Barley and Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 mins

From: "Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way" by Lorna Sass. "Stir-fries are ideal for quick meals, especially when you have leftover cooked barley--or any other sturdy grain." "To make prep quicker still, purchase the chicken already sliced for stir-fry."

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. First make the sauce:.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sherry, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, molasses and red pepper flakes.
  3. Slice the chicken into thin strips along the grain and place them in a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and toss the chicken to coat. Set aside.
  4. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks. Reserve the stalks for another purpose. Cut the florets into small pieces about 1 1/2 inches across the top.
  5. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the chicken, water chestnuts, cooked barley, and remaining sauce. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Stir in sesame seeds and scallion greens. Add more soy sauce, if needed.
  8. Chenin Blanc is the recommended wine to drink with this dish.
  9. Option:.
  10. Vegetarian Brown Rice and Tofu Stir-Fry:.
  11. Instead of chicken, use 1 pound Asian-style baked tofu, cut into cubes.
  12. Cook for only 1 minute before adding the sesame seeds.
Most Helpful

Really good, great new way to use barley. I used 2 chicken breasts and 1 1/4 cups of dry barley. I couldn't fit the barley in my pan (I need a wok!) so I mixed it with the sauce in a large bowl. I used half the red pepper flakes which was plenty and the kids liked it. I think I might increase the brown sugar a little next time and use the full amount of 5 spice. A healthy winner, thanks!

lolablitz April 10, 2012

the stir-fry sauce from this was wonderful although I increased the red pepper flakes and the fresh garlic, I used regular low-sodium soy sauce as that is all I had, I will try this again using tamari, I am not sure I would use cooked barley again for stir-fry although I did this time I think it would have been better using the rice, all in all we did enjoy, thanks for sharing Engrossed!

Kittencal@recipezazz March 04, 2008

Very tasty with a nice blend of textures. I ended up adding a bit more tamari and another splash of sesame oil and a lot of crushed red pepper. Thanks for sharing!

pattikay in L.A. October 18, 2007