and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff again and then let it cool for 30 minutes. Place in a container and store in the fridge covered for up to 3 days.
  3. Serving day: In a large bowl toss together the sliced green onions, peas, and all of the cooked barley.
  4. Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce and wasabi paste, if using, in a small bowl. Pour over barley mixture and toss well.
  5. Spoon into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with ¼ cup (60 mL) almonds or peanuts over top each bowl.

Makes 4 cups (1 L)

Each serving = 1 cup (250 mL): 476 calories, 24.1 g total fat, 3.1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 354 mg sodium, 53.6 g carbs, 14 g fibre, 5.9 g sugar, 19 g protein


Professional home economist tip:

Natural almond or peanut butter contains no added ingredients. This allows the peanut or almond butter to be mixable. If you use a nut butter that is not natural the dressing will form into a ball of guck. Just warning you.

I’ll be making this salad on my Facebook Live show on Wednesday, June 10 at 8 pm EDT.

Click on mairlyn.smith on Facebook and join in the fun and learning.

Foe more recipes that are heart healthy and fibre filled check out my last best seller Peace, Love and Fibre on Amazon or on Indigo 

At the time of publishing this recipe (June 10, 2020) Peace, Love & Fibre was $24.40 on Amazon and $29.95 on Indigo

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