November 18, 2015

Making Mugi Meshi (Barley Rice)/麦飯を作る

To make mugi meshi, you will need oshi mugi (rolled barley).
Barley is rich in dietary fiber. This particular product contains 15 times as much dietary fiber as white rice.
You have to decide the rice to barely ratio. A 7 to 3 ratio is quite common in Japan. As requested by my son, however, I decided to try a 1:1 ratio.

1. Wash 2 go of rice. Add enough water for 2 go of rice.
1. 米を2合研ぐ。2合のお米分の水を入れる。 
2. Add 2 go of rolled barley. Rolled barley need not be washed. Add water 2 times the amount of barley.
2. 押し麦を2合足します。押し麦は洗う必要はありません。水を押し麦の量の2倍入れます。
The amount of water to add is 2 times (2 x 180 ml) = 720 ml.
Note that 1 go is equivalent to 180 ml.
足す水の量は、(2 x 180 ml)の2倍、つまり720 ml。
1合は180 mlです。

3. Leave at least 30 minutes and turn on the rice cooker. For an IH rice cooker, you can turn it on immediately.
3. 最低30分置いてから、炊飯器のスイッチを入れます。IH炊飯器なら、すぐに入れてもOKです。

4. Done!
4. 完成!


Kiki said...

Looks totally different to our rolled barley. The Japanese barley is much lighter in color. Our rolled barley takes 30 minutes to steam and 15 more minutes to rest so maybe I should steam white rice and barley each on it's own. Brown rice and barley may do.

Hiroyuki said...

Japanese oshi mugi (rolled barley) is pre-steamed so that it can be cooked together with rice to make mugi meshi.

Did you know that mugi meshi is a staple in jails in Japan?

Unknown said...

You can easily substitute pearl barley for a rolled one. I've used pearl barley with the exact same proportions as in this post, and got a perfect result.

2Hiroyuki: Well, they had to feed inmates something, and plain white rice carries a danger of beri-beri. In fact, as I've heard, mugi-meshi was invented by the IJN's doctors in the early XX century, when the sailors fed by the plain white rice and little else started suffering from beri-beri due to the vitamin deficiencies in their food. They had to add barley to fortify the chow with the vitamins — though the men, most of whom were of peasant stock and were sick and tired of barley at home, hated it and much preferred white rice, which was a luxurious dish for them.

Hiroyuki said...

Unknown: Thanks for your comment.

Peal barley is hard to come by in Japan. I myself have never seen or heard of it.
Rolled barley is made in such a way that it can be cooked well when mixed with rice.

Mugi-meshi invented? I think mugi meshi has been around for centuries!
Maybe you are talking about Suzuki Umetaro

Unknown said...

Probably, but the Japanese oshi-mugi is equally hard to find outside of Japan. Pearl barley is a barley dehulled and then steamed to soften the fibrous bran, which is then separated by shaking the steamed grain in huge drums, where the bran and the germ rub off, and then dried and packed, or further processed into cut or rolled barley groats, or milled into flour. As it is also steam-treated, it's largely equivalent to Japanese pressed barley in its boiling/steaming properties. Anyway, I can vouch that I've tried similar recipe with pearl barley and got the results exactly identical to mugi-meshi I've tried in Japan, so it's a perfect substitution if one cannot get the oshi-mugi.

Yes, I might've used a bad turn of the phrase — it's been indeed a traditional peasant food, which is why it was used by the Navy's medics. It's probably where it spread to the city-dwelling populations, though maybe I just read too much into it.

Bo said...

Hello. I love barley and just had barley rice in a tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo....loved it. I notice you said that to add 2 times the water. So for example usually with 1 cup of rice i put the water up to 1 on the rice cooker. Let say I'm making 1 cup rice and 1 cup barley does it mean i need to add water up to line 3?? Thank you

Hiroyuki said...

Bo: That's right, but check out this newer post of mine:

I have found that I don't necessary ahve to add extra water for barley. So, in your case (1 cup rice and 1 cup barley), water up to line 2 should be enough. Of course, if you want soggier barley rice, just increase the amount of water.