Monday, June 9, 2014

Thai Barley Salad

Over the weekend, I made salads to bring to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. They are both great for summer picnics!  Here's the first one.

Thai Barley Salad Ingredients:
-9 oz (before cooking) barley
-1 cup diced mango
-1 large carrot, grated
-1/4 cup fresh cilantro
-1 cup edamame
-12 oz fresh chopped cabbage (I used green cabbage, but purple would work, too)
-1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Better n' Peanut Butter to save calories)
-1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup honey
-2 tsp grated ginger
-pinch of salt and pepper

To start, get the barley cooking in boiling water. To save myself time, I bought this quick-cooking barley from Trader Joe's. It still took more than the 10 minutes indicated on the package to fully cook it, but overall the required time was a lot less than the usual 45 minutes required to cook barley. (I think I let this cook for about 20 minutes in total).
I also got out my edamame for starters, because it started frozen and I needed it to thaw at room temperature.
Then I diced up my mango.
And put the mango in a bowl with the cabbage and grated carrot.
Added some chopped cilantro on top.
Then added the barley once it was finished cooking and had cooled to room temp (the cooling time is important; don't add the barley to the fruit and veggies while it's steaming hot, or the cabbage and cilantro will get all sad and wilted).
I mixed up the dressing while waiting for my barley to cool.
In a small bowl, I whisked together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey with about 1/3 cup water to thin it out a bit. Then I added a dash of salt and pepper, plus 2 teaspoons of grated ginger.
Once I had mixed and incorporated the dressing, my edamame were thawed. So I got to work popping edamame shells, adding the beans to the salad bowl and discarding the shells.
Then the salad was ready to eat!
If you really like peanuts, you could also add some chopped peanuts to the salad for extra crunch, but I thought it was great as is.

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