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Pearl Barley Porridge with Ham and Eggs

Dave Chang first made this recipe at a food conference in Copenhagen, when he had very little to work with. He simmered barley in local apple cider with chicken stock and kombu, creating a deliciously sweet and savory porridge.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 4-by-6-inch piece of kombu (see Note)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces cooked smoked ham, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups pearled barley
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs, poached
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cider, broth, kombu and 2 cups of water. Bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat. Let steep for 40 minutes. Discard the kombu and transfer the cider broth to a bowl.
  2. Wipe out the saucepan and melt the butter in it. Add the onions, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 20 minutes. Add the ham and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the barley, soy sauce and cider broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is porridge-like, about 1 hour. Season with salt.
  3. Spoon the porridge into bowls and top with the eggs. Garnish with scallions; serve.


Kombu is edible kelp. It's available at natural food stores and Asian markets.

Contributed By Photo © Line Klein Published March 2014

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