Toasted Barley, Green Bean, and Shiitake Salad with Tofu

Toasted Barley, Green Bean, and Shiitake Salad with Tofu Recipe
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Toasting the barley before it boils brings out nutty flavor. Pressing and draining tofu helps it take on flavors more readily and improves its cooked texture.


6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 304
Fat 9.7 g
Satfat 1.5 g
Monofat 3.2 g
Polyfat 4.7 g
Protein 13.1 g
Carbohydrate 44.4 g
Fiber 9.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 4.1 mg
Sodium 628 mg
Calcium 123 mg


1 (12-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 5 (1-inch-thick) slices
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 garlic clove, grated
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
5 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounce large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced


1. To prepare tofu, place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Top with a cutting board; place a heavy skillet on top of cutting board. Let stand 45 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Cut each tofu slice into 10 cubes; arrange in a single layer in a shallow dish.

2. Preheat oven to 375°.

3. Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl. Pour sugar mixture over tofu in dish, and turn to coat. Let stand for 25 minutes. Arrange tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Cool completely.

4. To prepare salad, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add barley to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Add 5 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain; cool completely. Place barley in a large bowl.

5. Cook green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge green beans into ice water. Drain well; pat dry. Add beans to barley.

6. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush tops of mushrooms with 2 teaspoons oil. Add mushrooms to pan, oiled side down. Cook 5 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cool slightly; slice mushrooms thinly. Add tofu, mushrooms, and green onions to barley mixture.

7. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, agave nectar or honey, grated ginger, and minced garlic in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over barley mixture in bowl; stir well to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Jeanne Kelley,

Cooking Light

September 2010
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