King Oyster Mushroom and Leek Pearl Barley Risotto

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King Oyster Mushroom and Leek Pearl Barley Risotto

This hearty and healthy twist on risotto is filled with the rich, earthy flavour of king oyster mushrooms.

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Pearl barley forms the perfect base for this flavourful vegan risotto. Not only is it filling and more nutritious than rice, but it’s easier to make, too!

Pearl barley doesn’t require as much attention whilst cooking compared to rice, making it perfect for a quick, easy and hearty dinner.

This recipe provides a satisfying texture with a little more bite than a standard risotto, and still offers a deep, rich flavour despite containing no vegan cheese!

What are the benefits of using pearl barley?

While brown rice is a great source of folate and vitamin E, neither arborio rice nor pearl barley can make this claim. But pearl barley does beat both types of rice in terms of fibre content and calcium.

The fibre content of pearl barley is much, much higher than that of arborio rice, with almost triple the amount! This means that it is a highly beneficial swap for your gut health.

However, unlike rice, pearl barley contains gluten so should be avoided by those who must follow a gluten-free diet.

Where can I get king oyster mushrooms?

King oyster mushrooms can be found in plenty of supermarkets and grocers, but they may not be in stock all year round. They also tend to be priced a little higher than most other mushrooms.

If you can, check specialist grocery stores or markets for king oyster mushrooms.

Don’t worry if you’re not able to get hold of king oyster mushrooms for this recipe. Mixed mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, or even plain white mushrooms would still make a delicious pearl barley risotto!

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Total Time: 1 hour

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.25 0.25 onion, chopped
  • 0.75 0.75 cloves garlic, minced
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp thyme
  • 56.25 56.25 g king oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 0.5 0.5 leeks, cut in half lengthways and sliced
  • 50 50 g pearl barley
  • 30 30 ml white wine
  • 240 240 ml vegetable stock
  • 0.25 0.25 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and thyme for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms and leeks, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the pearl barley and white wine, and cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add the vegetable stock and leave to simmer for 40 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add the parsley and seasoning before serving.

Nutritional information per serving (417g): Calories 498, Fat 5.8g, Saturates 0.8g, Carbohydrate 92g, Sugars 5.7g, Fibre 20g, Protein 17g, Salt 1.2g


Got king oyster mushrooms to spare? Try making these vegan ‘scallops’!

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 70 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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