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Pearl Barley with Korean Spring Greens + A Le Creuset Giveaway

My favorite food season has to be Spring, especially because it's the season of wild herbaceous Korean spring greens! They are called bom-namul (bom: spring, namul: wild plants) and are usually delightfully bitter and super nutritious. A lot of these are eaten raw and seasoned lightly with gochujang or soy based sauce, or they are added in a variety of soups and adds wonderful aromatic flavors to the dish like this stone pot rice!
Here's a little lesson to the greens I'm using in this dish. In the most left of the picture above of the bright leafy greens, is called minari (미나리) aka Korean watercress. It also looks and tastes similar to Chinese celery. It has a very crisp, fresh herby taste and is a popular side dish and ingredient in bibimbap. It's iron content is higher than spinach, calcium content more than milk and an excellent source of other minerals.
The middle of the picture you see greens that look like succulents is called dol-namul or dot-namul (돋나물). They grow on rocky soil and is really a leafy succulent that is very juicy and sweet. It has a very mild flavor so it is usually eaten raw and tossed into salads. In the small bowl at the right is a leafy vegetable called chwi-namul (취나물) that grows in the mountains and field. It has a heart-shaped serrated leaves that are sort of fuzzy and has a mild bitter and grassy flavor. If you've had perilla leaves, it's sort of like that, but more spinach mouth-feel. All these vegetables can be found in your local Korean supermarket. If not I've put some suggestions below for substitute vegetable you'll find anywhere.
I've been a long time fan of Le Creuset items and when I was given this Sakura Dutch Oven, I couldn't wait to do a spring time dish for it. I love doing rice dishes like this or pilaf in a dutch oven because the food inside the pot loses no moisture due to the heavy lid and everything gets surrounded and cooked in the steam that's created. This results in a locked in super flavorful dish and makes veggies very tender and rice extremely fluffy. This particular dutch oven I received is 4.5 qt and can make large portions enough for a family with lots of hungry children :)
I love cherry blossoms and was really sad that the weather was too cold for a really big bloom in the DC area. Although, nothing beats seeing them in Kyoto or Korea. It's absolutely beautiful there, but I'm glad I have this pot for some sakura admiring year-round!

If you'd like a Sakura Dutch Oven of your own, follow both @lecreuset and @misshangrypants on Instagram, tag two friends and comment what you'd make in this too.

Pearl Barley with Korean Spring Greens

makes 4-6 servings

1.5 cups pearl barley
1.5 cups short grain rice
3.5 cups konbu/dashima stock ** see steps for alternative

1.5 cups chwinamul (possible substitute - perilla leaves or swiss chard or spinach)
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp garlic, minced

8 bella mushrooms, sliced (or morels)
1 bunch minari (aka Korean watercress or dropwort; possible substitute - Chinese celery)
2 cups dolnamul (possible substitute - wild chives, ramps or fiddleheads)

2 red chilis, sliced finely
2 stalks green onion, diced
1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1.5 tsp roasted sesame seeds

  1. Wash pearl barley and rice together in a large dutch oven (or pot) and then cover well with water and soak for 2 hours
  2. To prepare konbu/dashima stock, simmer two pieces of 4x4" of dashima in 4 cups of water for 10 mins. Alternatively you can use 1:1 dilution of vegetable broth and water. Drain soaked barley rice and pour 3.5 cups of made stock. Bring to boil and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes with lid on, then turn down heat to low for an additional 10 mins
  3. Meanwhile prepare vegetables: for chwinamul, you may find this fresh in supermarkets or frozen. Don't get the dried version as that is usually made into a Korean banchan. Cut chwinamul into 1" length and blanch in hot water for 30-45s. Run under cold water to stop it cooking and squeeze all the water out. Then sauté and loosen with 1 tsp sesame oil, pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of minced garlic for 3 minutes. Alternatively you could use swiss chard in the same manner! The rest of the vegetables just need to be washed and set aside. Cut minari into 1" length as well
  4.  Once cooking time has reached 20mins, open lid and add sliced mushrooms and chwinamul right on top of the rice. Cover pot with lid again and let cook on low for another 10 mins
  5. Switch off heat and let barley rice sit for 5 mins, then add cut minari and dolnamul and fluff rice while mixing vegetables gently
  6. Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve rice hot with sauce on the side to mix in to taste
This post was sponsored by Le Creuset. I'm teaming up with them via CoactionPR to create awesome recipes. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are completely my own and not endorsed. Thank you for supporting products that keep this blog running!


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