Grains are wonderful cooked pilaf-style – they'll plump up and take in other flavours really easily. Don't forget the walnuts here to add some crunch.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 40 gm butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
- 250 gm black barley (see note)
- 1 tbsp shiro (white) miso
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sake
- 300 gm Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- Roasted walnuts, to serve
- Baby shiso leaves (optional), to serve
- 1Heat oil and half the butter in a saucepan over high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (5-6 minutes). Add stock and barley, season to taste and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender (20-25 minutes). Keep warm.
- 2Combine miso, soy and sake in a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining butter in a saucepan over high heat, add mushrooms and stir occasionally until softened (1-2 minutes), then add miso mixture and stir until mushrooms are glazed (1-2 minutes). Stir through vinegar, season with black pepper and remove from heat.
- 3Stir half the mushrooms through the barley and transfer to bowls. Top with remaining mushrooms, crumble over walnuts and top with shiso leaves to serve.
Black barley is available from select delicatessens. If you can't find it, substitute pearl barley.
Drink suggestion: Mature full-bodied shiraz from your cellar. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.