Friday, July 1, 2016

Mugi Gohan (Barley Rice)

The CC is insanely fond of this dish.

This is the ultimate "poor people" dish in Japan and even today there's a slight disdain towards it.

Historically peasants paid rice as taxes in the feudal era. They had a tendency to hide stuff from the authorities — tax evasion is as old as mankind! — a point memorably made in Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai (七人の侍). The peasants frequently mixed other grains that were not taxed to their cooked rice — barley, millet, etc. which contributes to their "lower class status". Ironically, this is why the they  never suffered from beri beri but the upper classes did.

It was also served as army rations and today is often served in school lunches, all of which add up the reasons that it is really resented.

Which is too bad because it's freakin' awesome!

Since the CC has no associations with it, the CC is free to love it. It has texture, nutrition, lack of boredom (white rice?), flavor and chewiness.


1/2 cup barley
1 cup rice

3 cups dashi (or water)


Note 1: The only "trick" is that the barley needs to be soaked ahead of time for 30 minutes so that they can be cooked together.

Note 2: You can vary the proportions. More barley, less rice, etc. This is the median that the CC likes.

Note 3: Use dashi if you can.

Soak the barley for 30 minutes. Rinse the rice under cold water until it runs clear. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

Put all the ingredients in an open pot. Cook until the rice is done. Depending on the humidity you may need to add a little more water at the end.

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